Despite what the supermarket aisle may lead you to believe, there's more to an animal than neatly wrapped styrofoam trays of meat. From tongue to tail, offal (pronounced awful) encompasses all those taboo edibles that don't make the cut at your local grocer. Just Offal is here to explore these oft-neglected byproducts of butchering, featuring different offal meals from establishments across the valley.
The Ick Factor: A skin roll sounds pretty nasty. Just thinking about it brings up memories of flabby braised chicken thighs and gummy, gelatinous chicharrones. Not all skin is created equal though, and most people are willing to put aside these thoughts in order to mow down on the glory that is fried chicken skin. Fried chicken skin may be the reigning champ, but crispy salmon skin could be poised to de-throne it.
The secret? Salmon went and stole a page out of bacon's playbook.
(bite into all the juicy details after the jump)
The Offal Choice: Salmon skin roll from Shimogamo Japanese Restaurant, packed with crispy salmon skin and cool cucumber. Washed down with warm house sake and chased with a mountainous pile of nigiri.
You Know It's Cooked Improperly When: It's flabby and floppy. There's a right way and a wrong way to do this kind of salmon skin, and the standard baked, poached, or pan fried salmon will almost always result in skin you would rather discard than eat. Instead, flay the skin off your fish and smoke, broil or fry it until it's crispy, crunchy and not the least bit awful.
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Always been a DIY-er? This is pretty easy offal challenge if you like to DIY in the kitchen. Step one: Go buy some salmon from pretty much anywhere. Make sure the skin is smooth and has been de-scaled well. Remove the skin from the fish and reserve the rest of that delicious pink meat for another purpose. (Like homemade lox!) Broil or fry those crispy strips of salmon skin until light and crunchy. Break out the sushi making kit and get to rolling some salmon skin sushi rolls that give bacon a run for its money!
Know of some offal that we just have to try? Let us know in the comment section.