Sometimes another language’s name for a dish makes it sound especially exotic and exciting. Take crudités for example. Much more appealing than “raw vegetables,” right? Shioyaki, too, sounds exotic and special, and the dish certainly tastes extraordinary—crisp-skinned and flavor-packed. What could be the secret? Well, it’s basically fish, seasoned with salt, and broiled. That’s it!
The magic is in the details. Buy the best salmon you can lay your hands on (wild salmon delivers great flavor and texture) and ask your fishmonger (or beg, if you have to) for center-cut fillets with a strip of fatty belly attached. Then salt the fish an hour before you plan to cook, so the salt has a chance to penetrate the fish, not just season the exterior. Leftovers make a great filling for Onigiri (rice balls), if you can leave fish this good uneaten.
Sprinkle the salt all over the fish. Let the fish sit uncovered in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Rinse off the salt and pat the fish dry.
Preheat the broiler and position the oven rack about 4 inches from the heat source. Drizzle a little vegetable oil on a baking sheet and rub to coat it with a very thin layer.
Arrange the fillets skin side down on the baking sheet, leaving some space between each one.
Broil, rotating the sheet once, until the fish is lightly browned and just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve immediately.