crispy, seared salmon skin on fillet
crispy, seared salmon skin on fillet

Can You Eat Salmon Skin?

October 1st, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Salmon Skin

Salmon skin cooked right is not only a flavor-bomb, but also a textural delight. But are there any health effects you should be aware of?

More often than not, salmon skin is safe to eat. There’s no getting around the reality that much of the world’s fish supply has been affected in some way or another by environmental contamination; and a study from 1995 found that salmon with skin had 50% more contamination than salmon with the skin off, leading some researchers to believe that contamination can be stored in the skin of the fish. [1]


Salmon's Health Benefits 

Salmon is a protein well-regarded for its incredible nutritional benefits. Along with the flesh itself, salmon skin is a good source for omega-3 fatty acids. These acids can lower blood pressure and reduce your risk for heart disease. Salmon in general is also an amazing alternative to red meat for those who are looking to lower their cholesterol or meet their weight loss goals. 

Salmon is also full of vitamins b and d. Vitamin D helps promote strong, healthy bones as it helps regulate calcium within the body while strengthening your immune system. Meanwhile, Vitamin B helps stimulate your brain and nervous system to work more efficiently. [2]


raw salmon skin side up


Wild Salmon vs. Farm-Raised Salmon 

Researchers have also found that farm-raised salmon tend to have higher concentrations of PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls - industrial products or chemicals) than wild fish. Read more about the health impacts of farmed salmon vs. wild salmon in our blog post comparing the two.

And while there are some health concerns about eating salmon skin, there are certainly health benefits as well. For instance, the highest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids is in the skin of the fish. are wellness powerhouses for a number of reasons, treating health issues such as inflammation, brain development and heart conditions.


cooked salmon with skin


Why You'll Love Salmon Skin in Your Next Dish 

Salmon skin adds in immense depth of flavor and a welcome texture contrast that pairs perfectly with the soft, flakiness of a perfectly cooked filet. Leaving the salmon skin on also helps lock in flavor and helps prevent the fish from drying out. This is especially vital if you plan on grilling, searing, or pan frying your salmon. 

How to Get the Perfect Crispy Salmon Skin 

The best way to create a crunchy and delicious skin is by pan-frying the fish. For those who love the crisp and crunch of salmon skin, here are some tips on perfecting the art of frying salmon to achieve that texture: 

  • If you're pan-frying, rinse the salmon fillet first. 

  • Pat it dry to remove residual moisture. 

  • Place your fillet skin-side up on a clean cutting board. Then, take the dull edge of a knife and run it across the salmon skin while applying light pressure. You should notice even more excess moisture building up on the knife. 

  • Set your stove's burner to a fairly high temperature. 

  • As the pan is heating up, add butter or olive oil. 

  • Sear the fish to lock in that flavor while giving the outer edges the crisp texture you're looking for. 

  • Cook with your senses, but use a timer just to be safe. Fry the fish at about 3-4 minutes for each side.


Cooking the Perfect Salmon

At Wild Alaskan Company, it's safe to say we enjoy the crisp, delectable flavor a perfect salmon skin along with its inherent nutritional benefits. All of our Alaskan salmon is wild-caught and sustainably sourced. Discover a range of wild caught seafood and salmon, from Coho to Sockeye, all in convenient pre-portioned packs for you to choose from. 

Getting hungry? Explore our blog and recipes for even more tips and tricks on perfecting salmon for any dish you have in mind.