Ora King Salmon is a high quality sashimi grade salmon. We prepared lightly seared and raw version just like Italian Crudo or Japanese sashimi. Served with baby arugula and a yuzu ponzu vinaigrette, it makes a great appetizer. The citrus and bitter arugula is a great flavor combination that elevates the natural flavor of the fish.
Salmon Tataki (たたき) Salad
Salmon Tataki (たたき) prepared with Ora King Salmon is a great starter for any meal. Creating a salad is a light and healthy starter or side dish with dinner. But, if you are like me this is best eaten any time of day whenever you have a craving for sashimi. Arugula, fresh salmon and citrus with a little essence of heat is a no-brainer flavor combination.
What is Ora King Salmon?
Dubbed as the “wagyu of the salmon” world, these are rare King (Chinook) salmon that come from the crystal blue waters swimming in sustainable fisheries in New Zealand. The fish are raised in extremely low density pens in a situation where the native Kiwi people have a strong influence in the aquaculture practices and decision making. This has resulted in care and effort to grow fish in a natural environment. The salmon are antibiotic and hormone free with a sustainable food sourced non-GMO diet. Through 24 years of dedication and collaboration, the Ora King brand represents an ultra premium fish that we can all enjoy. It is a highly recommended product that we have researched and will continue to support.
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I was so excited because my delivery finally came from Crowd Cow. I ordered a side of Ora King Salmon with Pasture Raised Whole Chicken from Cooks Venture. As a member, they also gave me two pounds of Painted Hills Natural Ground Beef for free! This is how the box looked when it arrived.
There is a slight dent in the upper corner probably from the delivery truck. Everything inside was protected and A-ok.
All of my product was packed well with dry ice. It was still frozen solid, so an easy transfer to the freezer while deciding the menu for the week. I can’t wait!
One of the coolest moves they made is using more earth friendly packing materials. I tested this out immediately because I was curious to see what would happen. The interior packing material, made of cornstarch, sans the plastic bag is placed in warm water. Within minutes it starts to break down. Next, you pour this into your yard or down the drain and it fully composts in a matter of weeks. Not bad and way better than styrofoam.
This is a full side of salmon. If you don’t want this much salmon, they have Ora King salmon portions available as well. To start, I used a very sharp knife cutting lengthwise and removed 1″ from the belly portion. Cutting from top to bottom, I cut six equal portions. I left one out to defrost and double-wrapped the remaining portions. These went back into the freezer. For my salmon menu I decided to start with some raw dishes first then progress into cooking. Visit our other blog for some really cool and tasty salmon wraps in soy paper.
Once the salmon is defrosted, remove the skin by laying your knife flat and cutting evenly between the meat and skin. It’s that easy and the salmon is ready to use.
Don’t throw away your salmon skin
We were very pleased overall with the quality and flavor of Ora King salmon. The only complaint that I have was it was not scaled. We believe in minimizing waste and we love crispy salmon skin. It is also very healthy because of the oils in the skin portion. It wasn’t that hard to remove the scales by gently scraping with the blade of a sharp knife. However, fish are normally scaled whole and this was a filleted portion. Wrap the salmon skin and freeze until ready to use.
*CrossEat Tip: If you are not keen on the idea of eating fish skin, dogs love it and it is healthy for them (unless they are allergic to seafood). Place the skin atop tin foil skin side up. Set your oven to broil and cook till the skin gets brown and crispy. Mix into your dog’s meal or save as a treat.
**Tip: When purchasing salmon to consume that is not fully cooked or eaten as sashimi, stick to either Japanese markets or reputable online suppliers. One indicator of freshness in pre-fabricated salmon is smell. Another indicator is appearance. If it doesn’t look good, it probably isn’t. Avoid salmon from regions where the fisheries have a bad reputation. To avoid the issue of parasites, very lightly sprinkle some salt over the salmon and let it sit for 10 minutes. Double wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for 72 hours. Salmon is a very durable protein and once defrosted it will be the exactly the same prior to freezing.
How to cut sashimi
There are many different cuts for sashimi depending on a chef or user preference. Ideally, we like our sashimi sliced thin which is called hira-zukuri (平造り). This is still slightly thicker than the paper thin usu-zukuri (薄造り) cuts of certain fish. Cubed or blocked cuts of raw fish are referred to as butsi-giri (ぶつ切り).
But, let’s stick to what is simple without getting too techinical. The weight for a slice of thin sashimi like salmon should range between .25 – .75 ounces. After you break down your salmon into block portions (see picture), use a very sharp stainless steel or carbon blade to cut even slices about 1/8″ thick. The width will depend on the size of the block. Generally 2″ to 2-1/2″ is a good size for a 7 ounce portion. If you decide to cook the salmon this would be perfect for a single entree sized portion. Confused? Cooking is meant to be fun so test your cuts and determine what works best for you.
The color of the salmon below looks slightly more orange. That is purely the lighting. The picture above is the natural color of the salmon.
PREPARING THE SALMON TATAKI
We are going to prepare salmon tataki (たたき). The literal translation of tataki is “to beat”. In this case, we lightly sear the outer portion of the fish. This provides a nice textural and flavor contrast between the raw and cooked portions. This is completely optional if you want to stick to just eating the sashimi as is. We actually only seared half the block, so one plate was seared sashimi and the other regular sashimi.
Heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olice oil in a non-stick pan over medium high heat.
Once the pan is hot lightly sear the salmon evenly on the top and the bottom. This is literally about 3-5 seconds each side.
Let the salmon rest and refrigerate until ready to cut.
Combine yuzu juice and ponzu with 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Mix well to form a loose emulsion and refrigerate till ready to use. You can buy pre-made ponzu sauce online or in most Asian markets. We recommend trying our recipe for really good homemade ponzu.
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use. I will have an upcoming post on Hawaiian style lomi lomi salmon. I’m already thinking a cheat meal of slow roasted pork garnished with lomi, brown gravy and rice. Mmmmm!
PLATING THE SALMON TATAKI (SASHIMI) SALAD
Slice the salmon thinly and lay flat on a plate. Top with thin sliced jalapeno, avocado slice, lomi tomato and a dot of sriracha chili sauce. One of my favorite restaurants used kewpie mayonnaise with salmon sashimi. Add a dot of mayonnaise or leave it out.
Add the arugula salad to the plate.
Spoon the ponzu vinaigrette around the salmon and serve immediately.
*Tasting Notes: As a friendly reminder, consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of food borne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions.
- Pan Roasted Salmon and Citrus with Asparagus and Japanese Brown Rice
- Super Tasty Healthy Salmon Wraps with Soy Paper
- Preparing Salmon Roe (Ikura)
- Salmon Ochazuke
Recommendations for Sustainable Seafood Delivered to you
We are always in the search for quality seafood that we can prepare at home. If you are looking to purchase or just find more information click on the links below. These are all very good products that we support. There is a good variety of salmon options from wild caught to sustainable aquaculture programs. High in omega-3 fatty acids and proven to be heart healthy means that we should all eat more salmon.
- Wild Alaskan Halibut (Sena Sea)
- Wild Blue Jumbo Shrimp Fair Trade Certified (Del Pacifico)
- PrimeWaters Norwegian Atlantic Salmon
- New Zealand Ora King Salmon
- WILD Copper River Coho Salmon
- WILD Copper River Sockeye Salmon
- Icelandic Arctic Char