fillet – in general, the fattier the fish, the better the taste. There can
be a great variation in the flavour of salmon from different waters,
with wild salmon often being tastier than that raised in fish farms.
Pieces of salmon for nigiri-zushi can most easily be cut from a whole,
trimmed fillet, but salmon steaks can also be used. Be sure to ask
for those that have been cut farthest from the tail.
Avoid slicing the salmon lengthwise along the muscle fibres (myotomes).
Instead cut the fillet at an angle so that it results in a crosscut with a fine,
wavy pattern formed by the white connective tissue.
Trim away the dark muscles which lie near the skin, especially along
the side. These trimmings can easily be used in a soup.
Salmon for nigiri-zushi is normally cut in thicker slices than other types of tane
because it has a very soft consistency.
Some sushi bars use smoked salmon for nigiri-zushi. In this case
the slices must be thinner than the ones for fresh salmon. Although
I am personally very fond of smoked products, I do not think they
go with sushi. The smoky taste detracts from the flavour nuances of
the rice. If one absolutely must incorporate smoked fish into sushi,
it should be eaten last.