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Salmon Steaks?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

After a hiatus of a number of years, true salmon steaks have reappeared in the markets. At least around here.

 

For those who don't know the difference, a fish steak is not an amorphous hunk of fish carved out of the carcass, but, rather, a cross-sectional slice, cut through the loin section, usually about an inch thick. It forms sort of a Y shape, with a thick head section and two tails.

 

So, I'm wondering, have salmon steaks reappeared in your market? And, if so, how you prepare them?

 

I make them a number of ways. Almost always I form them into noisettes, first.

 

Had some last night. After trussing the steaks I merely salted and peppered them, brushed with olive oil, and cooked them on the grill. The cooked fish was then topped with a caper sauce. As near a perfect dish as it gets.

 

Another simple one we enjoy is George River Salmon, originated by the Atlantic Salmon fishing guides on that river. The steaks are marinated in a combination o Dijon musta4rd, olive oil, dry white wine, salt & pepper before being broiled over an open fire.

 

Because they've been MIA the past bunch of years, you don't hear about them much. But it's easy to adapt filet recipes to steaks. Basically, all you have to do is adjust the cooking time.  I do that, for instance, with a recipe I have for bourbon-glazed salmon.

 

What about everyone else? What's your take on salmon steaks?

 

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #2 of 18

The disappearance and reappearance of cross-cut salmon steaks may be peculiar to your area.  Salmon steaks never disappeared here that I know of; but we probably don't shop for fish in equivalent markets either.  To the extent that I buy fish at supers, it's at Asian supers with huge fish sections.

 

If I want cross-cut steaks, more often than not I buy salmon sections and steak them myself.  I get smoother surfaces, straighter cuts, and the portioning I want if I don't leave it up to someone else.  But it depends.  Some places are better and some places are worser.   

 

When using cross-cut steaks (usually for outdoor grilling), I "pin wheel," by cutting away and removing the bones on the steaks' legs, freeing the skin from the ends of the legs, leaving the spine in, and forming the pinwheel from a single piece, rather than doing noisettes.  The knife work is a little trickier, but the pinwheel holds up to the abuse of a live fire grill, and comes out looking better.  Eating around the spine is within the competence of my guests.   

 

BDL

post #3 of 18

Since I make my own Salmon steaks from the fish we pull out of the Lake here I have never stopped doing that way.

I too remove the bones and create a Noisette tied with string. I may marinate them in white wine, some shallots, and little garlic or perhaps some finely chopped herbs like tarragon or thyme I picked from the garden. I usually grill them over a wood fire. Good eating...

post #4 of 18

They never disapeared here. I believe farm raised salmon has kept them off menues as it is cheaper to obtain. Most salmon steaks sold here are cut from wild salmon. Color is night and day difference as is taste.  We take out the bones for the customer and tie it .Then cook, remoive string and serve

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #5 of 18

Glad you're able to get salmon steaks, after their hiatus but they're always available here.  I prefer filets for most of my salmon dishes but salmon steak pinwheels are a must if grilling.  I brush them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and grill on one side.  About 2 minutes before removing from the grill we paint them with a glaze made of a little oil, mustard, honey, soy, minced garlic and ginger.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

 I believe farm raised salmon has kept them off menues

 

You've lost me here, Ed. What does farm-raised vs wild have to do with how the fish is fabricated? Physically, a salmon is a salmon, and divides into pieces the same way, no matter where it was raised.

 

Color is night and day difference as is taste

 

Color? Sure. Taste? Nonsense. I've got a hundred dollar bill that says you can't tell the difference in a blind taste test.

 

 but salmon steak pinwheels

 

I'm not sure what you mean by pinwheels, KK. We might be talking about the same thing.  Could you describe them a little better?

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #7 of 18

By pinwheel I mean this:
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

...

When using cross-cut steaks (usually for outdoor grilling), I "pin wheel," by cutting away and removing the bones on the steaks' legs, freeing the skin from the ends of the legs, leaving the spine in, and forming the pinwheel from a single piece, rather than doing noisettes.  The knife work is a little trickier, but the pinwheel holds up to the abuse of a live fire grill, and comes out looking better.  Eating around the spine is within the competence of my guests.   

 

BDL



 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

Color is night and day difference as is taste.


Not buying this ed.

 

When eating salmon for nearly every meal during the fishing season, the steak cut is a changeup sometimes but I can't say I'm a fan.  First off, after making noisettes or tying stuff together with string it seems that a filet with pinbones removed would have been less work.  The cut was made for the grill, its sturdier (especially with bones in), uniform thickness, and has two equal faces to season and mark.  Plus, like the grill, its just less work.  No pinbones, no removing skin, no dishes.

 

In a restaurant setting its obviously different as you actually have to pay for the fish and prep is no big deal.  For grilled salmon in the restaurant I make boneless "steaks" by using transglutaminase to glue two fillets together and cut cross sections.  This seems vastly superior to noisettes.

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by benway View Post

In a restaurant setting its obviously different as you actually have to pay for the fish and prep is no big deal.  For grilled salmon in the restaurant I make boneless "steaks" by using transglutaminase to glue two fillets together and cut cross sections.  This seems vastly superior to noisettes.


That's certainly intriguing. Would you share a photograph with us? I'm very curious to see what that would look like. I've made boned salmon tournedos before, but have never used transglutaminase. Does it have any kind of taste at all? 

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post


That's certainly intriguing. Would you share a photograph with us? I'm very curious to see what that would look like. I've made boned salmon tournedos before, but have never used transglutaminase. Does it have any kind of taste at all? 



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb51xPTWaYQ

post #11 of 18

Cool, thanks!

post #12 of 18

I do not eat salmon , I only listen to the customer re taste as they are the final judges. As far as color I have been to a salmon farm, and have seen salmon that were almost  white or beige They were colored later via their diet.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #13 of 18

Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

I do not eat salmon , I only listen to the customer re taste as they are the final judges. As far as color I have been to a salmon farm, and have seen salmon that were almost  white or beige They were colored later via their diet.


Both white (a.k.a. ivory) and pink salmons are found in nature. The white/ivory salmon is rare, but sometimes I can see it at the grocery store. It tastes the same as the pink one. 

post #14 of 18

A lot depends on the farmer and farming methods.  Inexpensively farmed salmon don't develop the same pigmentation wild salmon do.  It's not genetics, it's upbringing -- mostly overcrowding and poor water quality. 

 

Poorly farmed salmon are fed foods with a lot of additional pigment to enhance their color in the presentation case.  When you get it home, they'll lose color in a marinade or as their juices drain.  You can really see the difference, not only in the fish but in the color of the juices, when you make gravlaks.

 

Really good farmed salmon is almost as good as the best wild, but is also very expensive.

 

BDL

 

 

post #15 of 18

About the naturally occurring white salmon, these are real but are insanely rare and there is no way to tell without opening one up that I know of.  Alaskan's will tell you that a white king salmon is the best piece of fish you'll ever eat although I'm skeptical that this is just a tall tale which is difficult to disprove given the rarity of a white salmon and that the difference is purely in the psychology of the eater.  Pink colored salmon is confusing to me as pink salmon (humpies) are all pink but one of the least desirable species due to huge supply and lower gormet demand.

 

Salmon in nature also get their color from their diet.  If you took a wild salmon and raised it on corn and soy pellets like farmed salmon are raised, they'd come out grey.  The farmed salmon are fed the identical carotenoid pigments that are found in a wild salmon's diet.  Thing is that it can't be perfectly faked yet... those pigment molecules come in different orientations (stereoisomers).  Wild salmon will have a different ratio of the three possible orientations than a farmed salmon which ingested artificial dye.  Doesn't sound like much but this is responsible for the observations by boar_d_laze.  Comparing the ratios of stereoisomer molecules is actually the same way athletes are tested to see if testosterone levels are natural or artificially enhanced.

post #16 of 18

Its best to get used to the idea of farmed salmon as soon they'll be way too cheap to ignore.  GMO atlantic salmon are engineered to grow four times faster... to the size of a king salmon.  The FDA is expected to approve them any day now.

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by benway View Post

About the naturally occurring white salmon, these are real but are insanely rare and there is no way to tell without opening one up that I know of. 


Granted, they were selling fillets, not the whole salmon, which made it pretty obvious to see. I was quite surprised as this was the first time I saw it. 

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

Adding to the confusion: Back in the 1980s Great Lakes native people were granted the right to harvest and sell steelhead. Knowing that the very name would engender hard feelings on the part of sportsmen, and would be unrecognizable by others, they marketed it under the name "white salmon."

 

For awhile it enjoyed vogue among certain upscale chefs, who snickered about how this "rare" fish was the "in" thing among their more snobby clientele.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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