Smoked salmon slices & cuts explained

So, you’ve decided to host a party and chosen the type of smoked salmon you’d like to eat, however now you’re faced with a choice of cut.

Confused? If so, here’s our guide to the types of smoked salmon cuts you can buy so that you’re all ready and prepared for when you next buy smoked salmon online.

The most common slices of smoked salmon sides are D-cut sides and long sliced sides.

D-Cut sides

The D-cut side is the perfect way to buy smoked salmon if you’re entertaining. Here, you’ll find that the slices are cut into the salmon and the slice is in the shape of a ‘D’. The slice, which goes from the back to the belly, includes the salmon’s rich, flavoursome brown meat. Each slice is then carefully layered on top of each other, with great skill, in order to recreate the look of the original, uncut side.

Minimum weight of John Ross Jr’s D-cut sides: 900g

Portions: 16 – 18 (as a starter)

Long Sliced Side

This technique is the more modern method of slicing and involves slicing the salmon lengthways (from head to tail) so as to create a long thin slice of smoked salmon – without the brown meat. It is sometimes referred to as a ‘lateral’ slice. This type of slice is the most versatile when it comes to using smoked salmon in a wide range of dishes – from smoked salmon bagels to pasta dishes.

Minimum weight of John Ross Jr’s long sliced sides: 900g

Portions: 16 – 18 (as a starter)

The Fillet

The fillet isn’t something you see everyday and is usually reserved for special occasions (think fillet steak of the smoked salmon world!). The fillet comes from the crown of the salmon and is the most tender and succulent part of the fish – the true Rolls Royce of smoked salmon. In our case, with The Balmoral Fillet, the long whole fillet needs to be cut across its width in pieces that are around 3-4mm thick. Then, simply serve with fresh lemon and cracked black pepper using cocktail sticks.

The Balmoral Fillet_the jewel of the smoked salmon crown

Can you cut it?

If you’d like to take the slicing into your own hands then unsliced whole sides of smoked salmon are also available. Some chefs prefer unsliced sides as they often like to ‘slice to order’, which creates a fresher, richer taste. Equally, for the non-chefs amongst us, if entertaining, slicing your own carries with it a degree of food theatre, so here’s how to do it.

  • Make sure you a have sharp knife.
  • Make sure that you’re in a safe working environment.
  • Lay the salmon lengthways on a chopping board.
  • Place the knife a quarter of the way up the length of the fish (the head end), keeping it almost flat to the fish so that there is approximately only a 10 degree angle – i.e. so that the knife just about cuts into the fish.
  • Cut into the fish and then move backwards and forwards at the same time as moving slowly down towards the tail end of the fish.
  • Remember, whilst you can cut it to your own taste most people like to eat their smoked salmon in thin slices. A good way to keep it thin is to make sure that you can see the knife through the salmon as you cut.
  • Once you have cut the right amount for you and your guests, enjoy.