Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –
FINALLY. THE MACKEREL*HAS COME BACK* TO NEWTONVILLE! (ahem, with apologies to Dwayne Johnson)
It was a surprise being able to get my hands on mackerel tonight (7 Aug 2012). I’d been really wanting to do this dish. I wanted to do a cooked version of the classic mackerel nigiri/sashimd that’s been topped with ginger and scallion (sort of like how Matsuhisa-sama does cooked versions of his new style sashimi or the dry miso/yuzu/olive oil sashimi). The second surprise from the seafood staff at Whole Food, Newtonville was the story that they told me. They had been unable to get mackerel for several weeks this summer. Why? Because the local mackerel catch that Whole Foods had wanted had been snatched up by fishermen to be used as BAIT for their own catches. My reaction was – “cue the obligatory Ron Simmons quote“. The last big surprise was that I’d asked my fish monger at the Whole Foods, Newtonville to give me fillets. Instead, when I got home, I discovered the fish monger had butterflied the fish!
Oh well, so I decided I’d place broiled mackerel atop a saute of chiffonade of cabbage, shredded carrots with garlic. My wife volunteered to the the cabbage saute while I went about preparing the mackerel and the sauce. This time, I added more scallion greens to the sauce as well as doubling the amount of the sauce recipe. So while my wife went about preparing the saute, I preheated my countertop oven to 475 degrees. While that was going on the butterflied mackerel was seasoned with 4:1 salt/pepper and placed on a tray.
When the oven was good and hot, I loaded the tray onto the top shelf of the countertop oven and switched it to broil mode for about 8 minutes . When that was done, I pulled out the fish and it was clear it was cooked through and the skin was nicely crisped.
By this time, my wife had finished making the shredded carrot cabbage chiffonade saute with garlic. The vegetables got placed onto the serving dishes and topped with a butterflied mackerel and 3 tablespoons of sauce on the side. On looking at the dish, the sauce look a lot closer to the color that is in Morimoto’s cookbook. I imagine that the ‘scallion’ reference is probably more towards the ‘tokyo negi’ scallions. On tasting the dish, eating a bite of the mackerel with the scallion ginger sauce did indeed remind me of the saba nigiri with the fresh minced scallion and grated ginger on top. This was definitely a nice satisfying easy meal to do.