Pan-seared Salmon Belly

Pan-seared salmon belly

Living in a seafood mecca like Sydney has some great advantages especially if you are a seafood lover. Mysaucepan and I love sheer variety and freshness of seafood that is so readily available all over Sydney.

Salmon is one of my favourite fish to cook with and with such fresh seafood, the best recipes are almost always the simplest ones.

Just like some of the cheaper cuts of meats such as pork and beef can often be turned into beautiful stews in winter, salmon is no exception either. I often come across huge trays of salmon heads with the backbone, salmon collar bones and salmon belly at fish markets where these cuts of fish are relegated to the back end of the display counters since they are not as visually appealing as the regular fillets, cutlets and whole fish. These cuts are also considerably cheaper since they are considered off-cuts.

Fresh strips of salmon belly

Fresh strips of salmon belly

To me, the belly is probably the best cuts of the fish, especially salmon and tuna where they command a much higher price when ordered as sushi and sashimi in Japanese restaurants.

The salmon belly is softer and more delicate because it has a higher fat content and when cooked properly, it literally melts in your mouth. Best of all, it is also a lot more healthy than say pork belly with its high levels of Omega 3 fish oil.

So today, I am sharing my simple recipe of Pan-seared Salmon Belly with you. I can assure you this will be one of the cheapest, simplest and most delicious meal that you can prepare at home.

Pan-seared Salmon Belly

Pan-sear salmon belly skin side down for 90 percent of cooking time

Pan-sear salmon belly skin side down for 90 percent of cooking time

One of the most important part of pan-searing or BBQ salmon belly is to sear the fish skin side down for almost the entire cooking process.

Flip salmon belly over when skin is golden brown

Flip salmon belly over when skin is golden brown

Try to avoid the temptation of flipping the fish because the belly is very delicate and it takes little time to cook.

Searing the fish skin side down for about ninety percent of the cooking time will give you a beautiful golden brown skin that is crispy and also takes away all the fishy aromas that is usually present in the skin of the fish.

Pan-seared salmon belly

Pan-seared salmon belly

I would choose this cut of fish any day over a fillet or a cutlet simply because it is tastier with its higher fat content.

Pan-seared salmon belly - crusty outside and delicately soft and buttery inside

Pan-seared salmon belly - crusty outside and delicately soft and buttery inside

A small dusting of corn flour helps the fish to form a thin golden brown crust on the outside when it is being seared. The meat inside remains soft, moist and buttery, it literally melts the moment it hits your mouth.

One of my favourite dipping sauce is fresh cut red chillies and soy sauce.

Wafer-thin and crispy salmon belly skin

Wafer-thin and crispy salmon belly skin

The crispy salmon belly skin is the equivalent of a good pork crackling except it is wafer thin and a whole lot healthier too!

This is one of my all-time favourite comfort meals at home – this meal took about 15 minutes to prepare and cost a whole $2!

Pan-seared salmon belly

Pan-seared salmon belly

So dear readers, how can you go past a meal that cost $2, is delicious, simple to cook and good for your health too? 

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33 Responses to Pan-seared Salmon Belly

  1. $2 for that plate of food? I need to move :)

    Your words make me want this seared salmon belly so badly!

  2. This looks wonderful, all that crispy skin and the soft fish. I’m not sure our fish is prepared in the same cuts as yours since I’ve never heard of any fish bell being offered. but I’ll certainly ask my fishmonger as this looks like one not to miss. GG

  3. Sissi says:

    It looks gorgeous! I have never seen such cuts here and probably never will. Personally I don’t like most of the farmed salmon (it’s too fat and gives me nausea, I prefer a humble sardine, mackerel etc.), but I like a lot wild salmon. Unfortunately it’s not easy to find.

  4. celia says:

    Delicious! I would eat this with soy, chilli and rice! I often buy the heads and bones to make stock – as you say, they’re dirt cheap! Oooh, and I also make fish head curry with salmon heads…yuuumm… Darn. Now I’m hungry. 😉

  5. Hotly Spiced says:

    $2.00? That’s so much better than a couple of cheese burgers! What a lovely looking meal and I can’t believe you can eat so well for so little cost. You have cooked the belly to perfection – it is such a beautiful colour and I’m sure this would definitely melt in the mouth xx

  6. Row says:

    Love, love salmon belly… it’s my favourite part of the fish. The flavour is so rich and buttery. Thank you for this great recipe! :)

  7. That looks so good. So simple to make and I can imagine the amazing flavour. I love the fact it also has that lovely crisp thin coating.

  8. I recently had a salmon head and it was delicious. The cheeks and the jaws were full of sweet, soft meat and I enjoyed it more than I would have a fillet! :)

  9. Raymund says:

    Wow this is the best part of the fish, I love the fatty texture of this one. Mmmmmmm

  10. looks SO good! love a crispy salmon skin.
    Heidi xo

  11. I heart salmon, esp! salmon belly! Looks so succulent and crispy!

  12. Alana says:

    I had no idea salmon belly was a thing, amazing! Thank you for this wonderful foodie, public service announcement!!

  13. Baby Sumo says:

    Too bad we cant get fresh salmon belly like this in KL!

  14. You got such a beautiful sear on that belly! It looks perfect :)

  15. Carolyn Jung says:

    The corn flour is a nice trick to get it so golden crisp. Mmm, salmon skin is such a guilty pleasure.

  16. Winston says:

    I TOTALLY agree with you about belly being the best part. Mum always specifically tell the chef to give her the belly when ordering sashimi at sushi restaurants. This is absolutely beautiful my mouth is watering from this post. You really are lucky to be living in Sydney!! We were there in Dec and it took so much energy NOT to buy a pack of salmon belly from the fish market cause it looked so goood! But we couldn’t cause had so much to do and didn’t have things to cook with in the apartment we were renting. Anyway, good stuff I hope to find salmon belly as beautiful as these to cook with too. YUM

  17. gah! I want that skin! I think it’s the best part. It would be so awesome to just fry up a whole heap of skin, break it up into pieces and eat it with a beer and a side of soy and kumquat juice for dipping. OMG…you just gave me an idea! You rock

  18. My gosh, the salmon belly looks amazingly delicious. We love Hamachi and Salmon kama (head) because it is pretty fatty and delicious (we dip in yuzu + soy sauce). I don’t know where I can find salmon belly but if I ever do, I can’t wait to grab it! I always appreciate your knowledge about food and very simple method of cooking. I love your style of cooking.

  19. I love salmon belly, but I’ve never cooked it myself. You make it sound so easy. I love the idea of soy and chili dipping sauce… that would cut through the fattiness of the salmon belly beautifully!

  20. Its perfectly cooked :) thanks for the tip. I’ve never cooked with the belly before but now I’ll give it a go!

  21. Kimby says:

    That salmon looked so crispy, I almost took a bite out of my computer screen! :) Thanks for sharing your tips on how to achieve it by concentrating the majority of sauteeing on the skin side and also using less EVOO than one would think. Delicious food doesn’t have to be expensive food, as you’ve shown!

  22. Hannah says:

    I’ve never even seen salmon belly available to buy, only as part of sushi/sashimi at restaurants. This looks gooooood.

  23. Juliana says:

    I love salmon belly, is one of my favorite part of the salmon…like how yours turned out…so crispy outside and moist inside…yum! I never cooked at home, only eaten in restaurants :( Beautiful pictures as always!
    Hope you are enjoying your week :)

  24. mac says:

    I shouldn’t be reading this before bedtime, I’m hungry and my mouth is watering.

  25. tigerfish says:

    I need to start looking for salmon belly though I have no single idea where to get it. :O

    For that portion, it is a super delicious snack for me. Gosh…

  26. I’ve never cooked salmon belly before but looks like I have been missing out – this sounds great.

  27. Hahaha, when I opened this post, I didn’t even have an idea what salmon belly is! 😀

  28. Padaek says:

    You did an amazing job here! Wow – looks so tasty! 😀

  29. Barb says:

    I just brought home 10 pounds of wild salmon belly flown in from Alaska that I purchased through my buying club. I’ll be frying some up this weekend. Thanks for your post and the mouthwatering photos.

  30. KL says:

    OMG, this stuff is so fabulous! In the San Francisco Bay Area, we can get raw salmon belly at the farmer’s markets for $3.50/lb. One lb makes a lot of these crispy salmon bellies. Just discovered this recipe 3 weeks ago- where has this been all my life?

    It doesn’t really matter if the skin has the scales removed or not. Removing scales is a messy job, but it’s not necessary at all. Once the skin is fried up with a cornstarch coating like this, all of it becomes a crispy snack, scales and all!

  31. Cynthia C. says:

    I followed your recipe exactly and it was perfection. The skin was crispy and the flesh luscious. I made a dipping sauce of chili-garlic and low sodium soy sauce.

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