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Salmon Crudo is a delicate dish, showcasing thinly sliced raw salmon marinated in savory soy sauces and fresh citrus. My salmon crudo recipe is topped with unique, colorful, and flavorful garnishes. Serve this refreshing dish as an easy, light lunch, dinner, or crowd-wowing appetizer.
I was recently featured in the Allrecipes holiday magazine as the Cook to Follow! It was such an incredible honor and dream come true. Throughout the piece there are details about my work, family, and my special Japanese Christmas Cake recipe.
One section highlighted a recent dinner win. I knew without a doubt that would be my salmon crudo. I just threw together some citrus juice and zest, ponzu, chili crisp, cilantro, green onion, and sriracha, and drizzled it over some extra salmon. It turned out to be one of the best things I have ever made!
I have had a few readers request my salmon crudo recipe. I’m so excited to share it, but first, let me answer some frequently asked questions.
WHAT IS SALMON CRUDO?
Salmon crudo is a dish that features thinly sliced raw salmon, often marinated or seasoned with ingredients such as citrus juices, olive oil, herbs, or spices. It’s prepared similarly to sushi or poke, but with a different flavor profile.
This salmon crudo recipe makes a refreshing light lunch, dinner, or appetizer that highlights the natural taste and texture of salmon with layers of complementary flavors.
IS SALMON CRUDO RAW?
Crudo means raw in Italian and Spanish. It typically refers to any dish of uncooked and dressed ingredients, such as seafood, fish, meat, and sometimes vegetables.
Salmon crudo uses marinated, thinly sliced raw salmon to showcase the natural taste and texture of salmon with layers of complementary flavors.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SUSHI, SASHIMI, CRUDO, CEVICHE, AND POKE?
There are many different ways to prepare and serve raw fish. Most people are familiar with sushi, but we can’t forget some equally delightful variations – sashimi, crudo, ceviche, and poke! Let’s break down the unique cultural and culinary raw fish styles.
RAW FISH DISHES GUIDE
- Sushi: Sushi is a Japanese dish consisting of seasoned rice combined with various ingredients, such as raw fish (sashimi), seafood, vegetables, and even tropical fruits. It’s often wrapped in seaweed (nori) or served with it. Sushi can be presented as rolls (maki), individual pieces (nigiri), or in a bowl (chirashi). However, not all sushi includes raw fish.
- Sashimi: Sashimi is also a Japanese dish consisting solely of thinly sliced raw fish or seafood. It’s served without rice or other ingredients, but usually accompanied by soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger. Sashimi highlights the natural flavors and textures of the fish.
- Crudo: Crudo is an Italian dish that involves thinly sliced raw fish, similar to sashimi. However, unlike sashimi, crudo often involves marinating or seasoning the raw fish with olive oil, citrus juices, herbs, or other seasonings. It enhances the fish’s flavor and highlights its freshness.
- Ceviche: Ceviche originates from Latin America, particularly Peru. It’s made by marinating raw fish or seafood in citrus juices (usually lime or lemon) along with spices, onions, chili peppers, and herbs. The acid in the citrus juice “cooks” the fish, effectively curing it. Ceviche often includes additional ingredients like tomatoes, corn, or avocado.
- Poke: Hawaiian poke (pronounced poh-kay) is essentially a customizable raw fish salad that’s savory, fresh, and often has a delightful mix of sweet, salty, and umami flavors. Poke bowls are served with bite-sized pieces of tuna or other seafood, marinated in a flavorful sauce, over a bed of rice or salad greens, creating a colorful and appetizing dish.
Check out my mouth watering Tuna Poke Bowl recipe!
Put simply, sushi is seasoned rice combined with various ingredients, sashimi is solely thinly sliced raw fish, crudo is Italian-style raw fish with added seasoning, ceviche is raw fish or seafood “cooked” in citrus juices, and poke is a customizable raw fish Hawaiian salad. Each highlights raw fish in distinct cultural and culinary styles.
SALMON CRUDO INGREDIENTS
My salmon crudo recipe uses flavors from several raw fish styles (see my raw fish dish guide above). I combine the soy sauces from sashimi, Latin American spices and garnishes from ceviche, and the fresh citrus from traditional crudo.
This recipe is easily adaptable to your taste and preference. Here are my favorite ingredients:
- Salmon sashimi, sliced thinly against the grain
- Ponzu (citrus soy sauce)
- Soy sauce
- Lime zest and juice
- Lemon juice
- Freshly grated ginger
- Sesame oil
- Thinly sliced green onion
- Crunchy garlic sauce or paste
- Thinly sliced fresh jalapenos
WHAT’S THE BEST SALMON FOR CRUDO?
When selecting salmon for crudo, it is essential to choose high-quality fish that is suitable for raw consumption. Here are a couple types of salmon commonly recommended for crudo:
- Sockeye Salmon: Also known as red salmon, sockeye salmon has a rich, deep color and robust flavor. The firm texture works well for crudo, holding up nicely when thinly sliced.
- King Salmon (Chinook Salmon): King salmon is renowned for a high fat content and buttery texture, making it an excellent choice for crudo. Its rich flavor adds depth to the dish.
Look for fresh, sushi-grade fish from a reputable source. It is crucial that the salmon is handled and stored properly to ensure safety when consuming it raw. If possible, ask your fishmonger (a person or store that sells fish) for recommendations on the best type of salmon available for raw preparations, like crudo.
HOW TO BUY RAW SALMON
I have a few key strategies to help beginners purchase high-quality raw fish:
- Find a Reputable Seller: Visit a trusted fishmonger, seafood market, or grocery store known for high-quality seafood. Look for a place that specifically offers sushi-grade fish or mentions that their fish is safe for raw consumption.
- Inspect the Fish: When you’re at the store, examine the salmon. It should look fresh, with vibrant color and a clean smell. It should not smell overly fishy. The flesh should be firm and spring back when lightly pressed.
- Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask the seller about the freshness, source, and whether it is suitable for raw consumption. They can guide you to the best options and provide information about the fish they offer. Let the seller know you’re buying the salmon for crudo. They might provide recommendations on the best cut or type of salmon for your intended preparation.
- Consider Frozen Options: Some places offer frozen sushi-grade salmon. When handled and stored properly, frozen fish can be an excellent option for crudo. Thaw it properly before preparing.
- The best place I’ve found to find sashimi grade salmon is Sam’s Club. They sell many different varieties of salmon, so look for the one with the Sashimi label.
As with any consumption of raw or undercooked food, there is always a risk. However, purchasing your salmon from a reputable seller significantly decreases any risk.
IS COSTCO SALMON SUSHI-GRADE?
Raw farm-raised salmon from Costco is not labeled as sushi grade. However, I’ve recently been using The Sushi Guy’s method to cure salmon from Costco to make Salmon Crudo. The method uses a salt and sugar cure to improve the texture of the salmon.
I’ve personally never had issues using this method and trust it as long as the salmon is used the same or next day after purchasing, and it smells fresh (not super fishy…you’ll know!). Of course, use your best judgment.
HOW TO MAKE SALMON CRUDO
HOW DO YOU SLICE SALMON FOR CRUDO?
The very first step in this recipe is to slice the raw salmon. I recommend slicing it very thinly, about ¼ inch thickness or less. Use a sharp knife to slice thin pieces against the grain of the fish.
Place the salmon on a serving platter or plate. Evenly pour ponzu and soy sauce over the fish. Juice the lime and lemon over the fish, then stir slightly to cover all the pieces. Zest the lime over the fish. Grate a thin layer of fresh ginger evenly over the pieces. Dot the sesame oil evenly over the fish. Finally, garnish with green onions, cilantro leaves, crunchy garlic paste, dots of sriracha sauce, and fresh jalapenos to taste.
Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate up to 4 hours and serve very chilled.
As you can tell by this recipe, it’s easily adaptable to your taste. I don’t measure the ingredients precisely each time I make this.
Tip: Go heavy on the citrus and less on the soy sauce and ponzu to avoid it being too salty.
HOW TO SERVE SALMON CRUDO
Remember, the beauty of salmon crudo is in its simplicity and freshness. Keep the presentation clean and elegant, allowing the natural flavors from the fish and seasonings to shine through. The best way to serve this is having small forks or toothpicks for guests to grab a bite.
I like to make my salmon crudo on the dish I will actually use to serve it. This way I can intentionally garnish for a stunning final presentation.
Salmon crudo can stand alone as a light lunch or dinner. It also makes a wonderful appetizer before a heavier meal.
Try serving Salmon Crudo as an appetizer for your next holiday party. While it looks fancy, there’s no cooking involved and it looks uber fancy. I took it a to friendsgiving, and it was the first appetizer that was wiped clean from the massive spread we have. My husband could eat an entire platter himself!
CAN I SAVE LEFTOVER SALMON CRUDO?
Salmon crudo is best served fresh. Due to food safety concerns, I recommend serving this recipe immediately, or after a few hours in the fridge. If you have leftovers, refrigerate immediately. It can be enjoyed the next day, but it may have a slightly different texture from being marinated. I have cooked the marinated salmon the following day to test the flavor, and it was delicious on a bed of rice topped with some sriracha.
MORE SEAFOOD RECIPES
- Tuna Poke Bowl
- Instant Pot Salmon
- Air Fryer Salmon
- Low Country Boil
- Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo
- Instant Pot Lobster Tails
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lisa Childs is the food blogger behind Tried, Tested, and True. Join the hundreds of thousands of people each month that learn from Lisa-
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- ½ pound salmon sashimi (sushi-grade) sliced thinly against the grain
- 1-2 tablespoons ponzu (citrus soy sauce)
- 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 lime zest and juice
- 1 lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons ginger freshly grated
- 1-2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 stalks green onion thinly sliced
- 2 sprigs cilantro
- crunchy garlic sauce or paste to taste
- sriracha to taste
- fresh jalapeños, thinly sliced to taste
- Use a sharp knife to slice the salmon very thinly, about ¼ inch thickness or less, against the grain.
- Place the salmon on a serving platter or plate.
- Evenly pour ponzu and soy sauce over the fish.
- Juice the lime and lemon over the fish, then stir slightly to cover all the pieces.
- Zest the lime over the fish.
- Grate a thin layer of fresh ginger evenly over the pieces.
- Dot the sesame oil evenly over the fish.
- Garnish with green onions, cilantro leaves, crunchy garlic paste, dots of sriracha sauce, and fresh jalapeños to taste.
- Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate up to 4 hours and serve very chilled.
- As you can tell by this recipe, it’s easily adaptable to your taste. I don’t measure the ingredients precisely each time I make this, but I go heavy on the citrus and less on the soy sauce and ponzu to avoid it being too salty.