Who remembers the ‘Friends’ episode when Ross boasts to Rachel of his skill in the Japanese martial arts awareness technique of ‘Unagi’? Of course, Ross got it wrong, for Unagi is actually the Japanese word for the freshwater eel that is frequently barbecued, and often included as a sushi offering.
Saltwater eel is also found in Japanese cuisine, where it is known as ‘Anago’, but it is less common (at least in the west), and not generally cooked in the sweetish Kabayaki sauce (very like Teriyaki Sauce) common with Unagi … Eel, by the way, does not generally appear as a (raw) sashimi and in sushi, and other preparations, is invariably cooked, generally by slow-simmering, occasionally followed by grilling.
Anyway, above you see Unagi as part of a Nigiri Suhsi offering I had at Hokkaido Sushi in Ottawa. It certainly isn’t the prettiest presentation I have ever been served but it was genuinely tasty. The fish was just a tiny bit drier than it should be but the sauce was delicately used and the full, very umami taste of the fish shone through perfectly. Many people tend to shy away from eel, despite being perfectly comfortable with other fish, but this worth trying…
Rillettes, for those unfamiliar, is a dish in which the main ingredient is cooked and potted with fat. Originally, this was a means of preserving meat and salting often preceeded the cooking process. Pork is the most common foodstuff thus preserved, indeed, the name derives from ‘rille’ which is an old French term for a slice of pork, but the method, or some variation thereof, has been adapted to all sorts of other things, including fish.
A while ago, Hans Susser, one of my blogging friends, posted a recipe for Salmon Rilettes that inspired me to give today’s recipe a try. Hans uses butter as the fat of choice and he actually cooks the salmon in the butter before potting. Now, this is a very interesting method that I plan to try myself, but, for this post, I am going with the slightly more traditional method of poaching the salmon with white wine and other seasonings and then ‘potting’ with butter later on… Continue reading “Salmon Rillettes”
Today, I tried Basa, a fish I have never had before. To give it a taste test, I cooked it in one of my favurite ways to prepare fish fillets; to wit, by simply pan-frying and finishing with a light sauce of butter and lemon juice. Parsley or scallion can be added but, today, I am using some capers for a little sparkle of added piquancy. It is a very simple method and suitable for even very delicate fish such as the Basa… Continue reading “Basa Fillet in Lemon-Caper Butter”
I have, of late, been trying to include a bit more fish in my diet, even though fresh fish is not easily available in these parts much of the time. Today, however, I came across some nice cod fillets in my local store. Normally, with cod, I like the basic battered ‘English Style’ fish and chips, but starchy carbs are something I am trying to avoid and so I opted for a much simpler and lighter Chinese style dish… Continue reading “Sweet and Sour Fish”
It’s been ages since I last steamed a fish (years in fact). Today, I am steaming a whole Tilapia using a very popular Chinese method. It is quite simple but (and trust me on this one), you really want to try this recipe yourselves… Continue reading “Steamed Whole Tilapia”
Until recently, my only experience with Tilapia was as small, otherwise unidentifiable, fillets or chinks served to me in restaurants; I had never seen, much less cooked, the whole article and, when I saw some in my local store freezer I couldn’t resist.
I actually purchased the one you see above about a year ago. I originally planned to steam it, as I recall but, as sometimes happens, it was put into the freezer and then forgotten. Luckily, when it came to light during a periodic culinary ‘spring cleaning’, it seemed to have survived quite well without any signs of ‘freezer-burn’ or other decrepitude. Still, it needed to be used fairly soon and, as I was alone for the week, and had lovely weather, I decided to see how it might do on the barbecue grill… Continue reading “Grilled Tilapia”
I have quite a number of Chinese cookery books printed in China that contain recipes for a small plate preparation consisting of peanuts fried with a type of tiny white fish. I actually have all the necessary ingredients to prepare this for you sometime but, just recently, I was fortunate to come across a commercially packaged snack that I just had to try… Continue reading “Notable Nosh: Silverfish Peanuts”
When I grill or fry Salmon or Arctic Char, I usually leave the skin on and cook it so it gets nice and crispy. A few times, I have even cooked the skin separately from the rest of the fish as it makes a lovely snack but, until I found this package at Kowloon Market in Ottawa I had no idea that a commercially packaged variety was available … Continue reading “Foodstuff: Crisp Fish Skin – Un Chi Brand™”
Rollmops, for the uninitiated, are a delicacy composed of herring fillets that are rolled, usually around a gherkin or other filling, and pickled in slightly sweetened vinegar along with onions and various whole spices such as black pepper and mustard seed. They are very rich (just a few pieces are usually sufficient for a little snack) and my wife and I both love them… Continue reading “Notable Nosh: Rollmops”
Katsuobushi is a preparation of fish, specifically Skipjack Tuna, but also Bonito, that is dried, smoked and then fermented using a mold similar to that used for making soy products like soy sauce and miso. As it is a primary ingredient in the ubiquitous Japanese stock known as Dashi, it is thus one of the cornerstones of Japanese cuisine… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Katsuobushi”