Prior to this, my family have never been big fans of cooked salmon fish (except sashimi) because we've always found the meat to be tough and very fishy. I have always thought it was such a shame that we do not enjoy something that's so nutritious and premium.
I've never had shiozake before, despite our liking for Japanese food. Thus, when I read about this recipe on Nami's blog, I knew I had to make it asap. It sounded like something that would change our perception of salmon fish. If you have never visited Nami's blog before, do drop by - it's a wonderful resource on simple and delicious Japanese food.
The perfect opportunity to make this came when one of my cell member generously gave me a big slab of gorgeous, sashimi-grade salmon fillet. She had purchased an entire salmon fish from a supplier who also supplies to high end hotels, so the fish is guaranteed to be fresh and of premium quality.
I gleefully saved a small portion to make sashimi salmon for hubby later (a surprise lunch menu), and immediately set about preparing the rest for this. It is incredibly easy; the only catch is you must be patient and let it marinade for 2 days.
Have you ever tasted premium quality salted fish? No, not the type that they sprinkle on claypot chicken rice; or use in salted fish fried rice; or even those popular braised pork belly with salted fish dish. No, those are substandard salted fish. I am referring to a true piece of premium salted fish that use fresh and quality fish. I don't like this comparison, because shiozake is nothing like it, yet it is something like it, only WAAAAAAYYYYY better :)
Make sure you use the freshest sashimi-grade salmon you can get to make this. I suppose salmon cutlets might do it, if you can get them very fresh, but try it with the sashimi grade cut first, it makes a world of difference.
Japanese Salted Salmon - Shiozake
Source: Just One Cookbook, with minor adjustments
- 500g sashimi-grade salmon fillet, deboned and sliced very thinly (my preference is to slice it about 0.5 cm thin - basically the thinner it is, the faster it cooks and the less risk of the meat ending up tough or chewy. Also, because it is salted, it is nice to eat it in small, delicate bits rather than chunky pieces)
|Very thin slices|
- 1 heap tbspn of chinese cooking wine (or sake)
- Salt - about 5% of the weight of the fish (I use a little bit more as I find it amps up the flavour and makes it so much more appetizing)
1. Arrange the salmon slices on a large, preferably flat piece of plate or tray.
2. Using a silicon pastry brush, dip it into the cooking wine and brush over the salmon slices both sides.
3. Rub the salt onto both sides of the salmon slices.
4. Using kitchen paper, dab the salmon slices of any excess liquid, then arrange them in a plastic container by layers, separating each layer with a piece of kitchen paper or plastic wrap.
5. At this point, the portion that you want to cook straight after marinade, keep it chilled in the fridge. The rest can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 weeks. Remember to defrost before cooking.
6. Heat a small dollop of oil in a non stick pan. Gently lay the salmon slices on the pan and fry on medium heat for about 1-2 min on each side until it sizzles and the edges are golden brown. Be careful not to overcook the fish. Serve it with a wedge of lemon.
|Simple miso soup with silken tofu and seaweed|
I love to serve this as part of a Teochew porridge meal; or as Nami did, as part of a simple Japanese meal with steam rice, miso soup, pickled japanese cucumber and Tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelet - recipe coming up next) or as a main ingredient in my son's favourite Salted Salmon Fried Rice (recipe to follow after Tamagoyaki).