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298 Views· 31 May 2024

Salmon Cutting Skills 鮭魚切割技能 - How to Cut a Salmon for Sashimi

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Daniel Chyi
4,513 Subscribers

Preparing salmon for sashimi requires precision, skill, and a deep understanding of the fish's anatomy. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cut a salmon for sashimi, ensuring you achieve the perfect slices every time.

#### Tools and Preparation

**Essential Tools:**
1. **Yanagiba Knife:** A long, thin, and sharp Japanese knife specifically designed for slicing sashimi.
2. **Cutting Board:** A sturdy, large cutting board that provides ample space for maneuvering the fish.
3. **Tweezers:** For removing any remaining pin bones.
4. **Clean Cloth or Paper Towels:** For wiping the knife and board.
5. **Sanitizer Spray:** To ensure a clean working environment.

**Preparation:**
- **Freshness:** Ensure the salmon is fresh and of high quality. Look for firm flesh, a bright color, and a mild, ocean-like smell.
- **Sanitation:** Clean your hands, tools, and work surface thoroughly to maintain hygiene.

#### Step-by-Step Cutting Process

**1. Filleting the Salmon:**

1. **Remove the Head:**
- Lay the salmon on its side.
- Make a diagonal cut behind the gills, angling towards the head. Repeat on the other side to remove the head completely.

2. **Gut and Clean:**
- Make a shallow incision along the belly to open the cavity.
- Remove the guts and rinse the cavity with cold water. Pat dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.

3. **Remove the Fins:**
- Use the knife to cut off the dorsal, ventral, and tail fins.

4. **Fillet the Fish:**
- Place the salmon on the cutting board with the belly facing you.
- Insert the knife at the tail end, running it along the backbone towards the head, keeping the blade as close to the bones as possible.
- Repeat on the other side to obtain two fillets.

**2. Removing Pin Bones and Skin:**

1. **Remove Pin Bones:**
- Run your fingers along the fillet to locate the pin bones.
- Use tweezers to carefully pull out each bone, ensuring not to tear the flesh.

2. **Remove the Skin:**
- Place the fillet skin-side down on the cutting board.
- At the tail end, make a small cut between the flesh and the skin to create a grip.
- Hold the skin firmly and angle the knife slightly downwards. Gently slide the knife along the fillet, separating the flesh from the skin.

**3. Preparing for Sashimi Slices:**

1. **Trim the Fillet:**
- Trim off any dark, fatty parts along the belly and the top to achieve a uniform, clean fillet.

2. **Cutting Sashimi:**
- **Angle and Thickness:** Hold the fillet at a slight angle and cut across the grain to create slices. The typical thickness for sashimi slices is about 1/4 inch (0.6 cm).
- **Knife Technique:** Use long, smooth strokes with your knife to ensure clean cuts. Avoid sawing motions as they can tear the delicate flesh.
- **Presentation:** Arrange the slices neatly on a plate, often with a garnish of shredded daikon, shiso leaves, and a side of soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.

#### Tips for Perfect Sashimi

- **Temperature:** Keep the salmon cool throughout the process. It’s easier to cut when slightly chilled but not frozen.
- **Knife Maintenance:** Keep your knife sharp and clean. Wipe the blade with a damp cloth between cuts to ensure smooth slices.
- **Practice:** Mastery comes with practice. Take your time to develop a feel for the fish and the knife.

By following these steps, you can expertly cut salmon for sashimi, ensuring each slice is a testament to both the quality of the fish and your culinary skills. Enjoy your beautifully prepared sashimi with traditional accompaniments for an authentic Japanese dining experience.

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