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


Sake no karaage marine / marinated deep-fried salmon (white wine vinegar version)

Marinade based on white wine vinegar has a soft edge, making this a pleasant chilled dish in summer. Lemon and onion slices also neutralize the oily taste of deep-fried salmon while adding a refreshing note. Great as an appetizer with both Asian and Western food.


1 medium or 2 small fillets salmon (200-250 g; 220 g in photo)
1 tbsp sake (to prep-season salmon)
1 tsp regular soy sauce (to prep-season salmon)
1-2 tbsp flour (to deep-fry salmon; not in photo)
Oil (canola and olive oil in combination; not in photo)

1/2-2/3 small lemon
1/4 onion

For marinade
6 tbsp (90 cc) white wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp usukuchi soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 taka no tsume red chili pepper (slices)


Skin salmon as necessary.
Sogigiri slice at a slant, pour soy sauce and sake, and marinate for at least 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, thinly slice onion, and soak in cold water for 5 minutes.
Thinly slice lemon.


Mix all ingredients for marinade well until sugar is dissolved.

Add lemon to marinade.
Squeeze out excess water from onion, and add to marinade.

Set aside.


When salmon is ready, place on paper towel, flipping once or twice to dry surface (or pat dry each piece).


Heat enough oil for deep-frying (2 cm deep or so).
When fine bubbles come from the end of bamboo chopsticks immersed in oil, oil is ready (approx. 170 C/340 F or higher).

Coat each salmon piece with flour, pat lightly to remove excess flour, and gently put in oil.
When salmon starts to color lightly, raise heat somewhat, and deep-fry until surface is crispy.  
When done, lift each piece, keeping one end still immersed in oil to draw excess back into the pot; remove from oil while quickly shaking off remainder.
Place on paper towel briefly to remove additional excess oil.


While salmon is still hot, put in marinade.
Turn salmon, lemon and onion to ensure salmon comes in contact with marinade, and refrigerate until serving.

  • Keeps in the fridge for a few days. It starts to taste a bit milder from Day 2.
  • Shiozake salted salmon works fine, too. If you use shiozake, cut back on the amount of soy sauce for prep-seasoning by half (1/2 tsp); also, make sure not to prep-marinate shiozake longer in sake and soy sauce (30 minutes is enough), to prevent it from getting too salty. If you use fresh salmon (or previously frozen unsalted salmon), you can leave it in the sake and soy sauce mixture as long as overnight. 
  • Instead of deep-frying, salmon can be sauteed.

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