A Step-By-Step Guide to Removing Skin from a Piece of Salmon

Preparing salmon for the oven, grill, or stovetop takes a few careful cuts with a boning knife. The key is to remove the skin safely and smoothly, to avoid a hack job. Here’s how, with advice from our trusty guide Rebecca Goldfarb of the Social Table.

  1. Place the piece of salmon on a cutting board with its skin facing up.
  2. Use one hand to pull some of the skin up and back at one corner of the piece.
  3. With the other hand, hold the knife at a slight upward angle and cut into the gap between the skin and the meat. Slice forward to slowly cut off the skin, using the curve of the knife to stay as close as possible to the skin to avoid wasting any meat.
  4. If the knife reaches a stopping point, start a new cut at a different corner, working toward the other cut. Repeat as needed.
  5. Once you have cut across, remove and discard the skin.
  6. Flip the salmon piece back over and cut it into preferred sizes, using smooth, long cuts across the width of the fish. If you’re cutting an even number of pieces, start by halving it, halving the halves, etc.
Cutting tips:
    • Try to use long cutting motions, rather than short, jagged cuts, for a smooth finish.
    • Be careful to keep pulling the skin back with the non-cutting hand, to prevent that hand from getting in the way of the knife.