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Old 04-07-2008, 06:57 PM   #1
Waterfish
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Thumbs up Scaling and de-sliming salmon

Do you ever notice a strong fishy smell when you thaw out salmon that was frozen with the skin on? I am convinced that the strong smell is because the fillets were not scaled and de-slimed before freezing.

This topic came up a few years ago here on Ifish, and several people gave tips on scaling and de-sliming salmon. Since then, all of my salmon are scaled and de-slimed before vacuum sealing and freezing, and when I thaw and open the package; no more strong fishy smell!

If you donít scale or de-slime salmon, the knife draws slime and scales into the meat when you cut it into steaks or cut fillets into smaller pieces. Even if you donít cut through the skin, that salmon slime makes for a strong smell (and taste) when thawed.

I made a fish scaler out of bottle caps. This scaler works better than any of my store-bought scalers.



After scaling, I hose the salmon off, then wipe some white vinegar on the skin and let it set for a couple of minutes. The white vinegar makes the slime congeal. Next, wipe off the congealed slime with a dull knife. Even better; after the vinegar makes the slime congeal, wipe the salmon off with a handful of coarse salt like kosher salt. Then hose the fish off again, and fillet it or cut into steaks. After scaling and de-sliming, the skin will feel like cloth (not slippery). Thaw it out a couple of months later and it will smell and taste much fresher than if you froze it without de-sliming it. Give it a try!

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Old 04-07-2008, 07:03 PM   #2
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Thumbs up Re: Scaling and de-sliming salmon

Sounds like a good way to do it. Thanks!!!!
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Scaling and de-sliming salmon

What has worked for me: before any gutting or chopping up , lay the fish down and using a high pressure hose nozzel ,starting at the tail,hose that fish off, it just blows the scales rite off...than proceed with the rest of your work...mike
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Scaling and de-sliming salmon

Garden hose with nozle has always works good for me.
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Scaling and de-sliming salmon

Salt will dissolve the slim, vinegar will remove the scales.
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Scaling and de-sliming salmon

The best part you get to drink a 12 pack. I tend to loose my fish scaler a lot durring the summer run steelhead season .....
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Scaling and de-sliming salmon

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Garden hose with nozle has always works good for me.
Thats how I do it.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: Scaling and de-sliming salmon

a barbecue brush makes quick work of the scales and slime.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: Scaling and de-sliming salmon

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Garden hose with nozle has always works good for me.
I've heard that scales from ocean caught salmon come off much easier than the salmon we catch in the Columbia near Portland. I blast off as many scales as I can with the hose but I have to use the scaler to get most of them off.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Scaling and de-sliming salmon

I'm really not a big fan of the "fishy" flavor of fish. I've smoked salmon and given it to folks who said they hate smoked salmon but like mine; same with my smoked salmon dip. For the rare folks who've tasted my grilled salmon, their opinion is the same.

I'll take a fistful of paper towels and wipe off all of the slime from my fish prior to laying it out on the cutting surface. The hose is handy in the back yard but I worry about my dogs getting into some blood and getting sick; the hose isn't handy in the front yard. I've never scaled a salmon and don't plan to. The paper towel trick works like a charm for me and it's quick and easy.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: Scaling and de-sliming salmon

Fillet the skin off?
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: Scaling and de-sliming salmon

I always skin mine and trim off all the fat. No fishy smell and no complaints from anyone eating any of it, be it smoked or grilled.


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Old 04-07-2008, 10:33 PM   #13
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Default Re: Scaling and de-sliming salmon

The fishy smell was a problem for me until I read on here that if you spay the fish with white vinegar/water mixture it is gone. I clean the fish the best I can and then using a mixture of 1/3 white vinegar + 2/3 water(?) in a spray bottle spray the fish. I leave it on for about one minute or so. Yes it will dissolve the scales. No more fish that smells like the river or fishy smell.
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:49 AM   #14
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Default Re: Scaling and de-sliming salmon

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmike View Post
What has worked for me: before any gutting or chopping up , lay the fish down and using a high pressure hose nozzel ,starting at the tail,hose that fish off, it just blows the scales rite off...than proceed with the rest of your work...mike


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Old 04-08-2008, 05:26 AM   #15
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Default Re: Scaling and de-sliming salmon

I've always used a wire brush (the kind I use in my shop for welding) to scale and de-slime ocean caught salmon. Works great, really quick.
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Old 04-08-2008, 06:28 AM   #16
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Default Re: Scaling and de-sliming salmon

A bit off the original post. If you are in a hurry and don't want to deal with cutting and cleaning at the time, bleed the fish when caught and put it in a garbage bag. Freeze it guts feathers and all. It will keep for at least 18 months, and you can deal with the scaling and cleaning when you pull it out for the barbeque or smoker. I know that I get going so hard for springers that between work and the family, the last thing I want to deal with is a bunch of fish in the late evening. Freezing them whole really works, I didn't beleive it until I tried it.
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:28 AM   #17
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Default Re: Scaling and de-sliming salmon

I made a descaler with bottle caps years ago. Works awsome for removing scales and slime.
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:42 AM   #18
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Question Re: Scaling and de-sliming salmon

Mike - have you had a bunch of chances to use that contraption this year?
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:34 AM   #19
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Default Re: Scaling and de-sliming salmon

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Mike - have you had a bunch of chances to use that contraption this year?
Shane,

I wouldn't say a "bunch", but we are having fresh springer for dinner at my house this week!
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