I get it — when it comes to wild salmon portions, you’re crazy for your center cuts. You love their perfect symmetry, their extra bit of thickness and density. You love how evenly they cook, and how pretty they look on your guests’ plates when you host.
But what if I told you that wild salmon tail pieces are among the most awesome unsung heroes of your seafood arsenal? What if I could help you see and make use of your tail pieces in a whole new light? Allow me to try?
Protein in a Pinch
Picture the scene: you have no more than five minutes with which to whip up an entree for dinner. You want a clean protein, something that’s nutritious, filling and flavor forward. Cue your wild salmon tail piece, the portion of the fish that cooks up — thanks to its lesser thickness — faster than you can say “tail piece for the win!" Think of your tail pieces as your go-to quick cuts, the pieces that will save you those five extra minutes when you really need them. Plus, just because they cook faster doesn’t mean they have less health benefits than any of the other parts of the fish.
Good news — time isn’t the only thing you’ll maximize when cooking up your tail pieces. You see, that same aforementioned lesser thickness on this wildly underestimated piece of the fish yields another extraordinary result: texture. A crispier, more caramelized consistency that instantly turns your fillet into a dynamic and delicious morsel every time.
Finally, making use of your tail piece is an active testament to the tenets of sustainability. It says to the universe, “I’m not a portion discriminator — I’m happy to make use of every part of the fish because that is what nature has given to me in this moment.”
And if you don’t believe my tale of tails, give them a go yourself with this salmon tail recipe that comes together in 10 minutes; or this one made with peas and wild mushrooms. The bottom line: just like you don’t judge a book by its cover, I invite you not to judge a salmon by its tail.
Live wild...and maximize your fish!
Pictured: A happy gaggle of tail pieces shining bright as the stars of my sister Michelle’s sockeye salmon poached in a green curry broth — making a great case for making excellent use of tail pieces when you don’t require the full force of a center cut.