What is Salmon Crudo? An Italian Take on Raw Salmon

While this salmon crudo recipe is easy, it looks and tastes amazing, and you don’t even have to cook it! It’s so simple! Served with a citrus soy dressing, it’s to die for!

I dont know about you, but I am a huge fan of any kind of raw fish. Any kind of sushi, crudo, or poke! I love the taste and feel of raw fish, and I believe salmon is one of the best kinds to eat raw.

This salmon crudo recipe is an Italian-ish spin on raw salmon. This dressing has shallot, lime, lemon, olive oil, and a little soy sauce in it. The flavors go so well with the sushi-grade salmon. [feast_advanced_jump_to].

What’s the difference between a crudo and sashimi, carpaccio, ceviche, aguachile, or tartare? Well, crudo means “raw” in Italian and Spanish. The dish called crudo comes from Italy and Spain. It is made with raw fish, olive oil, and citrus fruits.

Crudo is not “cooked” by letting it sit in citrus juices like ceviche is, but it will start to if it sits for too long.

Crudo is a general term for anything that is raw and dressed. It doesn’t have a specific shape, taste, or style.

Salmon crudo is a delightful Italian twist on raw salmon Crudo, meaning “raw” in Italian, is a preparation where thinly sliced raw fish is dressed simply to let the fresh flavors shine. While crudo can be made with any fish, salmon is a particularly good choice The rich flavor of the salmon pairs beautifully with the bright, fresh ingredients like lemon, herbs, and olive oil.

In this article we’ll cover everything you need to know about salmon crudo including

  • What is salmon crudo?
  • Origins and history
  • How to choose salmon for crudo
  • How to slice the salmon
  • Ingredients to use
  • How to assemble and serve
  • Wine and drink pairings
  • Similar dishes like carpaccio, tartare, sashimi

So read on for everything you need to know about this easy yet elegant Italian salmon appetizer!

What is Salmon Crudo?

Salmon crudo is raw salmon that has been cut into thin slices and served with a light dressing. The term “crudo” means “raw” in Italian.

Thin slices of salmon are presented in a beautiful way on a platter or on individual plates. Most of the time, they are dressed with just sea salt, fresh lemon or lime juice, and good extra virgin olive oil. After that, creative additions like microgreens, shallots, chilies, herbs, capers, or chilies can give the dish exciting pops of flavor and texture.

Unlike ceviche, the salmon is not “cooked” by marinating in citrus. With crudo preparations, the lemon or lime juice is added just before serving so it does not have time to denature the proteins. This preserves the delicate velvety texture of the raw salmon.

The result is an elegant, easy salmon appetizer that looks and tastes incredibly fresh and luxurious. Despite its simplicity, salmon crudo makes a fantastic impression served as a starter for a dinner party or date night meal.

Origins and History

Like many great Italian culinary traditions, crudo finds its origins in necessity. Coastal Italian regions had access to abundant seafood, which could be hard to preserve before refrigeration. Crudo allowed Italians to enjoy fresh-caught fish at the height of its flavor without worrying about spoilage.

The term crudo applies to any raw seafood or meat, but fish preparations are the most common. Italians traditionally used local Mediterranean fish like sea bass, snapper, tuna, or swordfish. Salmon crudo is a more modern preparation that takes advantage of farm-raised Atlantic salmon.

While crudo dishes were likely invented out of necessity, they became celebrated for their delightful flavors. The fresh taste of the seafood really shines when complemented by high quality olive oil, bright citrus, and sea salt. Plus, the elegant simplicity of sliced raw fish on a platter evokes style and sophistication.

How to Choose Salmon for Crudo

Since crudo involves no cooking, it’s essential to start with high quality salmon. Here are a few tips for choosing salmon to use raw:

  • Sushi grade or sashimi grade – Look for salmon labeled as sushi/sashimi grade, which means it has been assessed for raw consumption. This signals careful handling and freezing to eliminate parasites.

  • Farmed not wild – Farmed Atlantic salmon is safer than wild salmon when eating raw due to fewer parasite concerns.

  • Previously frozen – Salmon that has been properly frozen and thawed is safer than fresh never-frozen. Freezing kills any potential parasites.

  • Bright color – Choose salmon with bright pink or orange flesh, with no dull or brown spots.

  • Firm texture – Opt for salmon that feels firm to the touch, not mushy.

  • Clean smell – There should be no “fishy” odor – it should smell fresh from the sea.

Buying sushi or sashimi grade salmon from a trusted fish market or grocery store seafood counter is your best bet. Inform them you intend to consume it raw.

How to Slice Salmon for Crudo

Proper slicing technique is key for an elegant crudo presentation. Here’s how to slice salmon like a pro:

  • Use a sharp knife – A razor-sharp knife ensures clean slices without mangling the tender flesh.

  • Slice against the grain – Cut each slice perpendicular to the white fat lines for a pleasant mouthfeel.

  • Thin slices – Cut salmon into slices approximately 1⁄4 inch thick. Thinner than carpaccio but not paper thin like sashimi.

  • Chill while slicing – Keep the salmon chilled while slicing, such as on a rimmed baking sheet over ice.

  • Cut away skin – Remove any skin prior to slicing the flesh.

Dressing Ingredients for Salmon Crudo

The dressing for salmon crudo is deliberately simple to let the fresh fish shine. Here are some common crudo dressing ingredients:

  • Extra virgin olive oil – High quality EVOO is the base of most crudo dressings. Use your best bottle here.

  • Lemon or lime juice – A squeeze of citrus brightens the flavor. Use freshly squeezed juice.

  • Sea salt and pepper – A pinch of flaky finishing salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

  • Shallot or red onion – Thin slices provide bite.

  • Herbs – Chopped chives, dill, parsley, cilantro, or basil.

  • Capers – Briny capers offer the perfect pop of salt.

  • Chili flakes – A pinch of red pepper flakes offers a hint of heat.

The most basic crudo dressings only require EVOO, citrus, and salt. Feel free to experiment with other fresh flavors you enjoy!

How to Assemble Salmon Crudo

Composing a crudo platter may look fancy, but it’s easy. Just follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the ingredients – Slice shallots, capers, herbs, greens, citrus, etc.

  2. Dress the plates – Drizzle a bit of EVOO over individual plates or a platter.

  3. Arrange the salmon slices – Drape slices over the oil in an appealing layout.

  4. Dress the fish – Spoon the lemon juice mixture over the salmon.

  5. Garnish – Top with sliced shallots, greens, herbs, chili flakes, etc.

  6. Season and serve – Finish with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of EVOO. Serve immediately while fresh.

For best results, keep sliced salmon chilled over ice until ready to serve. Prepare any garnishes just before serving as well.

How to Serve Salmon Crudo

Salmon crudo makes an elegant first course for a dinner party. The rich salmon provides satisfaction while still leaving room for the main dish.

For individual portions, compose crudo on small salad plates or wide rimmed bowls. For a group, arrange an artful platter of slices and garnishes.

Accompaniments like focaccia, crusty bread, or grissini are excellent for dipping in any leftover dressing. A salad of lightly dressed greens balances the rich fish.

Since crudo requires no cooking, serve the salmon while it’s still ice cold. Bring out your crudo masterpiece just before guests sit down to maximize its fresh flavor.

What to Drink with Salmon Crudo

Salmon crudo offers flexibility for wine and cocktail pairings. Here are some delicious options:

  • Sparkling wine – Fresh bubbles are always a crowd pleaser. Try Prosecco, Cava, or dry rosé sparkling wines.

  • White wine – Opt for light, bright whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Albariño, Pinot Grigio, or Soave.

  • Rosé – Dry rosés have enough body to match the salmon while echoing its hues.

  • Light reds – Surprisingly, a light chilled red like Pinot Noir can pair nicely without overpowering.

  • Citrus cocktails – Drinks with citrus like gin or vodka with tonic, greyhound, or gimlet offer crisp complements.

A dry, acidic white wine or sparkling rosé can’t be beat with crudo. But the possibilities are wide open for experimenting with fun pairings!

Similar Dishes: Carpaccio, Tartare, Sashimi

Salmon crudo shares traits with several other globally loved raw fish preparations:

  • Carpaccio – Thinly sliced raw beef or fish from Italy, often with Parmesan or truffle oil.

  • Beef tartare – Finely chopped or ground raw beef with capers, onion, and raw egg yolk.

  • Salmon tartare – Diced raw salmon with lemon, shallots, olive oil, and Dijon.

  • Sashimi – Thin slices of the freshest raw fish, served with soy sauce, wasabi, and ginger in Japan.

While the flavors change, all

what is salmon crudo

Step 2: Assemble the dish

In a measuring cup or mixing bowl, add the shallot, juices, and soy sauce. Whisk together.

what is salmon crudo

what is salmon crudo

To your serving plate, drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil on the base of the plate.

Then, lay the salmon on top of the oil in a visually pleasing arrangement.

Drizzle the other tablespoon (or more) of olive oil on top of the fish.

what is salmon crudo

what is salmon crudo

Gently pour in the dressing so that it is around (but not on top of) the salmon pieces.

Watch the video of this recipe

People have a lot of different ideas about whether the term “sushi-grade” means something or is just a marketing trick. That being said, we still need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to buy safe, high-quality raw salmon.

The terms “sushi-grade” and “sashimi-grade” are not regulated or set by the government. This means that there is not much that can stop someone from putting that label on fish that is not up to par.

Finding a reliable fish market or fishmonger in your area that sells the freshest and best fish is the best place to start. However, a trusted fish counter at a grocery store can still be safe.

When it comes to salmon, farmed salmon is safer to eat raw than wild caught or freshwater salmon because it has fewer parasites.

Additionally, you should find out if the fish had been previously frozen. Contrary to popular belief, you do want to buy previously frozen fish for raw consumption. Flask-frozen fish that have just been caught are cold enough to kill any parasites without breaking down the fish.

My final tip is to thoroughly inspect the fish before eating. Believe it or not, fish parasites are actually very easy to spot. They typically look like a small, thin worm.

As with any consumption of raw or undercooked food, there is always a risk.

How to Make Salmon Crudo


What is the difference between sushi and crudo?

Sushi is served with vinegar seasoned rice, thinly sliced fresh fish, and often accompanied by raw vegetables. Sashimi, on the other hand, is strictly the select fish sliced thin and typically dipped in soy sauce. Crudo, literally means “raw,” and encompases fish, shellfish, or beef.

Can you eat raw salmon?

Raw or undercooked salmon can be contaminated with bacteria, parasites, and other disease-causing agents. For this reason, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recommends cooking all seafood until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.

What is salmon crudo?

Salmon Crudo is raw salmon drizzled with a sauce or dressing. In this simple Salmon Crudo, the delicious slices of salmon are dressed with an extra virgin olive oil and lemon mixture and then finished with the robust flavors of onion and caper. What is the best salmon for crudo? As this is a raw dish, you need high-quality fish.

How long does it take to make salmon crudo?

Easy and elegant salmon crudo recipe that can be made in 15 minutes! It’s hard to believe how simple it is to make with how impressive it looks. Sushi grade salmon get’s thinly sliced and topped with a simple soy-citrus based dressing, Jalapeño, shallot, fresh lemon juice, sesame seeds and fresh herbs.

How do you eat salmon with crudo dressing?

Slice salmon off the skin, thinly across the grain. Continue slicing, laying each piece of salmon on your serving dish as you go. 6. Once the salmon is all sliced on the platter, drizzle with the crudo dressing, sprinkle with drained pickled shallots and season to taste with additional salt and black pepper if desired.

Is salmon Crudo a good appetizer?

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.

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