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16 responses to “Grilled Salmon Collars with Ponzu Sauce”

  1. Mark Tigges

    That’s hilarious. I just finished putting 4 coho collars and 2 chinook collars that I caught last week off Nootka Sound into a marinade. Almost identical marinade. I like to add something sweet that carmelizes well. In this case I added a touch of maple syrup.

    I’ve never done a dipping sauce though. Perhaps I will try that tonight.

  2. Walt


    Sounds great….except how do you cut out/off the collar?

  3. Mike Dwyer

    I love roasted tuna collar and it’s incredibly cheap to purchase ($1 /per pound in Louisville). The only problem I have had is that it really stinks up rhe house.

  4. Will Andalora


    I was lucky enough to be invited to a friend’s annual birthday event this spring. His father buys a striped bass fishing charter on the Chesapeake Bay most years and lets him and his twin brother each bring a friend. At the end of the day, we had two fish, a slow day unfortunately, as the limit during the trophy season is two fish per person over 28 inches. When we reached the dock, my friend’s dad asked the mate to fillet the fish for them. I jumped at the opportunity to take everything else- heads, spines, and tails from both fish. These guys looked at me like I had two heads. I finished cleaning them up when we got home and froze everything.

    I had freshly prepared fish head soup while sailing off the coast of Turkey eighteen years ago. That experience convinced me to save most everything from a fish from that point on.

    The mate on the charter boat missed enough meat on those rockfish for a hearty fish head soup!

    When I thaw them out I’ll remove the collars and grill them per your recommendation and let you know how they turned out.

    Thanks again for the great writing and commitment to using the entire animal/fish.

  5. Amber

    Now I’m anxious to try one of these collars!–I always learn something new from you.

  6. cougmantx

    One of my favorite collars is from Redfish…just delightful!

  7. Burnt Soup

    Sounds great and will have to try grilling some BC Chinook collars. We typically smoke the collars around here. The oil in this part of the salmon takes smoking quite well. We also smoke big ling cod collars.

  8. meatballs & milkshakes

    Yum! I’ve never had salmon collar, but I love yellowtail collar!

  9. Guy Balestrieri

    I always keep my fish collars attached to the filleted body of the salmon and then smoke the whole fish carcass for 1-4 hours. I then make smoked salmon pasta or smoked salmon & bagels with the smoked meat. If I am on a charter and other clients decide to not take the carcass, I always ask if I can have them for fish head soup, but always end up smoking them instead. Another time while charter fishing for Halibut, the deckhand filleted all the fish and was about to dump all the carcasses back into the ocean before I said, “No way Jose!”. I took all the halibut bodies home and carefully removed the precious halibut scallops or cheeks as many of you might know them. The rest of the bodies went into making halibut fish soup stock. Great fish is a terrible thing to waste! Like our ancestors, using all or as much of the animal that sacrificed it’s life so that you could continue living is the most respectful things you can do.

  10. Carter

    I have never had the good fortune to catch a wild pacific salmon, so I’ve never given salmon collars a try, but I’ve never encounter a fish collar I didn’t love. White seabass collars are so oily that they end up almost tasting like grouper. The collar on a big lingcod is the best part of the fish. Thanks for spreading the word on this delicious and oft-discarded part of our catch!

  11. Terry Charles

    Man that salmon sure is good, just got done cooking it. Thanks for the recipe.

  12. Mark

    Don’t forget about the fish cheeks either , Best part of the fish as far as I am concerned !

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  14. Cheryl Armstrong

    Yum! Another good use for an often wasted resource. Can’t wait for salmon season. After a successful day of fishing for stripped bass or salmon, our traditional dinner is fried fish bones. Just dredge in flour, season with salt and pepper, and fry in olive oil. Eat it right off the bones like corn on the cob. We’ve even served it to company.

  15. Frank Lange

    We’re able to buy big salmon heads at our local Asian market and removing the collars to grill is a fast, weeknight staple. We do them the classic Japanese way. I separate the two lower jaws from the main neck piece and then separate the neck piece along the bone. Then I give them a good even coating of kosher salt and grill on direct heat until each side is crispy with golden brown spots. Serve with rice and ponzu. Mmmmm,

  16. Kevin Harvey

    I have some Pacific yellowtail collars from San Diego. How long would you marinade them? Would you add fat to the Ponzu? What kind?

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