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Recipe: Japanese Grilled Salted Salmon

Updated: Nov 5, 2022

Japanese Grilled Salted Salmon (Shiozake)

Shiozake (塩鮭) is a Japanese breakfast mainstay, but also makes a wonderful addition to a bentō box lunch and is a great savory side dish for a dinner. Easy to make -- there are only three total ingredients --it's loaded with flavor, and stays moist but with crisp skin.


Salmon side, skin on, cut into 1-2" slices

Sake, about 3-4 tablespoons per pound of fish

Sea Salt or Kosher Salt, 4-5% of the Salmon's weight


Marinate the salmon in the sake for 10-15 minutes; pat dry.

Sprinkle both side of the salmon liberally with the salt, pressing very lightly into the skin and flesh sides .

Place pieces in a gallon ziplock bag, squeeze out excess air, and refrigerate 24-48 hours.

Remove from the bag, and pat dry.

Broil or grill the pieces, being careful to crisp but not burn the skin.


  1. How much salmon to use depends on what you'll be using it for and for how many guests. For that reason, the recipe is keyed to weight.

  2. We prefer a drier brand of sake, but any kind will do. The sake is meant to clean the fish, not to impart flavor to it.

  3. Do not use table salt. Some people prefer their salmon less salty; if that's the case, you can reduce the salt to 3-4% of the weight of the fish.

  4. You can add a few sheets of paper towel to the bag to soak up the moisture the salt will draw from the fish, but it's not necessary.

  5. Let your personal taste dictate how long you allow the fish to marinate. The longer you leave it the more moisture is drawn out and the greater the umami flavor. Leaving it too long, however, risks overcuring the fish and making it tough.

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