Shiozake, or salt cured salmon, is a popular way to enjoy salmon in Japan. Served on its own or in mixed in rice balls, it’s easy to make and even easier to enjoy! You’ll be surprised by the new level of flavor the salt brings.
Salted salmon is often served in a traditional Japanese breakfast, but it’s easy to enjoy with any meal. While it’s easy to find in grocery stores in Japan, its not quite so easy to find abroad. Not to worry though, because it’s super easy to make! All you need is salmon, salt, and a little time! Plus, supermarket salmon might be too salty for your tastes, so you can control the amount of salt to your liking when you make it yourself.
If you’re not a fish lover, you may be put off by salmon by it’s very fishy smell and taste. Salted salmon is great because the salting process helps to cut down on the fishiness, so it makes it less fishy, if you will. It’s a great way to compromise when cooking for picky families, so try salmon this way and see if you like it better!
One thing to consider when making salted salmon is not all salt is the same. Salt will have different flavors depending on the minerals mixed in with the salt, so even sea salt will be different depending on the sea it came from. This is a great opportunity to experiment with different kinds of salt to see how it affects the flavor, so go get the good stuff!
I love salmon, but living inland, it’s not always cheap to enjoy fish. Since salting is a way of preserving it, salted salmon is a great way to compromise whenever I see salmon on sale! I’ll usually buy a bunch then salt it for later, since it will keep a lot longer in the freezer salted then fresh.
Recipe – Salted Salmon:
– Rinse salmon in cold water, then pat dry with a paper towel. Slice salmon into individual servings and place on a small tray. Pour sake over fillets, spreading it evenly so the sake covers the whole fillet. Let sit for 10 to 20 minutes. (Using sake helps cut down on the fishy smell, you can skip this step)
– Pat dry the salmon with a paper towel. Place the salt in a small bowl and prepare your storage container by laying a paper towel on the bottom.
– Start salting the salmon by spreading a generous amount on the skin.
– Flip the salmon over and salt the remaining sides, making sure to cover all areas of the fillet.
– Continuing layering the rest of the salmon between paper towels in the container.
– When all the salmon is in the container, place another paper towel on top and close the lid.
– Place container in the refridgerator and let the salmon salt for 2 to 3 days. Remove from the container and discard the paper towels. The salmon will look a little firmer with a lot of the water pulled out.
– At this point they are ready to cook! I usually cook them two different ways:
In a skillet: Place skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of butter or oil, then place salmon skin side down in the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes until the skin is crispy, then flip over and cook another 5 minutes until cooked through.
In the oven: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the fillets skin side up on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the flesh is firm.
– If you don’t want to cook them right away, they freeze really well. Place salmon in plastic bags and remove excess air. They will keep in the freezer for about a month, you just need to thaw fillets before cooking.