How to Cook a Salmon Fillet for Sushi

Salmon most commonly is served raw in sushi restaurants, but you can lightly cook the fish before putting it in cut rolls or hand rolls with rice and seaweed to kill potentially dangerous parasites. Searing the salmon on the outside slightly intensifies the flavor of the fish and gives the meat a texture and dimension not found in raw salmon. When cooking salmon fillets for sushi, make sure not to overcook the meat since you want the inside to remain cool and almost raw to preserve some of the natural flavor.

Step 1

Rinse the salmon fillet with cold water from the tap. Gently pat the salmon fillet dry with disposable kitchen towels.


Step 2

Rub the salmon filet on both sides lightly with vegetable oil. Wrap the salmon fillet in plastic wrap and let it warm to room temperature, approximately 45 minutes.

Step 3

Heat a nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat without oil for 90 seconds. Do not allow the sauté pan to smoke.

Step 4

Put the salmon fillet in the hot sauté pan and sear the fish on the first side for two minutes. Flip the salmon fillet over using a fish spatula and cook it on the other side for an additional two minutes.


Step 5

Remove the salmon fillet from the hot sauté pan and place it on a cutting board. Allow the salmon to cool to room temperature, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 6

Slice the salmon fillet lengthwise into strips approximately 1 inch thick using a sharp knife and use the salmon as desired.

Things You'll Need

  • Raw skinless salmon fillet, approximately 1 inch thick

  • Disposable kitchen towels

  • Vegetable oil

  • Plastic wrap

  • Nonstick sauté pan

  • Fish spatula

  • Sharp knife


Avoid seasoning salmon with salt and pepper or fresh or dried herbs when using it for sushi. Salt and pepper are unnecessary and fresh or dried herbs will conflict with the flavors of sushi rice and seaweed.


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