Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –
Happy new year to all!
So, I was thinking about what to make for my folks during Christmas break. While browsing the Nobu New Year’s Eve menus for 2014, I came across an item at Nobu Dallas – hamachi with ginger salsa. Granted, the dish was no doubt hamachi sashimi with ginger salsa; but I remembered that my wife had cooked king crab with ginger salsa at Matsuhisa (3 Oct 2009). It was a nice surprise to learn of the new combination and I thought I’d give it a cooked variant a try.
The ginger salsa recipe can be found online at: http://www.acfchefs.org/ACFSource/Recipes/?id=968 . This salsa is basically 2/3 cup of finely minced red onion, 2 tablespoons of peeled, minced ginger and ~3 oz of tosa-zu (6T + 1t + 1/2t).
In order to make the finely minced ginger, I cleaned and peeled the ginger first (discarding the outer skin peelings). I then started peeling the ginger layer after layer (as if I
were preparing the ginger for New Style Sashimi), then stacking them, slicing them lengthwise and the cross cutting the stacked slices as small as possible. Voila: finely minced ginger.
The tosa-zu is simply a mix of 5 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1/2 c (4 oz) of rice vinegar that is heated until just steaming. At that
point, 1/3 of a cup of katsuobushi is added (I used a 5g packet) and left to cool to room temperature. When cooled, the entire
mixture is strained and the solids discarded.
One of the things I’ve discovered over the years is that one can tame the sharpness of the onion by soaking it in something acidic. So I began assembling the salsa by mixing the tosa-zu into the finely minced red onion and then added the minced ginger. I set the
salsa aside while I went to prepare the sauteed hamachi.
For the hamachi (about 5 oz/portion), I seasoned it with 4:1 salt/pepper mix. The hamachi was seared all over and then cooked 3 minutes a side using rice oil at 50% max power. My wife volunteered to help out by sautee’ing some cabbage with garlic as a side for the hamachi and ginger salsa. Once everything was done, the cabbage sautee went onto the plate with the hamachi next to it. On top of the hamachi, I spooned ginger salsa over the hamachi.
The hamachi was just cooked through with a nice moist warm interior. Everyone enjoyed the wonderful slightly sharp counterpoint of the salsa with each bite of the seasoned cooked hamachi. Although it’d been about 5 years since my wife had the crab/ginger salsa, she commented that the flavors seemed about right. The raw red onions in the salsa didn’t seem to bother my folks at all. It’s nice to have another dinner option and I’m looking forward to trying this with hamachi belly in the future!