All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Shiozake / salted salmon

Shiozake  (shiojake) in a few different levels of saltiness is readily available at stores in Japan. We make our own when we get fresh salmon and freeze it in smaller pieces. It is quite a versatile ingredient in many different dishes. You can control the salt content when you make your own.

Fresh salmon fillet/steak cuts
Salt (about 2% of salmon weight; 1 1/2-2 tsp salt for 300 g salmon)


If using a fillet, cut into smaller pieces (1/2-2/3 postcard size for us).
If using steak cuts, slice or cut them in half, as necessary.

Sprinkle salt on front and back sides.

Cover and let sit in refrigerator for 1-3 days.

If not using soon, wrap individual pieces in plastic and freeze (photo). It will keep for a couple of months.

  • The level of salt is for the so-called amajio [low-sodium] version.
  • If using sea salt, reduce the amount, as it tastes much saltier.
  • Benizake (benijake) or sockeye salmon is my choice when in season, but any salmon or steelhead works just fine. (King salmon with high fat content is not a good option, especially when using shiozake as an ingredient in other dishes.)
  • Increase the amount of salt if you plan to keep shiozake in the freezer for more than two months.
  • Desalination is recommended when you find your shiozake too salty or want to avoid taking too much sodium. See "shiozake no shionuki [desalination of salted salmon]" for how to get rid of excess saltiness and to improve the taste at the same time.

Recipes with shiozake

Try shiozake in the following recipes

(Last updated: February 26, 2015)


Anonymous said...

You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never
understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me.
I'm looking forward for your next post, I'll try to
get the hang of it!
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neco said...

Once you try, it would become easy. Something different is fun!

Anonymous said...

I love shiojake, but I only like a very slight salty taste. I only have sea salt, how much less should I use on the fish? 1%? If I would like to freeze it, do I put it in the refridgerator for 1-3 days first AND THEN put it in the freezer? or Do I just prinkle the salt and stick it in the freezer right away? thank you!!! I love shiojake!

neco said...

Hi Eve,
I think you only need half the amount. The percentage (2%) is the same with any types of salt, but the amount needs to be adjusted according to the weight of your salt (1 teaspoon of sea salt would weigh 5-6 grams -- the number varies by source).
You can freeze salted salmon right away. The frozen salted salmon may taste a bit weak or not as salty as you want if you use it within a few weeks. If you are planning to use it sooner, keeping salted salmon in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before freezing should help.