Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 42

Thread: Spoon Meat!!! (and bellies)

  1. #1
    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Anchorville
    Posts
    597

    Default Spoon Meat!!! (and bellies)

    People - eat your salmon bellies and spoon meat please! Actually, it's none of my business what you do, is it, but I think some people don't know that the bellies are actually really tasty, and a lot more people don't even know what spoon meat is, hence this string.

    The spoon meat is the name for what is left behind on the carcass after you cut the filet off. Even a flexible knife will still cut a straight line from the edge of the spine out. Your knife would need to be shaped like a capital B to get all the meat. So after cutting off the filet, just take a spoon and run it lengthwise above and below the spine. A thin strip (or thick strip if you aren't the best at fileting ) of meat will come right off, exposing the ribs below. See the photo with the arrow pointing to the spoon meat.
    spoon.jpg

    I'm sure plenty of you will wish to write in about how you don't like the bellies and that the spoon meat is not worth the trouble it takes to get it, but consider this: Those of us who hunt know that we are required to take rib meat. It's a pain to remove, but it's the law, and it's perfectly good meat. On a large caribou you may get about 100# of meat total, but the ribs will only amount up to about 3 lbs total, so about 3 - 5%.

    Now look at a salmon: getting the spoon meat is easy and quick - takes about 20 seconds or less per fish, total. My buddy and I fileted 9 salmon last night, yielding about 30 lbs of filets, and we ended up with more than 2 lbs of spoon meat. That's closer to 7 or 8% of the weight of the fish, twice as much as the ribs of a caribou, percentage-wise.

    And it's really good stuff. Try fish tacos: as you cook it, it breaks apart into little crumbles, saving you the work of having to chop from a full filet. I hit it with some olive oil, lemon pepper, garlic salt, herbs, cayenne pepper, and pan fry it. Cooks in 5 minutes. Bellies are even easier: throw them right on the grill as-is. Most delicate, tasty, and oily meat on the fish, finger-lickin good.\

    Anyway, hoping a open a few eyes with this string. Bring a little tupperware and a spoon next time you fillet; you'll be surprised how much meat you were throwing away, especially when you are looking at more than 3 fish. -Gr
    My signature is awesome.

  2. #2
    New member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    5,639

    Thumbs up

    Good advice . . waste not, want not . . .


    We like the bellies on the grill and the spoon meat for stir-fry.


    And if my wife isn't pressed for time, what's left (minus the tail) gets ground up in the Blendtek for dog food.


    . . . +1

  3. #3

    Default

    And don't forget the collars! Holy cow. After the bellies, collars are our favorite part. We have to have a whole lot of salmon coming into the house before the collars ever make it to the freezer. Everything else goes in the freezer, but we eat the collars fresh as fast as we can get them.

  4. #4
    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Anchorville
    Posts
    597

    Default

    How do you cook the collars? I curve my filet cut around the gill plate to catch the "forehead meat", but I know I leave a decent morsel on the collar. Throw the whole head on the grill? I actually save about half of the heads (and thereby collar meat) to make fish head soup, but I wasn't going to suggest that here at the risk of being called a truly strange human being! By the same token, if you are into hunting ducks, a handful of picked-over roasted duck carcasses will yield the richest and most flavorful soup stock to be found. You'll never buy bullion cubes again. -Gr
    My signature is awesome.

  5. #5
    Member bigcox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Kotzebue, Alaska
    Posts
    1,397

    Default

    Yum! I'd bet that would make a good salmon spread!

    Fish On!
    You know your not catching any fish when you start talking about the weather...


    http://www.alaskansalmonslayers.com/

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gr is for Greg View Post
    How do you cook the collars? I curve my filet cut around the gill plate to catch the "forehead meat", but I know I leave a decent morsel on the collar. Throw the whole head on the grill? I actually save about half of the heads (and thereby collar meat) to make fish head soup, but I wasn't going to suggest that here at the risk of being called a truly strange human being! By the same token, if you are into hunting ducks, a handful of picked-over roasted duck carcasses will yield the richest and most flavorful soup stock to be found. You'll never buy bullion cubes again. -Gr
    We leave them on the fillet when cutting those off the frame, then cut the collars along with a narrow chunk of fillet meat from the fillet. Cook them on the grill or in a pan on the stovetop or in the oven. If you love the sweet fats in the bellies, you'll like the collars even more.

  7. #7
    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    728

    Default

    The bellies go straight into the brine bucket and then the smoker at my house.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

  8. #8
    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Interior
    Posts
    2,101

    Default

    I always curve my fillets so I get that collar. I leave the belly attached to the fillet as well and just cut around the fin leaving the rest on there.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

  9. #9
    Member JR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,129

    Default

    Bellies get smoked and the bones go on the grill. The spoon meat is soooooo good.

    Sent from my phone while I should be working.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

  10. #10
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen WA
    Posts
    4,516

    Default

    "Spoon meat" stays on the fillet with this method.... ain't nothin' left to spoon away if it's done right.

    http://www.ifish.net/board/showpost....4&postcount=36

    Don't forget to salvage the collars! You can cheat the front fillet back a bit, basically "borrowing" a bit of extra meat to give yourself a slightly more generous collar piece.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

  11. #11
    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Interior
    Posts
    2,101

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    "Spoon meat stays" on the fillet with this method.... ain't nothin' left to spoon away if it's done right.

    http://www.ifish.net/board/showpost....4&postcount=36

    Don't forget to salvage the collars! You can cheat the front fillet back a bit, basically "borrowing" a bit of extra meat to give yourself a slightly more generous collar piece.
    Very clean! Looks like I need to go catch a few more fish and refine my technique.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

  12. #12
    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Anchorville
    Posts
    597

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    "Spoon meat" stays on the fillet with this method.... ain't nothin' left to spoon away if it's done right.

    http://www.ifish.net/board/showpost....4&postcount=36

    Don't forget to salvage the collars! You can cheat the front fillet back a bit, basically "borrowing" a bit of extra meat to give yourself a slightly more generous collar piece.
    Very Cool, especially for a big king like that. I agree with batmobile - gotta go catch some more fish to try it out! -Gr
    My signature is awesome.

  13. #13

    Default

    Spoon meat is great for salmon patties. Chopped red peppers, onions, mushrooms, Italian bread crumbs and mix with egg. Cook in light olive oil or bake for ten minutes.

  14. #14
    Member Music Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    ANC
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    I've seen many people save the eggs, but most people throw away the sperm from the male fish. An Alaska native I used to work with gave me a piece of meat and said "try this", I did and said "it must be chicken". It was fried sperm sacks. I never throw away egg or sperm sacks!!!! Eggs for bait and sperm sacks to fry and fool people with!
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Chugiak
    Posts
    211

    Default

    There's no spoon meat with our fillet method. I agree fired sperm sacks are pretty good, but I had a hard time getting over the texture.

  16. #16
    Member DannerAK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Whiskey River
    Posts
    1,161

    Default

    I tried smoked milt (sperm sacks) and it wasn't too bad. I personally don't harvest them and dont plan on it but some folks enjoy it as well as smoked or salted roe.
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

  17. #17
    Member LOCALAK907's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    222

    Default

    Bellies broiled with your favorite seasonings, olive or coconut oil if you even need it is **** hard to beat.

  18. #18
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen WA
    Posts
    4,516

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fishslayer View Post
    I agree fired sperm sacks are pretty good, but I had a hard time getting over the texture.
    One of the funniest threads of all time on the Oregon board...

    http://www.ifish.net/board/showthread.php?t=65372
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JR2 View Post
    ...and the bones go on the grill.
    That's what happens to ours more often than spoon meat. Unbelievable flavor. If the grill isn't going, we just cut the frame in hand-sized hunks and do them on the stovetop with a little oil.

    One other thing worth your trouble, especially with a good number of fish on hand- cheeks. If you like halibut cheeks, stay tuned for salmon cheeks.

  20. #20
    Member sayak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central peninsula, between the K-rivers
    Posts
    5,790

    Default

    You guys are all wasters! If you are not taking the heads and making chowder, then you are missing out! Ask any Scandinavian or Native. And the roe... pretty good! Milt? Not bad when breaded and fried. Some even eat the livers.
    My wife takes the backbones with what is left on them and dries, then smokes them in our smoke house. You can pick a lot of good smoked flesh off a backbone. They make a good base for soup as well.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •