Sophisticated Savories

Sophisticated Savories

Saturday, January 4, 2014



"pounded" or "hit into pieces"

Takati is a Japanese cuisine preparation of fish or meat. The protein is briefly seared on a hot sauté pan, then marinate in vinegar and citrus (often a squeeze of lemon juice will be more than sufficient). Pounded ginger is ground into a paste (hence the name) in order to season the protein, then it is sliced into thin, delicate pieces. 

When finding "sushi/sashimi-grade" quality fish:

"The only concern any inspectors have is referred to as the parasite destruction guarantee, which is accomplished by 'freezing and storing seafood at -4°F (-20°C) or below for 7 days (total time), or freezing at -31°F (-35°C) or below until solid and storing at -31°F (-35°C) or below for 15 hours, or freezing at -31°F (-35°C) or below until solid and storing at -4°F (-20°C) or below for 24 hours' which is sufficient to kill parasites." { }

Purchasing sushi/sashimi quality-grade fish at your local Japanese market is one of your best options when finding a quality product. If no local markets are available, ordering online is another option.

While working in a brilliant restaurant in Arizona, we served a sashimi appetizer as a special. In order to make your culinary experience easier, keep your sushi/sashimi fish frozen. To slice thin, use a deli-meat slicer. Now, most home-cooks do not have an enormous deli meat slicer; ergo, allow the fish to thaw slightly. After a few minutes, use a serrated (bread) knife in order to slice slim, delicate pieces. Place the remaining fish back into the freezer immediately (in order to keep frozen). Because the pieces that were sliced are thin, they will thaw completely within minutes. One of my favorite fish is albacore tuna: brilliant, white flesh and meaty, tender texture.

Albacore tuna sashimi with blood-orange ponzu marinade:

1 large blood orange - yielding 1/4 cup of juice
1 tsp fresh orange zest
1 tbsp ponzu sauce
1 tsp ginger - peel, then grate fine
Sushi/sashimi-grade albacore tuna - sliced thin
1 Scallion - sliced thin - sliced thin on a bias
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro - slice thin
1/2 beet - julienne-cut (small "matchstick" size), as well as brunoise-cut (tiny "cubes")

Wash the skin of the blood orange, then dry with a paper towel. Using a microplane or box-grater, carefully grate in order to produce 1 tsp of zest. In a large bowl, combine the blood orange juice, zest, ponzu sauce, grated ginger, scallion, cilantro and cut beets.

Slice the albacore tuna into delicate, thin pieces, then add to the blood-orange ponzu marinade. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (the citrus in the marinade essentially "cooks" the tuna - similar to a ceviche.

When plating, slightly overlap the tuna slices on a white plate. Carefully spoon the sauce atop the tuna, then top with the herbs and beets. For a holiday treat, add a touch of edible golf-leaf. This final touch will inspire a few "oohs and ahhs" when served.

"It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen." - John Wooden


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