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How to Prep Salmon Collars

    What you’ll need

    Rimmed baking sheetRimmed baking sheet


    Salmon collars — at one time of little interest to American palates or culinary habits — have gained more and more popularity thanks to chefs who serve them at Japanese restaurants. Collars are cut just behind the gills and include the collarbone and rich, fatty belly meat. They make use of offcuts that would ordinarily be enjoyed by fishermen or used as bait. King salmon collars are much larger than other salmon collars and are especially meaty.

    1. Collars can be cooked whole or split for easier handling. To split the collars, set a salmon collar on a cutting board cut-side down. Using a sturdy knife, split it in half along the spine so you have two similar-looking pieces that lay flat on the freshly cut sides. You may need to tap the back of the knife with a meat mallet or rolling pin if it offers resistance.

    2. Brine collars in a solution of brown sugar, salt, and water for 24 hours for sweet and sticky salmon, or simply rub with oil and season with salt and pepper for more neutral flavors.

    3. For grilling, prepare a grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat (about 425°F). Brush the grill grates clean, then brush with oil. Discard the brine if using and pat the salmon collars dry. Arrange the collars on the grill and cook, turning once or twice, until charred in spots and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes for halved collars and 15 to 20 minutes for whole collars.

    4. For roasting, see How To Roast Fish Cooking Guide.