Salt-Grilled Fish: Salmon Shioyaki Recipe

We're feeling the light, flavorful, quinessentially West Coast recipes from the Sunset Essential Western Cookbook. Next up, a recipe to satisfy your sushi craving without all the guesswork involved know, making sushi. Enter, salmon shioyaki, your new go-to Japanese dish.

Add shioyaki — Japanese for "salt-grilled"— to your repertoire. The technique creates salmon with an umami-rich crust and a crispy skin. Taichi Kitamura, chef of Kappo Tamura restaurant in Seattle, shared the recipe — it's been his favorite way to eat fish since his childhood in Kyoto, Japan.

Start with our foolproof recipe for sushi rice.

Salt-Grilled Fish: Salmon Shioyaki Recipe
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  • 4 sockeye salmon fillets
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Hot cooked sushi rice
  • 4 sheets nori (about 8 square inches)
  • lemon wedges
  • Furikake* (Japanese rice seasoning)
  1. Set salmon on a cooling rack in a rimmed pan, sprinkle fillets all over with sea salt, and chill uncovered at least 2 hours and as long as 5 hours.
  2. Heat a grill to medium-high. Fold a 12-by 20-inch sheet of heavy-duty foil in half crosswise.
  3. With a knife tip, poke dime-size holes through foil about 2 inches apart. Oil one side of foil. Rub fish all over with oil.
  4. Set foil with oiled side up on cooking grate. Set fillets slightly separated, skin side down, on foil. Grill, covered, until fish is barely cooked through, 7 to 12 minutes. With a wide spatula, slide fish from skin to a platter and tent with foil.
  5. Cook skin on foil until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove foil from grill, then gently peel off skin, using fingers or a wide spatula (skin may break into pieces).
  6. Serve salmon immediately with crispy skin, rice, nori, lemon, and furikake.
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