This melt-in-your-mouth Spicy Salmon Sashimi with Ponzu Sauce is a delightful and easy appetizer. Taking only minutes to assemble, the bold and tangy flavors are a real crowd pleaser!
Bites of thinly sliced salmon, tangy ponzu sauce, and spicy jalapeno make up this impressive Japanese appetizer. Spicy Salmon Sashimi with Ponzu Sauce is a classic, yet always a delicious party-perfect treat. As a bonus, the entire dish takes less than 10 minutes to assemble!
If you don’t know by now, I’m a huge fan of rich and flavorful salmon dishes. Crusted Keto Salmon, Sesame Ginger Baked Salmon, and Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict are just a few of my favorites. But on the nights where I want to keep things simple but still indulge in complex flavors, I turn to this spicy salmon sashimi.
The quick and easy yuzu ponzu sauce tastes tangy and citrusy, pairing so well with the fatty salmon and spicy jalapeno. It’s always the best dressing for this dish, even if you want to swap the spice for a cool and refreshing cucumber or ginger garnish.
I think you’re really going to love this easy Japanese appetizer! It’s:
- Made with only 5 ingredients
- Easy to put together.
- Perfect for dinner parties, date night, or make your own sushi night!
What is salmon sashimi?
Chances are you’ve seen sashimi on the menu at your favorite sushi restaurant. Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy made from thinly sliced raw fish or meat and served on its own unlike traditional sushi (served with rice and nori). It’s always served with a dressing or dipping sauce, like soy sauce or ponzu sauce.
Salmon sashimi (A.K.A. sake sashimi) is one of the more popular sashimi varieties. It can also be made with tuna, octopus, mackerel, squid, and even vegetables like avocado! The thin pieces are often served with a garnish to cut through the rich meat, such as ginger, jalapenos, wasabi, or garlic.
Salmon sashimi ingredients
- Salmon – You always want to look for sushi-grade salmon when making sashimi. My favorite is wild caught salmon or use your favorite sushi-grade fish (like fatty tuna) instead. Salmon belly sashimi is extra delicious because it’s so fatty, but often costs more.
- Jalapenos – A jalapeno slice on each sashimi slice is what gives this delicious appetizer its signature spice. You can always swap these for cucumbers if you aren’t a fan of spice.
- Ponzu sauce – Ponzu sauce is traditionally used as a dipping sauce for seared meats, dumplings, and sashimi. Instead of making homemade ponzu sace, I kept this recipe simple by dressing up storebought yuzu ponzu sauce instead. With a little soy sauce and sesame oil added, this elevated ponzu sauce is nicely balanced between sweet and savory.
How to prepare salmon sashimi
- Start by prepping the salmon. Cut it into thin sashimi-style slices using a sharp knife and place them on a serving plate.
- Next, mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, and yuzu ponzu sauce to make the sashimi dressing.
- Serve the sashimi by pouring the sauce over the salmon and top each piece with a slice of jalapeno. Enjoy!
Is salmon sashimi safe to eat?
Fresh fish is always best, right? Not when it comes to sashimi! Salmon, tuna, or any seafood that’s been caught and meant to eat raw must before frozen before it can be sold.
When buying your fish you NEED to make sure it says SUSHI GRADE fish, which means you can have it raw. I like to buy mine at an Asain market near me called H Mart.
The FDA requires all sushi-grade fish to be frozen before it’s sold to ensure any unwelcome bacteria or parasites are killed off before you dig in. When shopping for sushi-grade fish, make sure to talk to your local fishmonger to ensure the fish has been frozen first.
Tips to make the best salmon sashimi at home
- Equipment – A sharp knife will be your best friend when slicing the salmon. You want thin, even slices and a dull knife will make this difficult.
- Garnish – Feel free to swap the spicy jalapeno garnish for cucumber, pickled ginger, wasabi, black sesame seeds, or leave all of them off entirely to enjoy the sashimi and ponzu on their own.
- Serving a crowd – Easily double or triple the amount of salmon you buy to serve this appetizer to a crowd!
- Storing – Unfortunately, salmon sashimi can’t be stored for later. It needs to be eaten right away or else unhealthy bacteria could form.
Serve the sashimi next to these dishes on sushi night:
If you give this Spicy Salmon Sashimi with Ponzu Sauce a try, let me know in the comments below. I love seeing your pictures too, so please tag me on Instagram @lenaskitchenblog and use #lenaskitchenblog so I can share them on my page!
Spicy Salmon Sashimi with Ponzu Sauce
- 6 oz sushi grade salmon or use your favorite sushi grade fish
- ½ jalapeno thinly sliced (optional)
- 2 tbsp ponzu sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Prep Fish: Using a really sharp knife, cut the salmon into thin slices (sashimi style, about ¼ inch thick or your preference). Slices should be a rectangular shape.
- Prep Sauce: Mix soy sauce, sesame oil and ponzu sauce for a delicious sauce.
- Serve: Lay the sashimi slices on a plate and top each slice with a slice of jalapeño (optional). Pour over the sauce, enjoy right away!
Buy the freshest salmon you can find, preferably wild-caught salmon, if it’s available.
This recipe can easily be doubled to serve more.