Broiled Salmon Collar Recipe

Updated March 9, 2009

Originally posted July 16, 2007

You guys know about our favorite fishmonger in the whole world right? His name is Pat and he runs Mission Fresh Fish out in San Leandro. You can find him at several farmer’s markets around the Bay Area. We’ve talked about him a lot on this blog. See, his fish is truly the best I’ve come across. And this is one of the things I get the most from him—salmon collars.

Salmon Collars – Cut From Right Behind the Gills

Salmon Collars – Cut From Right Behind the Gills

I first came to know of salmon collars when I started visiting Pat’s booth at the Saratoga Farmer’s Market. The salmon collars were packed in ziplock bags and put next to all the fish bones and other ‘scraps’ leftover from his filleted fish. One of his staff recommended the salmon collars to me as the cheaper alternative to buying his salmon fillets. They told me that it was just as delicious if not more because of all the fat on it. So much fat, it’s almost like having salmon toro!

Get the Right Kind of Salmon

So I came back home that first time with a bag or two of the salmon collars and prepared them as they said—just salt and pepper it then broil. And it was the most delicious thing. This is when I had my epiphany. Salmon can taste so amazing when youget the right kind. And this was the right kind—wild King Salmon. I cannot go back to any store bought salmon anymore (the variety of salmon really counts and King Salmon is truly KING among the salmons).

And Pat sells his salmon collars at the most reasonable price. Would you believe that he charges only $4/lb for these salmon collars? Yes, you heard me right—only $4/lb. These days, when I go to get them, I come back with at least 5-8 lbs each time. I freeze them in bags and go through them in about 2 weeks.

Easy Prep, Intense Flavor

Prepping the salmon collars is so easy. I just cut each salmon collar into three parts—the two side fin parts and I’m left with one small steak piece.

Three Pieces of the Salmon Collar

Three Pieces of the Salmon Collar

I lay them all out on a baking tray (wrap the tray in foil for even easier clean up) and salt them with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.

Salmon Collars Laid on Baking Tray

Salmon Collars Laid on Baking Tray

If you want them to taste more intense, leave the salt on for about 30 minutes before you broil the salmon. This technique is the Japanese way of cooking fish “shioyaki” style. And it’s really delicious.

I once made this dish for a catered dinner and someone asked me what I had seasoned the fish with. She could not believe that all it was was salt and pepper. It’s the fish, people! If it’s good fish, it tastes so good that you don’t really need anything else. Plus, salt done right can be the most amazing flavor component. You don’t need much of anything else.

Fifteen Minutes and Done

I then turn my oven to broil and set the rack at the highest level, closest to the broiler. Pop in the fish, leave the oven door slightly ajar and set the timer for 7 minutes (please check on yours as different ovens have different broiler intensities—I did this at a friend’s house once and it browned a lot faster). Basically, you want the fish to brown and get some nice charring (not burning!) before flipping them over.

Once the timer beeps, turn fish over and broil for another 6-7 minutes (normally shorter time because fish is warm and oven has gotten hot too) or until it is a nice golden brown with bits of darker charred color.

Broiled Salmon Collars

Broiled Salmon Collars

Remove from oven. Plate up and make a pig of yourself sucking up the succulent fish and all that tasty, oily yumminess!

Broiled Salmon Collars

Broiled Salmon Collars

If you’ve never had salmon collars, you need to make a point to get yourself to your nearest fishmonger and ask them for it. If you’re in the Bay Area, find out which farmer’s market Pat is at that is closest to you. Just don’t buy him out—save some for me! Don’t forget—Wild King Salmon is the way to go. Everything else just doesn’t come close.

Broiled Salmon Collars with Rice and Stir-Fried Veggies

Broiled Salmon Collars with Rice and Stir-Fried Veggies

Cheers, Annie

22 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Sid Khullar says:

    >$4/lb is a great price. It’s quarter past 6 here and those pictures have got me all hungry!!

  2. Daniel says:

    >he last 3 entries have left me drooling.

    oh fish…

  3. Carolyn Jung says:

    >I love that fish stand, and often find Pat there, hawking his amazing seafood, at the Mountain View farmers’ market. I have bought quite a bit of wild salmon from him. But mostly fillets, never collars. Must try this economical cut!

  4. Robert says:

    >Hey you guys, two other things to do with collars, marinate them in shiro miso for a few hours, then broil them, and you should try smoking them. If you like smoked salmon from the filet, you should really try the collars smoked. A simple light brown sugar brine would do the trick, over some alder smoke.

  5. J says:

    >Last season I bought bags of salmon parts at the Cupertino Square FM. It was especially tasty knowing the fillets/steaks were going for $25-$30/lb. Gotta try your “even I can do that” recipe. Bummer that it’s shaping up to be another bad fishing season.

    Did I ever tell you we signed up to do the vegetable share again? The kids are old enough now to help make a dent in the bounty.

  6. turkishfoodandrecipes says:

    >i love seafood, especially salmon is one of my favorite fish. Yours look very delicious, I can’t wait to try them:)

  7. ICook4Fun says:

    >I love salmon and this is something I am very keen to try out but first need to find some salmon collar :)

  8. Jenster says:

    >I love salmon and can never understand why so many restaurants feel the need to cover it with sauces when it has such a wonderful flavor of its own.

    I usually buy salmon fillets and sprinkle them with some red Hawaiian salt, dill and cracked black pepper and then poach them. They cook in their own rich juices and are ready in no time.

    Thanks for opening my eyes to salmon collars. I’ll start looking for those.

  9. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@all – thanks for the comments!

    @Sid – hehehe

    @Daniel – :-p

    @Carolyn – please do; let us know how you like it!

    @Robert – can you give us a proper recipe, especially for the brined / smoked salmon? Are you talking about hot smoking or cold smoking?

    @J – $25 – $30 per pound!? Dang.
    BTW, Pat’s salmon comes from Canada, where they aren’t having such a bad overfishing problem as here.

    @ICookForFun – do you have a real fishmonger near you?

    @Jenster – probably because they are using low quality farmed salmon. Wild King Salmon is the best flavor, no need covering up!

  10. Robert says:

    >The easiest way is to prepare a brine of 1/4 cup salt (I would use kosher salt)to 4 cups water. Soak the collars (or strips, or chunks) in the brine for an hour, maybe two for thicker cuts. At this point, you could go to the smoker. I prefer to rub the fish with a coating of shoyu, then dry rub with brown sugar and a small amount of ground pepper. I would let that sit for a couple of hours. Then cold smoke with alder for several hours. We use a smoking cabinet and it takes 8 to 10 hours to get it dried. I have done it in a modified weber for 4 hours with acceptable results

  11. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@Robert – thanks. I’ve not actually tried to do cold smoked salmon collars. Plus, I don’t have any alder wood for smoke right now. Once I get some alder wood ships, I’ll look into cold smoking fish.

  12. GiGi says:

    >OH MY GOD!!!!!! THAT IS HEAVEN! I WOULD EAT THAT ALL!!! NO JOKE!!!!!!!!! I AM SO JEALOUS! I NEED TO GET MY HANDS ON SALMON COLLAR – I TYPICALLY EAT HAMACHI…

  13. Giza says:

    >Another very popular fish collar is yellowtail collar, it’s what’s called hamachi kama in japanese restaurants. i’ve never had salmon collar before, but hamachi kama is one of the best things that you can get if it’s done right – super succulent and rich.

  14. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@GiGi – LOL

    @Giza – we’ve had hamachi kama before and it is great.

  15. Maestro David says:

    >Thanks for the making this post. I wasn't sure what exactly to sprinkle on the collars nor on the time it took to cook. I had bought 2 huge salmon heads yesterday for $.69/pound and made it a point to cook them today. They came out great.

  16. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@Maestro David – you got a great deal! I'm glad you liked our recipe.

  17. Rocky Wiley says:

    Our local Japanese restaurant, Sushi in the Raw, Nevada city, CA, serves the yellowtail and Salmon collars as well as half of the head with the gills removed, the brains and eyes are a new experience but worth the try. I am cooking this at home this evening. I have a Japanese friend that every time I have had her over for dinner and fixing Salmon she would always ask what I was doing with the head, somethime she would boil it and sometimes she would butterfly it and broil it, the eyes were the first thing that she would have and I guess it comes from the Japanese use almost everything that can be comsumed and the oil from the eyes is what makes there complextion smooth

  18. Michael says:

    OK, somewhere on this site or another one I saw a recipe for Ponzu sauce which I made and had with the collar tonight:
    3 tblspn soy sauce
    2 tblspn rice wiine vinegar
    1 tblspn lemon juice
    1/2 tspn sesame oil
    4 drops hot sesame oil

    I just got a wild salmon friends went to Crescent City yesterday and bought off a boat for $8 lb gutted and scaled. So, I steaked it and then cooked the collar and cheeks tonight using your recipe. I am in heaven and cannot believe HOW MUCH I ATE!!

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  19. viola says:

    This looks so good!!! I have normally boiled the salmon but now I will have the head cut this way. I bought some salmon bones and when I opened the package I was surprised at the cut. I was going to bake them, but their was these large pieces of cleaned skin and just a sliver of meat on each.. I want the skins
    crisp so what do I do to cook these “bones”? I’ll keep reading the comments and maybe I’ll find some answers. I just lucked on this site and I love it. I’m making the ponzu sauce, for sure!!!!

  20. Keith says:

    Bought Copper River salmon collars at Wholefoods for $4.99/lb. they were some of the best fish we have ever eaten. Done with soy sauce on the grill. We raved about them all night.

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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