Recipe: Shiozake – Salt Grilled Salmon – from Tokyo Local »

By Caryn Liew and Brendan Liew

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Shizoke - Salt Grilled Salmon from Tokyo Local

Shizoke - Salt Grilled Salmon from Tokyo Local [©Smith Street Books ]

<i>Tokyo Local</i> by Caryn and Brendan Liew


Tokyo Local is sub-titled Cult recipes from the streets that make the city with authors Caryn and Brendan Liew bringing Tokyo street food and culture to your kitchen. 

It's the street food that reflects the distinct Japanese culture, blending past and present, that permeates every aspect of the country's life. Robyn loved this book and in her review she recommends that if you're apprehensive about Japanese food, Tokyo Local may just be the book to change that.  

Caryn and Brendan write:

Shiozake – Salt Grilled Salmon

In ancient Japan, fish was preserved by a salting and drying process called himono, which dates back to the Nara period (710–794 AD), when records showed fish being presented in this manner to the Emperor and the gods. Today, himono is less heavily salted, with the salt being used to enhance the flavour of the fish, rather than as a preservation method.

Shiozake – ‘shio’ meaning salt and ‘zake’ meaning salmon – is one of the most common types of salted fish sold in Japanese supermarkets. You’ll find it in a traditional Japanese breakfast, in bento, as a humble onigiri (rice ball) topping or filling, or with ikura (salmon roe) on rice. We like to grill it over binchotan (Japanese charcoal), but if you don’t have a charcoal grill at home, then you can pan-fry the fish as per the method below.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 × 200 g (7 oz) salmon fillets, skin-on, scaled and pin-boned
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, for frying


  1. Dry the salmon thoroughly with paper towel. Pour the sake over the fillets, then sprinkle each one with 1 tablespoon of salt.
  2. Line a large plate with paper towel to absorb excess liquid, and place the fillets on top. Place the fish in the refrigerator, uncovered,for 5-7 hours to dry out and concentrate the flavours.
  3. Before cooking, rinse the excess salt off the fillets and pat them dry.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the fillets, skin-side down, for 4–5 minutes, depending on their thickness. Turn and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, until the salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork, and is still a little pink in the centre.


This recipe is from Tokyo Local by Caryn Liew and Brendan Liew and reproduced here with the kind permission of the publisher.

Tokyo Local – Cult Recipes from the Streets that Make the City by Caryn Liew and Brendan Liew is published by Smith Street Books and distributed by Simon & Shuster (Melbourne, May 2018; hc; 224 pp) and retails in Australia for RRP A$39.99.

Read Robyn's full review of Tokyo Local »

View the press release »

See links below for further recipes.


  • japan-all (JP)

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August 11th, 2018
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