Did you know that the sushi restaurant industry in America generates over $2 billion each year?
Considering that sushi has only been widely available in America for just a few decades, it’s safe to say that our culture has fallen in love with Japanese cuisine fast. Not only is sushi tasty, but it’s also refreshing, wholesome, and nutritious.
If you love Japanese food but you’re intimidated by the impressive presentation, the good news is that it’s actually quite easy to make your own sushi and sashimi at home.
Are you ready to become an expert chef? Keep reading to get some recipe inspiration and learn 7 helpful tips for preparing salmon sushi and sashimi.
1. Buy High-Quality Salmon
Before you can start making your salmon sashimi or sushi, you need to make sure you have the best ingredients on hand. Since Japanese cuisine is all about using a few simple but delicious ingredients, it’s worth investing in high-quality seafood because you’ll be able to taste a difference. Salmon is the star of sashimi and sushi, so it’s crucial to use fresh, flavorful salmon for the best results.
2. Learn How to Prepare Salmon for Sushi or Sashimi
The best salmon sashimi recipes focus on knife cutting skills to improve the texture of the fish. Removing the skin and cutting the salmon into small bites at an angle will ensure you’re doing the salmon justice. By pairing the raw salmon with soy sauce, sesame seeds, chives, or a little ginger, you can elevate the flavors of the fish without overpowering its light taste.
Cutting salmon to make sushi is similar to sashimi, though your cuts will depend on which sushi style you’re preparing. If you’re making nigri where the fish lays on top of the rice, you’ll need to cut a larger, thin piece that can cover the roll. If you’re making maki where the fish is inside of the rice, you’ll need to cut thin strips that can roll easily.
3. Choose Your Recipe or Feel Free to Experiment
Traditional sashimi is minimalistic, but there are other recipes that add bolder flavors to the mix. Beginners should stick with the basics then have fun experimenting with different sauces once they’re more comfortable with preparing the raw salmon.
A traditional salmon sushi recipe usually only uses 3 ingredients: salmon, rice, and nori. Since there are no rules when you’re the chef, you can feel free to add as many other ingredients as you’d like. Avocado, cream cheese, cucumber, asparagus, bell peppers, and carrots are just a few of the many popular fillings people like to add to sushi.
4. Cook and Cool Your Sushi Rice Ahead of Time
Preparing your own sashimi is easy because you can slice up your salmon and eat it immediately. If you’re in the mood for wild salmon sushi, you’ll need to plan a little in advance. Sushi doesn’t require a lot of ingredients or chopping, but a good sushi rice recipe takes time to get right.
The first step is to rinse your rice until the water turns clear again. Rinsing your rice removes extra starches so each grain can have a more defined shape and hearty texture. After your rice is cooked, you’ll want to add a dash of vinegar and a pinch of sugar to develop more complex flavors.
Once you’re finished mixing your rice, you’ll want to let it sit out at room temperature for at least half an hour so it’s easier to work with. Try to avoid putting your rice in the fridge because this rapid cooling process can have a negative impact on the texture.
5. Use the Right Tools
One of the most important tools you’ll need to prepare Japanese food is a sharp knife. Since you’ll be handling lots of raw fish, you need to make sure your cuts can be thin and precise so the salmon can look and taste the best.
If you’re making sushi, investing in a makisu can make rolling much easier. A makisu is a sushi mat that’s made out of thin, flexible pieces of bamboo. When you assemble your sushi on top of a makisu, you can achieve perfectly round restaurant-quality sushi once you start rolling.
6. Practice the Art of Rolling
Even if you have the help of a makisu, it can still be intimidating rolling your own salmon sushi. The key to making good sushi is to avoid overfilling your rolls. Not only will this make it easier to wrap, but your presentation will look much cleaner.
To assemble, spread a thin layer of rice all over the nori. Next, place your fillings in one line on the side of the nori that’s closest to you. To roll your sushi, use your makisu to wrap the nori tightly around your fillings. Once your fillings are nestled in one layer together, you can continue rolling the rest of your nori and rice tightly.
7. Presentation Can Elevate Your Meal
After you’ve mastered the art of rolling your sushi, it’s finally time to start plating. To serve your sushi, you’ll want to use a sharp knife to slice through cleanly so you have bite-sized rolls. If you’ve wrapped your sushi tightly, all of the ingredients should stick together inside the roll.
Sushi is usually served on a plate with a dollop of wasabi and some pickled ginger. Not only are these garnishes pretty, but adding a little on top of your roll can enhance the flavor. Lots of Japanese people eat sushi with their hands, but you can also use chopsticks or even a fork to make your meal more enjoyable.
Ready to Eat Some Salmon Sushi and Sashimi?
Once you learn how to make your own salmon sushi and sashimi at home, you’ll never order takeout again. Since you’re in control of the ingredients, you can always prepare your meals with the freshest seafood and use any toppings or flavor combinations you love.
Are you ready to start cooking? If so, Marithyme Seafood Company can deliver the best fresh seafood straight to your door. Check out our wild Alaskan salmon to revolutionize the way you cook.