I recently bought a relatively large (~2lbs) filet of salmon. In order to portion it out I placed it skin side up on a cutting board and used a bread knife to essentially saw through the skin as it seemed pretty tough.

Is a bread knife the best option in this case? Is this something that should be done with a kitchen knife?

  • when you say portion the salmon, does it mean slicing like for sashimi? or just slicing into pieces, chunks or some relatively thin fillets but not as thin as sashimi?
    – bonCodigo
    Feb 27, 2014 at 16:15
  • @bonCodigo I mean into pieces/chunks.
    – alexpotato
    Feb 27, 2014 at 18:53

3 Answers 3


I think a bread knife would shred the skin and flesh. I would place skin side down and, ideally, use a sharp slicing knife. Sharp is the key. I have also used a chef's knife and a fillet knife for this task. The goal is to achieve a clean cut.

  • 1
    Agreed! Sharp and honed on a ceramic "steel" - send out your knives to be sharpened once a year, and "steel" (hone) regularly. A truly sharp knife at hand is like having kitchen superpowers. Feb 28, 2014 at 19:05

The ideal knife for this would be a fillet or boning knife, however if you don't have one a non-serrated knife would give you the best looking cut. There's no reason you cannot use a serrated knife, it's more cosmetic than anything else.


This may scandalize some cooks, but after years of struggling to cut through salmon skin, I have finally found a solution: use kitchen shears or scissors! They must be clean, and you'll have to wash them afterwards, but presto! Nice, neatly cut portions.

  • Are you cutting the whole filet with scissors (and if so, how do you avoid crushing the flesh), or just the tough skin?
    – Stephie
    Apr 17, 2022 at 9:51
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