Shiozake (salted salmon) and saba shioyaki (grilled salted mackerel) are dishes that hubby and I always enjoy when we travel in Japan, especially during our last trip earlier this year.  We had a lot of them.  They are commonly served in breakfast, be it a traditional Japanese breakfast or a buffet breakfast.

A traditional Japanese breakfast with shiozake at Daiichi Takimoto-kan in Noboribetsu Onsen, Hokkaido (2013)

Japanese Breakfast

Buffet breakfast with shiozake, saba shioyaki and other side dishes at Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku (2015)

Buffet Breakfast

On return from our long 19-day holiday in Japan earlier this year, I decided to try to make my very own version of shiozake but my first attempt was not successful.  It was not tasty, and I couldn’t get that firm flesh texture effect like those we had in Japan.  Obviously my method was wrong.  I shall not elaborate more here, to save my embarrassment. 😀

Not wanting to give up, I decided to search around the internet for a recipe.  I also don’t like the idea of buying the ready-salted ones from the supermarket.

Thanks to this recipe from Just One Cookbook (by Namiko Chen) with its very clear step by step instructions (please click on the link above for the details, if you are interested).  I finally succeeded in having my home-cooked salted salmon this week! 🙂  They tasted just like what we had in the hotels in Japan.  The flesh has a firm texture and the skin was crispy.


The preparation is easy.  All you need are (diagonally sliced) salmon fillets, Japanese cooking rice wine and salt.  That simple.  Since I happened to have some lemon zest,  I sprinkled a little on the fillets but that actually didn’t make any difference to the taste.  So I will do away with it next time.


Salted salmon neatly stacked in two layers, separated with kitchen paper towels; in an air-tight container and kept in the chiller


After 3 days.  I used a baking tray instead of a parchment-lined baking sheet (as per instruction) to bake them,  for slightly over 20 minutes at 200 degree Celsius.


Together with a bowl of porridge, and a plate of stir-fried vegetables, they made a hearty meal for hubby and I.  Our requirement for a meal is that simple. 🙂


I am just so glad that I know how to prepare shiozake in the correct way now. I can now have it at home anytime when I have the craving, and without having to wait until my next holiday in Japan. 🙂


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