Susie Burrell

‘your food, your body, your life’

Why we should all be eating the salmon skin.

This is a sponsored post, brought to you by Tassal Salmon.

If you think about the nutritional benefits of salmon, chances are that omega 3’s would quickly come to mind. The long chain, powerful anti-inflammatory fats found in very few foods in as high amounts as found in deep sea cold fish including salmon, sardines and mackerel. In fact, salmon is such a rich source of these special nutrients that a single serve of fresh salmon each day will give you your entire daily recommended intake of omega 3’s. But one thing that many of us do not consider when cooking our favourite salmon recipe is that many of us are throwing away one of the richest sources of omega 3 fats – the skin.

The primary reason that deep sea cold fish including salmon are such rich sources of omega 3 fats is that a higher amount of fat helps the fish to keep warm in cool waters. This is also the reason that the grey layer of flesh that sits right under the salmon skin, along with the skin contains roughly 1/3 of the total amount of omega 3 fat found in the fish, it is basically insulation. Unlike animal flesh and its skin which is high in saturated fat, eating the omega 3 rich salmon skin will increase your overall intake of long chain fats per serve to up to 3g, or 3x what is suggested as a minimum daily intake of these powerful fats. A high daily intake of omega 3 fats is associated with lower levels of inflammation in the body, lower blood pressure, reduced triglycerides as well as great skin and hair.

One of the barriers to ensuring you reap the extra benefits that come from also enjoying the skin of your fresh Tassal salmon can be knowing how to cook it so that it tastes delicious. While grilling can instantly crisp up your salmon skin, it can dry out the fish so another option is to instead sear the salmon with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and cook it in a pan on relatively high heat – here the skin becomes crisp very quickly and you are only adding in good quality monounsaturated fats to your food. As omega 3 fat is reasonably stable under high temperatures there is no worry about destroying its nutrition when it is cooked. Another option is to actually remove the skin from the salmon and cook it separately with olive oil to create small pieces of salmon skin crunchy chips that can be enjoyed with your fish or as a crunchy topping to salads or vegetable sides. A sprinkle of salt too goes a long way in giving the rich salmon skin plenty of flavour.

In busy lives we are often on the lookout for quick and easy solutions to fix or nutrition – supplements, powders or formulated superfoods to give us the extra dose of nutrition we think we need. This is one of the reasons that fish oil supplements are so common – here we can get a hit of omega 3 fats minus the time and effort of cooking up salmon 2-3 times each week. What we do need to know though is that you can never replace the synergistic nutritional benefits that come from eating whole foods. This is definitely the case with fresh Tassal salmon found at Woolworths, not only do you get the range of different nutrients salmon offers, but in the case of keeping our natural omega 3 intake as high as possible, you get a huge amount when you choose salmon that still has its skin and enjoy it whole.

Recipe: Crispy Baked Salmon with Dukkah Spinach Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 x Tassal salmon fillets, skin on

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. parsley

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 cup cooked quinoa

4 cups baby spinach

1 cup radishes, sliced

1 tsp. Dukkah

1 tsp. tahini

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200°C degrees.

2. Rub salmon including skin with oil, salt, pepper, lemon and parsley.

3. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes and turn over and cook for another 5-7 minutes until cooked through.

4. Assemble spinach, quinoa, radish and salmon onto a plate and season with lemon juice, Dukkah and drizzle with tahini.