Unappetizing as it sounds - salmon scraps - it might actually be my favorite part of cooked salmon. These parts of the salmon, the fins, the tails, the head, everything else after the meaty high-profit fillets and salmon steaks are cut away, are often neglected and seen as second-rate parts sold for at least 2x cheaper per weight. And usually you will find me hunched over in the fish aisle, eyeing the fattiest, reddest salmon scraps to stock in my freezer. Of course, I love me a good salmon steak, baked with some onions, capers, and lemon slices, but those can be pricy and sometimes I just want fatty, blubbery, melt in your mouth salmon scraps, bones be damned.
If you have children and are worried about fish bones, it may be wise to use de-boned salmon fillet instead. But then again, using the salmon scraps might actually be a useful life lesson in teaching them how to safely and effectively eat around fish bones (and to get to the nice fatty fish bits). If I had a quarter for every time I choked on a fish bone in my childhood...... well.... I would have about $1.25, but those good ol' choking-on-fish-bone memories last a life time! Look at me now, I'm hooked on fish scraps! (haha, hooked... fish.... haha......... OK, no more cheesy jokes)
Speaking of fish, the addition of some thick seaweed, or green laver, gives the soup a great smell and taste of the ocean. It also adds a different texture to the soup.
Speaking of fish and seaweed, let's listen to this little crab sing:
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
10 to 15 slices ginger
1 sprig green onion, white parts separated from green
2 tbsp rice wine (I use a Taiwanese cooking wine, any cooking wine made of rice or barley should do)
2 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp miso paste
1 large tomato, diced
About 250 g Napa cabbage, chopped 2 inch lengths
8 sheets seaweed
8 seitan pieces, roughly 40g total (seitan are vegetarian protein made of wheat gluten - you can replace this with tofu or chicken or shrimp or omit entirely)
About 1/4 lbs salmon scraps, de-scaled
2 sprigs cilantro, chopped
In a large pot, heat oil and fry ginger and the whites of onion. Once browned slightly, add in rice wine and de-stick ginger and onion from the bottom of the pan. Add in water and let it come to a boil.
Once boiling, lower to medium heat and add miso paste and stir to dissolve. Add 3/4 of the diced tomatoes, cabbage, seaweed, seitan, and salmon scraps. Cover and let it simmer for 7 - 10 minutes.
Lastly, stir in cilantro and green part of green onion and serve with big bowl of rice.