Having to buy and throw away waste

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Joined May 5, 2010
I had a pissy day yesterday and need to rant please......

How is it that most fish mongers sell sides of salmon with parts that must be thrown out when processing?

Yesterday I purchased 50 sides of salmon and ended up tossing a lot of skin and belly meat. It is very disturbing to have to figure this into food cost and call it waste. I can understand that if I choose to ask them to do it, I get charged a higher price per pound, but really......they know it and I know it, so why don't fish companies just automatically clean the fish beforehand and call it a day?

Very few Chefs utilize the belly meat as it is contaminated with mercury, lead, etc.......And the skin is too oily to use for any stock.
 
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fried salmon skin makes a nice snack for employee meals or topping a salmon salad.
 
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i poach up the belly meat for my dog....she would wash your car for it and its soo very good for her coat, heart and brain with all the omega 3's, so in the end, i don't see it as waste....as far as figuring the waste into your food cost, isn't it the same when you break down beef tenderloin into filets?...what do you do with those scraps? stock? into the burger mix?, soup?....or cutting new yorks or rib eyes...still some trimming there to be done....and figuring.....

joey
 
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I guess I've just always calculated that into my cost when doing salmon filets. I've seen chefs make bacon and other items out of the salmon belly which I prefer not to use but could if I chose. The salmon skins on the other hand I always use, I cure, dry and crisp and it makes a great snack, component for sushi, salads, garnish for features.
 
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I buy only wild salmon whole and cut myself. All trim is used for mousse and other dishes. This way the fish guy can't screw us. After it is cut and cleaned I re weigh and establish a selling price based on net cost . Example 50 whole fish times  pound as is price. Then that total figure is divided by my net yield of weight and thats my true cost per pound. You then divide that total by number of total portions or net yield.
 
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Bellies are the bacon of the salmon world. Quit tossing them out. Brined and smoked hard we call it squaw candy. What about salmon croquettes from them. Or a rillette. Thomas Keller does a great rillette from a mix of smoked and poached salmon. At the very least you should be using scrap and bones for stock.
 
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I just throw that stuff away. I really don't have the time to monkey around with the scrapes and bellies unless I'm really doing a large number.....I had a Russian produce driver almost have a heart attack when he saw me trashing the bellies. I told him he could have them if he wanted them.....
 
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Bellies are the bacon of the salmon world. Quit tossing them out. Brined and smoked hard we call it squaw candy. What about salmon croquettes from them. Or a rillette. Thomas Keller does a great rillette from a mix of smoked and poached salmon. At the very least you should be using scrap and bones for stock.

Squaw candy indeed.  When I was the executive chef at the Elkhorn Resort at Sun Valley, I had a family that caught and smoked their own salmon in Alaska.  I bought everything they produced and one of the best items they made was squaw candy.  My customers loved it.
 
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Joined May 22, 2010
"squaw candy"...  ......... Really?

Why not serve "n!gger toes" while you're at it, or maybe "wop burgers"?

On the topic of waste, I'm shocked that any of you throw this stuff out. heads, bellies, skin.. this all has use. If you've covered your costs in your plates, all the trim is pure profit.
 
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There used to be a smal fish restaurant in Torrance,CA (It was the GOLDEN GOOSE on PCH) that offerd char-broiled bellies as a special whenever they received  a shipment of fesh salmon and it was ALWAYS the first item to be sold out .They even had customers on a special list who wanted to be called when they expected a new delivery.and the restaurant charged one third more for the bellies than for the regular salmon .
 
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Agreed.  If you're not going to serve the trim the customers at least save it for a special treat for the staff.
 
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Joined Dec 15, 2010
There used to be a smal fish restaurant in Torrance,CA (It was the GOLDEN GOOSE on PCH) that offerd char-broiled bellies as a special whenever they received  a shipment of fesh salmon and it was ALWAYS the first item to be sold out .They even had customers on a special list who wanted to be called when they expected a new delivery.and the restaurant charged one third more for the bellies than for the regular salmon .

Ahh, Torrance, CA my old stomping grounds!! That is where I grew up and I remember the Golden Goose!! I haven't been to CA in years so I don't know if it is still there.

My first restaurant job was at The Black Angus on Carson st. don't know if it is still there either since they re-did the Del Amo mall area.

Millie Rieras (sp?) was another good fish place, in Redondo Beach. I think they have long since closed.

Capt. Kidds in Redondo Beach was another good place. I remember you could get lesser known "cuts" there if you asked. My grandpa used to get collar and heads there for fish stew.
 
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"squaw candy"...  ......... Really?

Why not serve "n!gger toes" while you're at it, or maybe "wop burgers"?

On the topic of waste, I'm shocked that any of you throw this stuff out. heads, bellies, skin.. this all has use. If you've covered your costs in your plates, all the trim is pure profit.

The word "squaw" by it's actual translation is not an offensive word. In general usage, it is considered sometimes offensive, sometimes not. Your 2 examples are always offensive, so you're comparing apples and oranges. Regardless, the subject is off-topic and further discussion of it will be deleted. Any member that is offended by a post should use the report button to bring that post to the attention of moderators and admin. Please do not start arguments of this nature in the forums.
 
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Joined Dec 16, 2010
if my partners dont want to put the good stuff on the menu...

we eat like kings in the kitchen on saturday night!  we divide all the trimmings we have of various cuts, i give some to the guys and say "show me what you got"  they get to create some good stuff out of their own minds, we eat like kings, and the "trash" gets "disposed of"
 
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Another little treat that almost always gets tossed is the salmon collars. I got the idea after eating hamachi kama (yellowtail collars) at my favorite sushi spot.

I brine in a salt/water brine overnight and either grill or broil. They are really good and the bones just add more flavor.
 
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Joined Dec 16, 2010
i love how my partners scoff at what we eat in the kitchen...they think its scraps and garbage. 

little do they know....
 

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