Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Grilled Salmon Belly 烤三文鱼肚腩肉

While this is my first post on salmon belly, it is definitely not my first time enjoying this "delicacy". As salmon belly has a oilier texture than salmon fillets, it is really hard to overcook this part of the fish and especially easy to cook on the grill. If you are into crispy salmon skin whenever salmon fillets are pan-seared or when salmon-collars are grilled, then you will enjoy salmon belly on the grill even better.

Salmon Belly with Saba (Mackerel) Fillets, and Vegetable (Zucchini, Bell Pepper, Pineapple) Skewers

Though I usually buy salmon fillets, Alaskan wild (frozen, vacuum-packed in individual packages), the salmon belly here is the farmed version. Farmed salmon is often claimed to be a less-preferred source of salmon as they are often raised in crowded fish pens, treated with antibiotics when infected by any disease, and depending on the variety and the meal they are fed, may have higher levels of PCBs (Source: Eatingwell.com).

However, I have also heard another source (from America Test Kitchen) that as wild salmon does not have a controlled environment, some wild varieties tested actually contain very high levels of PCBs due to the nature of the waters they are swimming in.

Do you buy wild salmon or farmed salmon?


Salmon Belly (left), Saba-Mackerel Fillets (right)


Grilled Salmon Belly 烤三文鱼肚腩肉
Ingredients: Salmon Belly (sold in long pieces in the stores e.g. Marukai @Cupertino), pinch of ground cumin, ground coriander, red chili pepper, turmeric, white pepper, salt to marinate especially on the salmon skin. To go minimal, you can also marinate with the classic salt and pepper.

Directions: Get the grill ready on low. Lay the salmon belly, skin-side down on the grates. Grill for 4 minutes. Then turn over and grill for additional 1-2 minutes. Enjoy with squeeze of lemon, if prefer.


Salmon is an excellent source of DHA, the omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for brain development. DHA is stored in salmon’s fat, most often in the belly. More reason to have more belly? But now the question is, where to get salmon belly, wild?

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