Salmon steak vs. fillet is the two most common cuts of the salmon. But have you ever wondered what their differences are? You are not alone! There are a few key differences between the two, along with similarities as well. The main differences between the two are the texture and appearance, which are caused by how the fish is cut.

Whether you are an expert cook or a beginner, read on to discover what sets these two cuts of salmon apart!

Salmon Steak vs. Fillet: What Are the Key Differences?

Salmon steak and fillet are both delicious cuts, and they can result in a tender and juicy meal with the right methods. Additionally, there are a few differences that can distinguish the two. Let's explore them.

  • Tenderness and taste: Salmon steaks are tender and moist; the bone provides the meat with a faintly stronger richness to the taste. The fillet has a firmer texture with a milder taste.  
  • Size and cut: A salmon steak is cut vertically to the spine, while a fillet is cut parallel to either side of the spine, making the fillet smaller than the steak.
  • Convenience: Salmon steak is easier and faster to make, while fillet takes more time and effort to make because the meat easily falls apart.
salmon, trout, steak, slice of fresh raw fish, isolated on white background, clipping path, full depth of field
Salmon steak is a cut of salmon that includes the bone and surrounding skin, which adds flavor and nutrition to the dish.


What Is Salmon Steak?

Salmon steak is a delicious cut of salmon that includes the bone and surrounding skin. It is known for its rich flavor and tender texture. The steak is usually about an inch thick, and you can grill, bake, or pan-sear this cut. It is very nutritious; it contains omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins, making it a great option to include in many diets.

Cooking Methods

Grilling and pan-searing are the most common ways to cook salmon steak. Grilling salmon steak seals in the moisture and flavor of the fish with high heat, creating a tender and juicy dish. It also adds a nice smoky flavor to the salmon, improving its original flavor.

Pan-searing creates a crispy layer on the outside of the fish while keeping the inside flaky and tender. It's a quick and easy method that doesn't require much preparation, making it convenient for busy nights. You can also season the salmon to your liking when you pan-sear it.

What Is Fillet?

Salmon fillet is a popular seafood dish that is known for its firm, flaxy texture and delicious flavor. It is cut from the side of the dish and does not include the bone, which makes it easier to prepare and serve. You can cook fillets in a variety of different ways, including baking, grilling, pan-searing, or broiling. Similar to salmon steak, a fillet is also a nutritious dish that contains omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins.

Cooking Methods

Fresh salmon fish fillet on wooden board
Salmon fillet is a popular seafood dish known for its firm, flaky texture and delicious flavor.

©Sea Wave/

The two most popular ways to cook fillet are grilling and baking. Grilling can give the fish a smoky flavor, but taking it off the grill too soon can make it stick. Despite this, grilling is a healthier option because it doesn't require extra oils or fats.

Baking a fillet is a simple way to cook it, resulting in a tender and flaky texture. To bake it, add your preferred seasoning and place it in the oven. It's very convenient because you don't have to watch it constantly. Baking the fish is also a healthy choice because you don't need to add extra oils or fats.

Similarities Between Salmon Steak and Fillet

Salmon is a fish that is enjoyed worldwide, and the two most common cuts are salmon steak and fillet. These cuts share some similarities despite their differences in appearance, tenderness, and taste. Let's take a look at their similarities!

  • Cuts: Salmon steak and fillet both come from the same fish.
  • Nutrition: Both are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for your health.
  • Versatility: These cuts of salmon can be cooked in various ways, including baking, broiling, grilling, and pan-searing.
  • Protein: You can get a high amount of protein from eating either cut.  


Final Thoughts

Whether you prefer salmon steak or fillet, both cuts offer a delicious and nutritious meal loaded with nutrients and minerals. While the texture and appearance of the cuts differ, they share similarities in their versatility and nutritional value. Understanding the differences between the two can help you choose the best option for your dinner and the best cooking method to give your salmon the mouth-watering texture you desire!

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