I am trying to make sushi at home and I'm buying fresh salmon from Whole Foods. The sushi tastes good, but it's missing something. The salmon feels too "fishy" and solid. If one eats at a good sushi restaurant, the salmon nigiri feels like it melts in one's mouth and I can't manage to do it like this.

So far, I have tried: 1. To cut the salmon in thin pieces - the same result. 2. To cut it parallel to the skin and perpendicular to it - same result 3. To change from farmed to wild salmon - same result

I don't understand how to prepare the salmon to make it feel like it's melting when you eat it. Anyone has any experience with this and would like to share with me? Ia there a special way to prepare it or it is the salmon type?

P.S. The next step is to let it warm to room temperature because so far it was taken out from the fridge.

  • Are you using sushi grade salmon, or just regular salmon bought at the counter?
    – senschen
    Oct 22, 2018 at 15:50
  • @senschen, it's regular salmon. I don't think I can find sushi grade salmon. Can I? And how/where can I find it? There is a frozen option for sushi salmon in Whole Foods, but I am not sure that's an option, because it is frozen.
    – Physther
    Oct 22, 2018 at 16:01
  • 1
    You absolutely need to use sushi grade salmon if you're not cooking it. That's a matter of food safety and not making yourself sick. You could purchase the frozen sushi grade salmon from Whole Foods, or its sometimes available from other grocery stores or restaurant supply stores, and available from several sources online. It will most likely be frozen when you purchase it-- that's how it becomes sushi grade. You would simply thaw the fish before (promptly!) slicing and eating.
    – senschen
    Oct 22, 2018 at 18:52

2 Answers 2


A technique, sushi chefs use is called dry curing. It means covering the fish in sugar and salt (3:1 ratio), I’ve seen recipes calling for 20 minutes to 1.5 hours. This will draw moistrure out, concentrating the taste, and will definitely have an effecf on the texture.

Another one is, freezing for bacterial reduction, try looking for fish that has been frozen at really low temperatures. When frozen, water in the muscle tissue will freeze and expand, damaging the muscle fibers, which will also contribute to the texture you’re looking for. You can try replicating this at home, except for the food-safety part, by freezing the fish for a long time, some recipes call 3-4 days.


First of all type of salmon. Second, cure the salmon as salt can "denature" protein.

  • Could you be a little more specific: what type of salmon is better, and what isn't?
    – Erica
    Oct 20, 2018 at 18:09

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