Salmon Filet vs Salmon Steak
It never occurred to me that salmon filet might taste different from salmon steak. After all, filet is just the side of the fish, and steak is two sides of the fish joined by bone. It should taste the same, right? I decided to pan sear both and see if I liked one more than the other, thinking that there would be no difference. There is no big difference, but I do like the filet more. Either way though, salmon is one of those quick and easy ingredients that can really shine on its own.
I read about salting the steak 30 minutes before cooking to draw out some moisture, and then patting the steak dry. I put some oil on the pan, added pepper onto the steak, and cooked it over medium heat for about three and a half minutes per side (The steak itself was half a pound and about an inch thick – cooking time will of course vary).
I did drizzle some nuoc mam over the Salmon, but you can see that the meat is a good medium.
(Sorry I was really hungry and dug in a little early before I took the picture)
I did not salt the fish before pan frying it, and only salt and peppered it a few minutes before cooking. This piece weighed about 2/3 of a pound, and was 1.5 inches thick on the thick end and slimmed down towards the end of the piece. I fried it on medium high heat, skin side down, for 4 minutes, and then turned down the heat to medium and cooked it on the otherside for another 4 minutes. I think cooking it on a higher temperature with the skin side results in very crispy skin.
The skin was super crispy, and the meat you can tell was more of a medium rare (which I prefer over medium).
Why I prefer filet over steak: Skin, bones, and texture. I love the crispy skin that comes with filet and since the skin is wrapped around the circumference of the steak, you can’t really crisp it up. Also, the bones in the steak were annoying to pick out – although not totally bad since it’s savable for fish stock! But really what I prefer most about filets is that the meat just flakes into juicy chunks that just doesn’t happen with steaks. The meat in the steak is a lot more compact and, since it’s a cross section, consists of many small individual pieces.
Come to think of it, not many restaurants serve steaks over filets. I’ve never worked as a fish monger and wonder if there’s a difference between which parts of the fish are turned into filets or steaks.
But anyways, those are just my thoughts, let me know if you guys disagree and why you prefer salmon steaks over filets!