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Sesame Crusted Salmon (Rikyū-age Salmon)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
4 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 15 mins

Japanese-style Sesame Crusted Salmon is crunchy on the outside with sesame seeds that completely cover the salmon fillet. Shallow-fried salmon has a subtle flavour so that you can enjoy the delicate sesame flavour with it.

Since each piece of Rikyū-age is small, you can even serve it as a finger food. It is also a perfect dish to pack in a bento box.

Cook Time assumes frying the fish pieces at once.

Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.

Recipe Type: Appetiser, Main, Side
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: salmon recipes, sesame recipes
Serves: 2
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
  • 300-350g / 0.7-0.8lb salmon fillet (1 large fillet, note 1) no skin, tiny bones removed
  • tbsp roasted white sesame seeds (note 2)
  • tbsp roasted black sesame seeds (note 2)
  • 1 egg white
  • Oil to deep fry
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cooking sake
  • 1 tsp mirin
Serving (optional)
  • 2 blanched okra (note 3)
  • Lemon or lime wedges
  1. Slice the salmon fillet perpendicular to the backbone, and then into 4 thin pieces (about 1.5cm / ⅝” thick)¾. Cut each sliced piece in half to make 2 large bite-size pieces. (note 4)

  2. Place the salmon pieces in a zip lock bag without overlapping. Add the Marinade ingredients to the bag, remove as much air as possible and seal the bag. (note 5)

  3. Marinate the salmon in the fridge for minimum 2 hours, preferably ½ a day.

  4. Drain the marinade and pat-dry the salmon pieces with kitchen paper.

  5. Place the egg white in a small bowl. Place the white sesame seeds and black sesame seeds on a separate plate.

  6. Dunk a piece of salmon in the egg white, then coat the entire salmon piece with the white sesame seeds or black sesame seeds. Repeat and coat 4 pieces with white sesame seeds and 4 pieces with black sesame seeds. (note 6)

  7. Heat oil in a frying pan to 180°C / 356°F. The depth of the oil needs to be just enough to submerge the salmon pieces or a bit lower (note 7).

  8. Cook the salmon pieces for 1 minute, turn them over and cook another 1 minute. Do not over-crowd the oil. If your frying pan is small, cook in batches.
  9. Transfer the salmon pieces to a tray lined with kitchen paper.

  10. Place two each of the black and white sesame coated salmon pieces on each serving plate.

  11. Serve with okra and lemon wedges if using.
Recipe Notes

1. My salmon fillet was about 6cm / 2⅜” wide.

Instead of salmon, you can use other fish fillets. In Japan, shiny bluish-skinned fish such as mackerel, sardines and Spanish mackerel are often used.

2. You can make Rikyū-age with only white sesame seeds or black sesame seeds if you like. Or mix both and make black & white sesame coating (see the photo in the post).

3. Adding something green makes the dish more attractive.

4. If your salmon fillet is narrower than mine, you may want to slice it into three. You may even have two thin fillets and make two slices from each fillet. The thickness of the sliced fillet can be anywhere between 1-2cm / ⅜-¾”.

Depending on the size and the thickness of the fillet, your salmon pieces might be thicker/thinner and larger/smaller than mine.

5. Instead of a zip lock bag, you can marinate the salmon pieces in a small tray. Use a tray/container that can snuggly fit the salmon pieces without overlapping too much. This way every salmon piece will be covered in the marinade. You may want to turn the salmon pieces over half-way through the marinade process.

6. If you are making black and white mixed sesame coating, mix black and white sesame seeds in a plate and follow the instruction.

7. You can fry with less oil but it is easier if the depth of the oil covers at least ⅔ of the fillet.

8. Nutrition per serving. It is assumed that the weight of salmon is 300g / 0.7lb oil absorption rate of sesame coated salmon is 6%.

serving: 214g calories: 572kcal fat: 43g (66%) saturated fat: 7.1g (36%) trans fat: 0.1g polyunsaturated fat: 13g monounsaturated fat: 17g cholesterol: 83mg (28%) sodium: 410mg (17%) potassium: 730mg (21%) carbohydrates: 9g (3%) dietary fibre: 4g (16%) sugar: 1.2g protein: 38g vitamin a: 6% vitamin c: 9.8% calcium: 23% iron: 27%