Broiling the salmon collars lets the meat cook perfectly while the skin crisps. Textural perfection.
Fish collars are making a comeback. For some hardcore pescavores, they never really went anywhere in the first place. More ‘traditional’ fish eaters will likely only have experience with the typical filets. MAYBE a whole fish occasionally, but even then they were probably only eating the main filet section. My husband is one such person. A lifelong fishing enthusiast, he was only ever taught to filet the fish. Sometimes leaving it skin-on to cook on the ‘half shell’.
The first time I grilled him a whole snapper, I reached in and dug out a perfect nugget of meat from cheek area and made him try it. He was skeptical at first, but once he tasted it he was totally on board. There are a few hidden pockets of fish-meat on a fish, and the other oft overlooked one is the collar. Collars are rich with large pieces of meat and gelatinous fatty deposits (ok, they sound gross but I promise they taste amazing). If you’re the type of person who loves gnawing on the bone and picking off all the delicious morsels, you’re going to love fish collars.
Best of all collars are extremely affordable. Being that they are considered a secondary or off-cut, they’re really well priced. And even better when you can get them off a primo fish. I get my salmon collars from Fulton fish market. They have amazing quality produce, and also have halibut and kanpachi collars available too. I pair the collars with an umami bomb butter made with miso and nori. Nori is a type of seaweed (the same one they use in sushi making) and it’s a great source for natural glutamates which are responsible for that umami flavor. A little goes a long way – I buy a pack of nori sheets then seal the rest for use another time.
I love serving these as a quick and easy appetizer. They’re fast to cook, and you can have the butter ready in advance.Print