Homemade Japanese salted salmon (Shiojake or Shiozake) with crispy skin. This is a really straightforward recipe. Enjoy the flavorful salmon in rice balls, bento or as a wholesome accompaniment to traditional Japanese breakfast.
Japanese Salted Salmon (Shiojake/Shiozake)
1.1lbskin-on salmon fillet(½ inch thickness; I've used both firmer Sockeye or fattier Atlantic salmon for this recipe)
5tspkosher or sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)(5% of salmon weight; 5% of 500 g is 25 g. 1 tsp kosher/sea salt is 3-5 g)
Gather all the ingredients. Quickly rinse the salmon under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Slice the salmon diagonally if it’s not pre-sliced.
To Prepare Salmon
Evenly distribute sake on the salmon and coat well. Set aside for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, pat dry the salmon with a paper towel.
First, sprinkle and apply some salt on the skin first.
Then sprinkle the remaining salt on both sides of the fillets. If you have leftover salt, use it on the skin.
Line the bottom of an air-tight container with a paper towel. This will absorb excess moisture from the fish.
Place the fillets in the container in a single layer and lay a sheet of paper towel on top of the fillets.
Then put the 2nd layer of the fillets on top of paper towel and lay another sheet of paper towel on top. Cover with lid and keep in the refrigerator for at least 2 days.
This is after 2 days. You will see moisture on the salmon skin.
Gently pat dry the fillets with a paper towel to get rid of any excess moisture.
If you don’t plan on cooking the salmon right away, after drying the fillets with a paper towel, wrap the individual pieces with plastic wrap and place them in a freezer bag to freeze. You can store the salmon in the freezer for up to 1 month. Remember to defrost completely before cooking.
To Broil (Recommended)
Preheat the broiler* with a rack placed about 6" (15 cm) away from the top heating element (in the center of the oven) for 5 minutes. When broiling, you don't control the temperature in the oven; instead, you control the distance between the broiler and the surface of the food. It's similar to using hotter and cooler zones on your grill. *Broiler setting: Low (450ºF/232ºC), Medium (500ºF/260ºC), and High (550ºF/288ºC). I usually use medium or high.
Line a baking sheet with foil for easy cleaning. Place the salmon on the foil, skin side up (for crispy skin!). Broil the salmon at medium (500ºF) or high (550ºF) for 8-10 minutes. Please remember the cooking time varies depending on the thickness of the fish and the distance between the broiler and the food. Japanese salted salmon is cooked till well done (more dry and flaky). You do not need to flip it.
To Bake (Optional)
Preheat the oven to 425°F (218ºC) with a rack placed in the center and bake the salmon on parchment paper for 10-12 minutes. Japanese salted salmon is cooked till well done (more dry and flaky).