Delicious fresh slices of salmon, ginger ponzu sauce, wakame salad that's hard to stop eating and some crispy shallots make this salmon Crudo dish hit all the right notes. Read on to discover how you can make homemade ponzu sauce and slice salmon easily to make an outstandingly simple ponzu salmon.
Why I Love This Salmon Crudo Recipe
Simplicity. Yes, you need to make the ponzu sauce in advance (more on that later) but this salmon Crudo dish is one that will wow dinner guests every time AND what's even better is it takes all of 2 minutes to put together when you are ready to serve. Oh and sorry, did I mention there is no cooking involved!!
Difference between Salmon Crudo & Salmon Sashimi
I think the easiest way to differentiate the two is visually. Sashimi refers to fresh raw fish. So when you see sashimi it will be sliced fish and nothing else. Crudo also refers to raw fish but in this case, it comes with a dressing or vinaigrette. So visually a Crudo dish will have a dressing and maybe more. Sashimi is an expression solely on the quality of fish whereas Crudo is an expression on the fish quality but also the dressing - usually high-grade oil with citrus notes.
What is Ponzu Sauce
Whenever I think about it I am brought back to my days in NYC managing PUBLIC restaurant. We used to have an amazing royal trumpet mushroom aka the king oyster mushroom dish with ponzu sauce and miso aubergine. Hot damn, it was by far the best vegetarian dish I ever ate!
Right, back to the task at hand. Ponzu sauce is a citrus soy-based sauce. It is a classic Japenese condiment and used as a dressing, marinade or dipping sauce. You can pick it up these days in most grocery stores. But, it's super simple to make and has a great shelf life so why not give it a go yourself!
Ponzu Sauce Ingredients
To make my version of ponzu sauce I use ingredients which 99% of the time are in my pantry. Soy sauce, mirin (a slightly sweet Japanese rice wine), bonito flakes (also known as katsuobushi, they are flakes made from the bonito tuna), nori (edible seaweed - used in sushi), citrus - orange & lemon but you can also use yuzu, lime, grapefruit too. It's all about finding the right balance. Finally, grated ginger for a little spice!
Simply, mix all these ingredients together and let them infuse for a minimum of 24 hours. I let mine sit for 4 days before straining. The longer you let it sit the more intense the flavour will be. So maybe taste it after day 1, maybe remove 1/2 of the liquid and let it go for another 24 hours and see which you prefer. Once made the ponzu sauce will last for up to 6 months (assuming it's not cross-contaminated) in the fridge.
Slicing The Salmon for Crudo
First, start with a sharp knife. If you don't have a sharp knife then I would suggest sharpening it. Without a sharp knife you will either a) hack at the fish or b) end up hacking yourself.
Start by removing the skin - although most places will sell you skin off salmon. To remove the skin place the salmon skin side down and gently cut through the flesh at the tail end stopping at the skin. Holding onto the tail end slice away from you using a slight see-saw motion to trim the skin away. Next, gently slice the fish at an angle away from you. The reason for slicing away is so that you don't cut yourself! This is the classic way to cut raw fish.
Alternatively, you can pop the fish in the freezer for 10 minutes to harden ever so slightly and then cut the salmon (skin removed) from top to bottom - this is best used if you have purchased a fillet of salmon. I cut the fillet in half along the middle where you see the bones would have been and then slice gently (with a v sharp knife) from top to bottom giving me nice wider slices of salmon like you see in the picture.
One of my favourite Aussie vineyards. From the people, the packaging to what's inside the bottle. It's pure joy! Dandelion Vineyards is rated a 5-star winery from Mr Halliday I am yet to have a bad bottle! They describe themselves as a combination of old vineyards, young winemaker with plenty of mates to help them out. Elena Brooks maybe a young winemaker but boy has she got a sensible head and great palate to boot when it comes to the winemaking. Spending most of her time with her babies (the vines & grapes) she talks about her experience out in the thick of it makes her job inside at vintage that little bit easier.
The delicious Dandelion Vineyards 'Fairytale of the Barossa' rose was the winning wine selection for my salmon Crudo recipe. With valentines day around the corner and men (and women) everywhere trying to prepare romantic meals this ponzu salmon dish is definitely one to add to the list. Plus, paired with a glass of rose wine - what more would anyone want.
Made from Grenache (my fave style of rose) this wine is a captivating pink colour. Bright summer berries, turkish delight & rose water on the nose. The palate offers berry notes and citrus in the form of orange. A dry finish giving the wine great balance from that upfront acidty - helping me go back for more 😉
Keep a bottle nicely chilled, whip up this simple ponzu salmon dish and whoever you serve it to will be mighty impressed. What's better is the wine is currently discounted and when you sign up you get a bonus discount 😉
Alternative Raw Fish Recipes
Asian Kingfish Crudo by Yours Truly
Ceviche with Blood Orange & Fennel by Claire McEwen of 'Sprinkles & Sprouts'
- 300 g skinless salmon (11oz) 75g per person
- 100 g wakame salad (4oz) 25g per person
- 2 finger lime
- 2 tbsp crispy shallots
- sesame seeds
- ponzu sauce see below
- 1/2 nori
- 5 g bonito (1 tbsp)
- 1 tsp ginger grated
- 6 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 lemon - zested
- 3 tbsp orange juice
- 200 ml soy sauce (3/4 cup)
- 2 tbsp mirin
- Mix all ingredients together and infuse in the fridge for minimum 24 hours and up to 7 days. The longer it infuses the stronger the taste.
- When ready, strain through a sieve and store in the fridge
- Slice salmon very thinly using a sharp knife
- Place salmon on the plate and wakame to the side of the salmon
- Drizzle 1-2 tbsp ponzu sauce over each plate of salmon and sprinkle sesame seeds, crispy shallots and finger lime “caviar” over the top
- chef knives
- chopping board
- measuring utensils
- mixing bowl
- ponzu sauce will keep for months in the fridge so don’t worry about having extra.
- you can buy ponzu sauce in most grocery stores and in Asian stores, just add some ginger to them and infuse overnight.
- to extract the “caviar” from the finger lime it’s easiest to cut it in half widthways and then squeeze them out of either side.
- you can prepare all ingredients in advance so that when serving this dish you just need to put it all together – perfect for a dinner party/special occasion.