Crispy Fried Salmon Skin

Crispy Fried Salmon Skin

The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Brine: 15 mins
Total: 32 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
430 Calories
43g Fat
4g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 430
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 43g 55%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 24mg 8%
Sodium 1282mg 56%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 44mg 3%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 165mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe is a great way to use salmon skin, especially since the skin is something that would normally be ignored or discarded. Frying salmon skin results in a tasty treat. Consider it similar to salmon bacon, or "salmon rinds," as opposed to pork rinds.

This recipe works for any type of salmon and gives the skin an Asian flair, but you could season it any way you'd like. The keys to tasty flavoring are the oil you use and the post-fry seasoning. 

As with most fried foods, you'll want to serve this right away. These crispy salmon skins are a perfect light appetizer for your salmon dinner. You can deskin the fish, prepare and serve the skins, and then serve the salmon separately. Perhaps the skins would make for a crunchy topping on a Japanese-inspired salad. Another option is to serve the crispy skins alongside a tasty salmon tartare. If they are crispy enough, the skins could replace crackers and be used to scoop up the diced fish.

Ingredients

  • Salmon skin, from 1 large fillet

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1 cup vegetable oil, more as needed

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sesame oil, or other flavored oil

  • Soy sauce, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Crispy Fried Salmon Skin ingredients

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  2. With a very sharp knife, slice the salmon skin into 1/4-inch thick strips from top to bottom (from belly to back, not head to tail). This will result in long strips since they will shrink upon cooking.

    With a very sharp knife, slice the salmon skin into thick strips

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  3. In a medium bowl, toss the salmon skin strips with the kosher salt. Set aside to brine for 10 to 15 minutes.

    salted salmon skin strips brining in a bowl

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  4. Pat the salmon skin strips dry with a paper towel. To avoid oil splatter and ensure the skin gets crispy, it is important that the salmon is completely dry.

    salmon skin strips on a paper towel, patted dry with a paper towel

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  5. In a frying pan or wok, add enough vegetable oil to be about 3/4 inch up the sides. Add the sesame or flavored oil and turn the heat to medium-high.

    sesame oil added to a pan with oil

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  6. Once the oil is hot, add the salmon skin to the oil, and fry over medium-low heat. Stir frequently so they don't stick—a chopstick is a good tool that can delicately stir them around. It can take a full 10 to 15 minutes for them to crisp up—they will look rubbery at first, but be patient.

    salmon skins frying in a pan with oil

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  7. When crispy, remove the skins from the oil and drain on paper towels.

    fried salmon skins on paper towels

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  8. Serve with soy sauce and enjoy.

    serve with soy sauce

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

Recipe Variations

  • If you aren't using sesame oil or Asian flavors, you can skip the soy sauce. Experiment with other dipping sauces.
  • If you want to take this dish in another direction, use olive oil and some smoked paprika for a Spanish flavor, olive oil and lemon for Greek or Italian, butter and thyme for French, or bacon fat and cayenne powder for a Cajun feel. The possibilities are limitless.