Skip to Content

How to Cut Salmon for Sushi: Simple Instructions with Video

One of Japan’s culinary quintessence is sushi and sashimi. It requires the ingenuity and skill of the chef to complete. However, if you are curious about some tips to cut salmon for sushi, we can guide you in detail as well as an overview of the steps of cutting the salmon in this article. 

How to cut salmon for sushi

how to cut salmon for sushi

To prepare Japanese salmon sashimi, it need to be filleted and ripped off the skin 

Both sashimi and nigiri start with salmon fillets. If you’re making it in bulk, it’s best to only use whole fresh salmon fillets when possible. If you’re not sure how to fillet salmon, here are some instructions. 

If you don’t get that much, you can buy smaller salmon fillets that will cost less. They are usually vacuum packed and have been filtered and skinned. Either way it works. It just depends on how much you are trying to earn.

Which part of the fillet is used for sashimi and which part for nigiri? See the white sugar in the middle of the fillet? 

To separate the long lines of the fillet, discard this white sugar. This part of the fish is tougher and doesn’t have the same texture as the rest of the fillet.

Everything on the belly side of the line (thinner, right side) will be cut into nigiri. You will use the other side of the fillet for sashimi.

Assuming you don’t raise troops or have a restaurant, we’ve seen others make both sashimi and nigiri from any part of the fillet. This isn’t the only way to cut fillets, but it’s the most effective way to use salmon if you’re using the whole fillet.

How to cut salmon sashimi

how to cut salmon for sushi battersby 2

Cut the salmon sashimi in thin slices

The art of cutting meat comes in many different styles and methods. Depending on your preference, you can cut the salmon meat using one of the methods below:

1. Hira-zukuri

Hira-zukuri is the main method for slicing sashimi and is best for tuna and salmon. To try this style, tilt the knife slightly to the left, pull the knife toward the entire piece of meat. And pull the knife toward your body. The goal is to cut the meat in a rectilinear shape with slices 2 to 3 mm thick.

2. Kaku-zukuri

Kaku-zukuri is another method, using the tip of a sharp knife to thinly slice fish. Point the knife to the left, use the tip of the blade to cut through the fish and cut slices about 1.5 – 2 cm thick.

3. Sogi Zukuri

If you want thinly sliced fish, then this method is for you. To try this method, position your knife and tilt it at a 45-degree angle. Then move the blade from right to left. Start cutting by moving the knife to the left to create an angle.

How to cut salmon nigiri

how to cut salmon for sushi battersby 4

Nigiri is the method for slicing thin raw salmon 

Nigiri is cut similar to sashimi with a few minor differences. First, we want to slice it a little thinner because we’re adding rice to it. Also, since you’re now cutting on the belly of the salmon fillet. You’ll need to cut at an angle of about 45 degrees to cut along the grain of the fish.

The first slice will be like cutting the corner off the fillet. Don’t let this item go to waste, but it won’t match your other nigiri either. Similar to sashimi, use a long stroke (scissors) of the yanagiba sashimi knife to cut. Using a back and forth motion will only tear the salmon and ruin your presentation. Make sure your knife is sharp before slicing.

Following the previous cut, do the same for the rest of the fillets to create nice, even slices all over the line.

Similar to our comment above, it’s not always possible to make both sashimi and nigiri from your salmon fillets. If you need to, rotate the fish 90 degrees. Then cut the nigiri in the opposite direction into nice thin slices. Still against the grain as shown below.

And to present nigiri, it’s that simple. Soothe your hands and grab some sushi rice. Shape it into a ball and place the salmon on top like that. Like all sushi and sashimi, presentation is everything.

How to make salmon sushi

how to cut salmon for sushi battersby 5

Sushi rice is a delicious type of sushi which goes along with wasabi and soy sauce

1. Cook sushi rice

The best salmon nigiri starts with the best sushi rice. The greatest creation is the Japanese short grain sushi rice. After the rice is ready, put it in a large bowl and let it cool. The status of using sushi vinegar when it was still very high.

2. Slice the salmon

Rub the salmon against the grain at an angle of about 30-45 degrees. You have to change the angle periodically to get the correct length or thickness. I suggest dividing it into bits that are 3 inches long, 1/4 inch thick, and 1 inch wide.

3. Rice format

Take three spoons of sushi rice in your right hand. Shape it into a tight oval until it curls up. Aim to flatten the pitch with both ends rounded.

4. Use wasabi with salmon

Place the base of the fingers in a slice of salmon. Then, take a pea-sized portion with wasabi and spread it evenly over the fish. It’s an optional move and if you don’t have mustard you can skip it.

5. Assembling sushi

Place the rice roll over each salmon and curl your fingers together to cover both the fish and the rice. Use your index finger to press the rice down on the other side.

6. Arrange then serve

Toss fish and rice, and place salmon on top of rice. Arrange on a plate and serve with pickled ginger with optional soy sauce and mustard.

How to buy sashimi grade fish

how to cut salmon for sushi battersby 6

In the market you should choose sashimi grade salmon carefully for freshness

If you know what to look for in fresh, whole sea fish. Freshwater fish are susceptible to tapeworm parasites and are probably best avoided. As well as how to fillet them, then decide to eat raw fish in addition to tuna and fish. 

Homeschooling will come down to your personal comfort level with risk. To be 100% sure of avoiding parasites, you will have to eat farmed salmon and tuna. 

But if you’re willing to take a small risk of infection, the same risk goes for any fish that’s undercooked. All you have to do is keep the fish cold and the preparation area cold. And your stuff is clean, and you’re good to go.

1. Go to the right place

As always happens with raw salmon, go to a reputable fish store or market. Look for a shop that sells fish quickly, gets regular shipments, and has knowledgeable staff.

2. Choose sustainability

As a responsible consumer helps contribute to a healthy ocean, so make sustainable choices. 

3. Ask the right questions

Don’t be afraid to ask the staff where the raw fish came from, how it was handled, and how long it’s been there. If the fish is prepared in-store, ask if equipment is disinfected to prevent cross-contamination from non-sushi fish.

4. Use your senses

The raw fish should only smell of the ocean, and the flesh should not be tender or flaky. Since it is served raw, look for vibrant colors to attract the most eye. If you have any doubts about the quality of the fish, ignore it.

Conclusion

Cutting sashimi requires very high technique. Once you’ve done them, however, the results are well worth it. Depending on the type of sushi, you can cut salmon into sashimi or nigiri. However, remember to choose the right sashimi grade salmon to ensure the most hygiene!