JAPANESE HOME COOKING: Assorted sashimi
Assorted sashimi (Photo by Katsumi Oyama)
Presentation is a key component in the art of Japanese cuisine. Let's try putting together a simple sashimi plate.
"It works with blocks of fish and a kitchen knife," says Japanese cooking expert Tatsuo Saito.
Sashimi tastes best freshly cut. Make sure your knife is sharp. Each ingredient is cut to suit its texture. The soft, "chutoro," medium fatty tuna, is sliced straight, while the firmer sea bream is sliced at an angle to cut the fiber. Octopus slices have a wavy pattern that holds the soy sauce well. Garnish serves to refresh the taste palate.
60 grams "chutoro" tuna
60 grams sea bream ("tai")
60 grams octopus
Garnish (Any of salad onion, cucumber, carrot, nagaimo yam, daikon radish, shiso leaves and others)
Soy sauce, ponzu citrus sauce
Thinly slice the onion lengthwise, immerse in water and then squeeze out the water. Cut nagaimo into sticks. When using cucumbers and carrots, cut into strips. Daikon should be cut radially, then into small pieces.
Tuna is sliced straight, from the right side of block. Using the weight of the kitchen knife, slice using the root to the tip of the blade. Pull the knife toward you after each cut and push slice to the right.
Place the sea brim block with the thick side away from you. Starting from the left, place the knife at an angle and pull it toward you. Straighten the blade and cut into slices. Fold each slice in half.
Slice the octopus at an angle in jagged movements to create a wavy pattern. Make a few incisions for easy chewing.
Grate the wasabi and ginger. Pour ponzu for octopus and soy sauce separately in small plates. To prepare a dish for one person, place a clump of onion toward the back of small bowl, place a shiso leaf on the front, arrange three slices of tuna, slightly downward-sloping toward the right. Set up two sea bream on the left front, place the octopus toward the right. Place nagaimo and wasabi in front. The dish should give tight 3-D impression. When serving on a flat dish, place the ingredients in a triangular shape. Place garnish in between.
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From the vernacular Asahi Shimbun's Okazu Renshucho column