Shiozake or Shiojyake is Japanese salted salmon. Shio is salt in Japanese, and both zake and jyake is salmon. Why are there two ways for labelling salmon in Japanese?
There is not ,a clear explanation but the most likely theory is the term Jyake originated in the indigenous Ainu people’s language, who live in mainly Hokkaido island. Most people in Hokkaido call salmon Syake or Jyake (when the word is combined with Shio). Hokkaido is famous for Salmon and my uncle who lives in Hokkaido sent us a whole salted salmon every season!
Until I came to live in Australia, I have never ever had salmon cooked in a different way from salted. I believed salted salmon is the only way to cook and eat salmon in Japan. If you go to Japan, you only find salted salmon fillets in supermarkets. You will not find uncooked salmon unless you go to a fish market like Tokyo Tukiji fish market – the biggest fish market in the world.
Shiozake salted salmon is usually served as part of traditional type of Japanese breakfast along with rolled egg, or in lunch box, Obento. I really miss this salted salmon because I think salted salmon is the best way to eat salmon. However, I never ever see salted salmon in Australia so I have decided to make my own and share the recipe with Japanese food lovers. I have never made my own salted salmon because it was readily available from any supermarkets in Japan. So I asked my father. My father was a fisherman and he knows how to cook any fish. When I have any questions about fish, I ask my father.
I bought salmon fillets packed individually from Aldi! Take two fillets out and salt them with 5 % salt of salmon weight. Refrigerate them overnight and grill in oven. How simple it is! In Japan, cooking tops have a special compartment to grill fish. Of course, people here do not eat fish as often as Japanese do, I used my fan forced conventional oven grill setting. At 180 degree Celsius it took only 7-8 minutes.
- Pat dry the salmon fillets with kitchen paper towel.
- Pour and sprinkle sake over salmon fillets.
- Sprinkle salt on both sides of salmon fillets.
- Wrap the salmon fillets with kitchen paper towel and cling wrap over.
- Refrigerate the fillets over night or at least 7-8 hours.
- Grill for 7-8 minutes in the oven at 180 degrees celsius.
- Serve with plain steamed rice.