This versatile recipe is one we use for many things and frequently. It originally came from an old sushi book as a way to prepare salmon for fukomaki but we have used it quite differently here and added some twists. Feel free just to use the first 4 ingredients to marinate previously frozen salmon or tuna and consume raw after several hours. Don’t do this with whitefish, and do not do this with fresh salmon. Salmon must always be frozen before consuming it in a raw form.
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (cooled)*
4 tsp. rice vinegar
4 tsp. sugar
1 salmon tail, skin on
MARINATING THE SALMON
Mix together first 4 ingredients, when sugar is dissolved add the salmon tail.
Soak the salmon with the skin side up/meat in the brine for a few hours or possibly all day. Don’t start the night before or things get too salty. The meat seems best at 5-6 hours. At this point you can eat the flesh raw in thin strips (it will have changed colour to a darker red).
Remove it from the fish skin with a sharp knife and serve. Sometimes we arrange like flowers. Other times it lays over the rice with a cute little bow. But most of the time we par-cook the fish and serve it in strips that we cut after it has cooked (there is never anything left).
- One other tip before the preparation: you have the option take the remaining marinade/brine and bring to a boil while preparing the salmon, then put into a creamer and serve alongside the sliced fish.
COOKING THE SALMON
Put a lot of sesame oil into a good quality pan that has no issues with the cooking surface. Be generous with the oil. You don’t want any issues with burning.
Heat it up on high till you can smell the sesame oil. Do not turn the heat down when you add the salmon! You will only cook the skin side of the salmon tail and you will keep the heat up throughout the 2 minute process. The top will remain raw and the bottom will be cooked. Don’t overcook or you won’t be able to cut it for serving.
At no more than 2 minutes of cooking on high get the salmon tail out of the pan and put the crusty side down on a very clean cutting board. Use a very sharp long blade and slice right through the meat AND skin to the board. Do not move the fish around as it is very delicate right now. Simply use a flick of the wrist to slide the cut piece ever-so-slightly away from the uncooked parts. You won’t be transferring the fish because you will serve it on the board so be sure to have chosen a nice looking board for this service.
Serve immediately once you have finished slicing.
*why spend a ton of money for a very small bottle of mirin when you can make your own? It is just 2 parts sugar to 3 parts sake. Set over heat and stir till the sugar dissolves. Bottle and keep as long as you want. Just don’t put hot mirin on your raw fish!!!