This was a starter dish one evening. Although the belly portion of salmon, “harasu” ハラス* is very fatty and probably the best part of the salmon, if you cook it with the rest of fillet, because it is very thin, it gets over cooked by the time the rest of the fillet is done. So, I often remove the belly portion of salmon fillets and make other small dishes. Sometimes, you could get only salmon belly in a package very inexpensively in the U.S. (sold as a scrap I am sure) but I have not seen it for sometime. (*I think, in Hokkaido, this portion is called “harashi” ハラシ, probably derived from “harashita” 腹下 meaning “the bottom of the belly”. At least, that is what I remember.)
If I was cooking outside with a charcoal fire, I would simply grill it with some salt, which is the most simple and wonderful way to eat this. This time, I marinated the salmon belly in Yuuan-ji 祐庵地 (sake:mirin:soy sauce=1:1:2) for about one hour. I skewered and broiled it in a toaster oven for 3-4 minutes each side. I could have made the skin a bit crisper but this is such a nice dish to start with a drink of cold sake. For sure, it is better for you than eating “pork” belly, which is another wonderful belly you can savor. I served this with my usual cucumber with moromi miso もろみ味噌 and Campari tomato with mayonnaise.