How to prepare Salmon-Sashimi (Umba Style) by Michael V. Siemens

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Instead of salmon you can also use other Salmonids like trout or char. It is very useful to know the catch history of the fish. When was it caught in which river/lake? Has it always been stored proper without any interruption of the cooling chain?

The fish should be in a good nutritional condition and should not show any signs of (former) diseases or internal parasites (cysts in the meat etc.) If you are not sure, deepfreeze the (preferably vacuumed) fish for 1 week at minus 20° C before eating it raw.  Using a fresh fish, Sashimi is best 2 days after it was caught.

Ingredients like “Su” (Japanese rice vinegar), soy sauce, “Wasabi” (Japanese green horseradish, available as instant powder to mix up with water or as “ready to eat paste” out of a tube) are available in Asia-shops.


  • Take a freshly caught salmon, remove guts and gills as quick as possible after catch (to avoid infiltration of blood into the meat), wash and dry it (with cloth or kitchen roll) and store it in a cooler/fridge in a stretched position.
  • Whenever there is time between catch and consumption, fillet the fish, but leave on belly bones and skin. If required, remove blood and mucus with kitchen roll.
  • Cover these fillets on both sides strongly with large grained salt.and leave them there for two hours to detract water out of the meat cells  (note: small or formerly frozen fillets: ca. 1 hour)
  • Remove salt from both fillet sides quickly under running tab water and immediately after washing, dab the fillet dry with kitchen roll avoid re-intrusion of water into the flesh during washing process.
  • Now remove belly-bones and skin. Also remove the remaining row of “in between bones” with plyers or with special fishbone tweezers. After this procedure the fillet should be completely free of bones.
  • Before covering the fillet with plastic wrap and storing it in the fridge, again thoroughly remove all “sticky” scales, blood, moisture etc. from it.
  • About 1 hour before consumption unwrap the fillet, remove moisture and dash it with Japanese rice vinegar (“Su”).
  • After about 10 minutes remove remaining Su from the fillet with kitchen roll and start the final cut.
  • Use a very sharp knife. If required (rancid taste?) cut away most of the brownish fat layer on the skin side of the fillet. Than cut the fillet against the longitudinal direction into ca. 4cm wide pieces. Cut these pieces in ca. 5mm thin and ca. 4cm wide slices, which are ready for eating.
  • Just before eating it dip the slice into soy sauce (“Kikkoman”,  “Yamasa” or “Kimuchi”)
  • According to personal taste stir “Wasabi” paste into the soy sauce before using it as a dip.

Bon Appetit!

Thank you for sharing Michael