How to Sashimi Salmon

Sashimi is a tasty and healthy Japanese dish that can be a great appetizer to surprise your friends. It can be made from all sorts of fish, and in this article, you will be able to learn how to make salmon sashimi.

In order to make this delicious dish, just follow these simple steps:

1. Prepare and slice the salmon

2. Arrange the plate

3. Serve the sauces

4. Arrange the garnishes

Detailed information will be provided for each step, and you will be given additional useful tips on how to make this delicacy even more exciting.

What You’re Going to Need

  • Sashimi grade salmon filet,
  • Sharp knife (preferably a sashimi knife),
  • Plate,
  • Sauces,
  • Garnishes (optional).

Step 1 – Prepare and Slice the Salmon

Since sashimi is basically thin slices of raw fish, you have to make sure that the salmon filet is fresh and safe to eat. The best thing to do is to buy sashimi-grade fish, which can be found in chains like Whole Foods, but any Asian store will also have it.

Sashimi-grade fish should be cleaned and ready for slicing after it is unpacked. Nonetheless, before you start preparing the dish, check whether the filet has skin or any bones. If it does, everything should be removed before you start slicing (salmon skin has a highly unpleasant taste and texture, and bones are dangerous to swallow).

Ideally, you should use a sashimi knife for slicing, but any sharp kitchen knife should do the trick. There are two ways to cut sashimi slices. You can cut the filet straight down (this is fine if the filet is already thin) or at an angle (cutting at an angle is better if the filet has a thickness, you will be able to cut much thinner slices).

This is optional, but you can ask in Asian stores for pichit sheets. These are basically thin slices of paper that can absorb moisture from fish. Therefore, after cutting the slices, you can place them on this paper and put them in the refrigerator for an hour or so. It will further enhance the buttery texture of the salmon.

Tip: If you are still unsure whether the bought salmon filet is safe to be eaten raw, check its color and smell. Salmon should have a darker orange color and no fish odor at all. The fishy smell is a huge red flag which indicates that the product has expired.

Step 2 – Arrange the Plate

If you want to arrange the plate in a traditional Japanese style, ponzu sauce will be needed before you start arranging the slices. Ponzu is a citrusy sauce that can be found in Asian stores or better-equipped supermarkets.

The plate should first be covered with ponzu sauce (the amount varies according to personal taste, some people just drizzle it, while others fill the plate in order to achieve a tangy taste). Afterward, gently place the thin slices on top of the sauce.

After finishing these two steps, you have officially prepared the basic version of the sashimi salmon dish. If you are preparing this dish for the first time, some training will be required in the beginning for slicing, but once you get the hang of it, this will not take more than ten minutes.

Tip: You can also make homemade ponzu sauce. The ingredients are soy sauce, citrus juice, mirin, kelp, and rice vinegar, and they just have to be mixed together in a jar. However, bear in mind that the sauce has to sit for three days in the refrigerator before using it if you want to achieve an authentic flavor (after three days, the mixture should be strained).

Step 3 – Serve the Sauces

Salmon sashimi is traditionally served with a few types of sauces. They should be poured into small cups and placed next to the plate.

Additional ponzu sauce, wasabi paste, and soy sauce should be present. Soy sauce will add more saltiness and sweetness, while wasabi paste will add spiciness (although it is not recommended to use a lot of wasabi paste since it will overpower the taste of salmon and ponzu sauce).

You can also squeeze fresh lemon juice and either sprinkle the salmon slices or serve it in a cup as a sauce. Some people also like to grate garlic and use this as a dipping sauce.

Tip: Wasabi powder is a popular choice as well. When mixed with water, it creates the well-known wasabi paste. However, according to many people, it has a much better texture than the pre-made wasabi paste.

Step 4 – Arrange the Garnishes

This is an optional step, but there is no denying that garnishes can make this dish even more exciting as they bring new flavors. The most popular combination of garnishes are cucumbers and black sesame seeds. Cut thin slices of cucumber and arrange them on top of each sashimi slice. Finally, sprinkle everything with black sesame. Some people even like to use sesame oil.

Other popular garnishes are chopped chives and pickled ginger. People also like to cut thin slices of lemon and place them on top of sashimi. Microgreens have also become a popular garnish.

Tip: If you want to experiment with flavors, you can arrange different plates with different garnishes. The difference in taste will be noticeable, but you can, of course, serve one plate with all garnishes as well.

Final Thoughts

Sashimi, in general, is considered a healthy and light appetizer (although it can easily be the main course) that is prepared quickly. Furthermore, the potential to experiment with different flavors is huge. It is a great dish if you want to impress your friends, but also, it is a great substitute for fast food since the nutritional value is exceptional.