When a gate opens to fresh Alaska King salmon, you simply must walk through. There are many types of salmon, but Alaska King is always a treat, and I recently had the pleasure of finding one in my possession.In the late hours of one afternoon, my future mother-in-law was finishing up at the office when a co-worker told her fresh salmon had entered the building. If she were working in the restaurant industry this would be normal, but fresh salmon at an engineering office is cause for excitement. She made a quick call to my fiancé, who insisted her mom buy one for herself, and one for me. Yes, I love salmon that much.I was tickled pink when I heard what awaited me at home; culinary thoughts floated through my mind. I didn’t realize the salmon was not filleted.I have never filleted a fish before. First thought: “This could be a problem.” Second thought: “It can’t be that hard to fillet a salmon.” Third thought: “Better do some research just in case.”So off to the Internet I went, coming across informative video tutorials. The procedure did look easy — they said it would take five minutes; pretty simple.My confidence rose, and a voice in the back of my head said, “You got this.”(Note to self: don’t always trust the voice that says, “You can do anything”.)The next morning, I prepared for the perfect fillet. I selected my filleting knife, a cutting board, and pliers for the bones. I rinsed the salmon, and prepared to incise the spine.It went well for ten seconds, then I encountered the dorsal fin. I found myself about to cut right through it. That was my first mistake. You are supposed to cut around it. Then came the second mistake: I didn’t follow through on my next cut down the spine — it was challenging to cut through the fish’s bones, so I had to re-cut several times.Grrrrr. To make matters embarrassing, my fiancé’s grandma and teen cousin eyed my every move. When I glanced up at them, I swear I could see question marks floating above their heads. Trying my best to keep my composure and not hurl profanities at the salmon, I gracefully flipped it over and cut the other side.Once again, the bones made life difficult, but when I finally pulled apart the two fillets — much to my surprise — they turned out half-decent.I discarded the middle bone, and trimmed some fat.Then, I stood back to admire my handy work. It wasn’t perfect, but I got two (almost even) fillets. And, despite the immense frustration, I quite enjoyed my filleting experience.I look forward to my evolution from filleting smolt to filleting queen.
About The Author
Angela Szymczuk is a Whitehorse based freelance writer and she also had a column called "Sips and Stogies"