The easiest way to cut salmon for salmon bites is to quickly dry cure it to release excess water. This is a simple process that takes about 5 minutes to prep. All you’ll need is fresh salmon, Kosher salt, and granulated sugar.
But first, what happens when you dry cure salmon? The salt draws the moisture from the fish (a process called osmosis). The salt helps to denature the proteins in the fish, which is just a fancy way of saying it makes the salmon a bit more firm. The addition of sugar is to help balance any saltiness.
Once the fish is curing, it sits for 10-15 minutes. Again, this is for a quick cure, not an overnight cure. As the moisture is removed from the salmon, it will help to firm up the fish, making it significantly easier to slice into perfect cubes for all your favorite salmon bowl recipes, like our Miso Salmon Bites or these Air Fryer Hot Honey Salmon Bites!
How To Dry Cure Salmon
- First, prepare the salmon. Pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel, then place on a rimmed baking sheet. This is Atlantic salmon, though you can check out our salmon guide for more information on the different species.
- In a small bowl, combine equal parts Kosher salt and granulated sugar.
- Sprinkle of rub the sugar and salt mixture evenly all over the salmon (on both sides).
- Allow the salmon to quick cure for 10-15 minutes.
- Rinse under cold water or submerge in an ice bath, gently rubbing away the cure. Pat dry with paper towels.
That’s it! You’re now ready to slice the salmon into perfect cubes!
Rinse Under Cold Water
When you rinse off a dry cure from salmon in cold water, you are removing the salt and sugar that have been used to cure the fish. This will make the salmon less salty and will also remove some of the flavor that has been imparted by the cure. The salmon will also become less firm and more opaque.
It is important to rinse the salmon well after curing to remove all of the salt and sugar. If any of the cure is left on the fish, it can make the salmon taste too salty.
After the salmon has been rinsed, it can be cooked or served immediately. It can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Cure with Kosher salt! Using other types of salt, such as table salt, could result in the salmon being too salty.
- Be sure to rinse the salmon fillet well after curing! If not, the fish will taste extremely salty.
- Watch the clock! You can certainly dry cure salmon for longer — up to 72 hours! — but the longer the salmon sits with the cure, the firmer it will become. This is a quick cure, so rinse it after 10-15 minutes.
- Cut against the grain! This will ensure that the salmon bites are tender and flaky when you go to cook them.
- Use high quality salmon! As always, the higher the quality, the better it will taste.
This draws out the moisture from the salmon, which makes it easier to cut into perfect little cubes.
No. It is best to rinse off a dry cure with cold water to minimize the risk of bacterial growth and to keep the salmon from becoming rubbery.
Yes! Salmon, trout, tuna, swordfish, mackeral, cod, halibut, scallops, etc. All can be dry cured!
Yes, but it’s best to fully thaw and defrost it first. If curing frozen salmon, the curing process will take about 50% longer, as the salt will need to dissolve in the water that is released from the salmon as it thaws.
How To Use Salmon Bites
You can cook the salmon bites in any salmon recipe you like where it makes sense. If you’re wanting to make our Slow Baked Salmon, for instance, you won’t get the same luscious melt-in-your-mouth texture by cooking salmon bites — you’ll want to keep the fillet whole.
Salmon bites are just a fun way to present salmon! Here we turned our Miso Salmon into bites and served it over rice.
More Salmon Recipes To Try!20 Minute Chili & Bourbon Glazed Salmon Quick & Easy Pesto Zucchini Noodles With Salmon How To Make Pan-Seared Salmon Piccata Crispy Pan Seared Salmon with Lemon Parmesan Sauce
Once you’ve mastered how to cut salmon for salmon bites, you can use them in all your favorite salmon recipes (of which we have many!).
The next time you go to make Salmon Bites, be sure to give this method a try! It results in perfectly cubed salmon every single time.
If you use this guide on how to cut salmon for salmon bites, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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How To Cut Salmon For Salmon Bites
- 1½ lb salmon fillet skin off
- 2 Tbsp Kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- Prep the salmon. Pat salmon fillets dry lightly on both sides with a paper towel, then place on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Make the dry cure. Combine equal parts Kosher salt and granulated sugar in a small bowl, then stir to combine. For 1½-2 lbs of salmon, we recommend 2 Tbsp of each, but you can scale up or down depending on how much salmon you're using.
- Cure for 10-15 minutes. Allow the fish to sit out at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to remove excess moisture and water.
- Rinse off, then cut into cubes. Either place the cured salmon in an ice bath or rinse under cool water, using your hands to gently rub off any remaining salt and sugar. Pat dry with a paper towel, then place on a cutting board.
- Slice into cubes. Using a sharp knife, cut the salmon into bite size cubes. Shown here, the salmon is cut into 1-inch cubes, but you can certainly cut them to any size you like. Use immediately in all your favorite salmon recipes!
- Nutrition facts are based on the salmon only, as the dry cure will be rinsed off before cooking. Please note these are only an approximation.