Friday, April 13, 2018

Crispy Salmon Skin Bibimbap Recipe- Gluten Free, Easy, and Delicious

Recently, I was cleaning out my freezer, and discovering all sorts of goodies that I had stashed away there, like the containers of cooked fish that I deboned myself from free fish bones I got at the market. And I also found lots and lots and lots of salmon skin that I got free from the market. 
I brought home the salmon skin because I know just how delectable salmon skin can be. I mean, hello, they even sell salmon skin sushi in fancy restaurants, so obviously it is good.
Anyhow, as I defrosted my salmon skin, I turned to the internet looking for ideas of what to do with it, and honestly, I came up short. Even a hunting and fishing group that I'm in, that usually has terrific ideas for what to do with such "food scraps" wasn't helpful, and they suggested using it as bait to catch something else. 
Not helpful. (They also suggested a recipe that involved first dehydrating it and then frying, but that was more work and time than I was looking for.)
But then I found this idea for crispy salmon skin rice bowls, which they called a "poor man's sushi roll" (avocado is far from what I'd call "poor man's food" especially with how much it currently costs locally), but my brain took that idea and flew immediately to bibimbap. 

Bibimbap, as I've written about before, is a Korean rice bowl filled with pretty much anything you have on hand, and why not crispy salmon skin?

To do this, I first had to prepare my salmon skin. I used a knife to cut off the bits of salmon flesh and set them aside to use later, for another recipe. Then I used a knife, and running it against the length of the skin, in the direction against the scales, descaled it. As I was doing this, my husband, Mike, looked on, seeing the mess that it made, with scales flying everywhere. "Penny, are you sure that these skins are worth all the effort and mess you're making?" I told him that yes, salmon skin is so delicious that it is definitely worthwhile. When doing this, be careful to remove all the scales, especially the stuff at the end where it's hardest to get off, because you do not want to be eating the fish scales- trust me on this one.

Once finished descaling, wash off your fish skin (and then start the work of cleaning up your kitchen, because scales like to fly everywhere!) and cut it into squares, roughly 2x2 inches.

Heat up some oil in a pan- use a nice amount, you're almost deep frying these, and then once the oil is hot carefully place the salmon skin into the pan, making sure that it is flesh side down. I know that I wrote it differently last time I wrote about salmon skin, but I guess I made a mistake, because it took some trial and error to get this one right. If you put it skin side down, it ends up becoming a sticky gloopy mess, not anything enjoyable to eat, and it is also is impossible to get it out of your frying pan, even if using non stick cast iron. (But just in case I wrote this wrong now, which I highly doubt, because I took notes before writing this post, try one piece flesh side down and see what happens, and if you get that sticky gloopy mess, cook it skin side down and see. One of them works, one doesn't.)

Let the fish skin cook for a good minute or two, giving it time to solidify. During this time, it'll start bubbling up and shriveling and that's ok. It's meant to do that. Once it's solidified, turn it over to cook on the other side. This also might take a little trial and error, to know how long to cook it until it is solidified, but not too long so that it gets burnt, and then cook the other side for a short time until crispy.

Remove them from the pan and let drain in a colander. When fully ready, these should be solid and crunchy, not that different from a potato chip.

To then turn this into bibimbap, I cooked up some sticky rice (regular rice also is fine, I just prefer sticky rice for this), then added some leftover oi sangchae- Korean cucumber salad which I had waiting in my fridge, and some carrots and onions that I sauted up with ginger for this purpose. I added to that some torn nori sheets, and then topped the whole thing with sesame seeds and a small drizzle of soy sauce.

It was amazing! Yes, Mike, worth the mess that cleaning the skins made. The combination of textures was unbelievable. I ate mine by taking the crispy skin, and topping it with a bit of each of the other  ingredients in the bibimbap, and eating it, almost as I would chips in dip.

Highly, highly recommend this.

If you aren't in the mood to cook, there are plenty of gluten free options at Rashays restaurants for you to try today!

Do you ever eat salmon skin? Have you prepared it on its own, not as part of a salmon fillet? How do you prepare it and eat it? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?

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