Cold-smoked salmon. It is cold enough now at night to cold-smoke fish on my Weber with no special equipment. This batch was made with Costco salmon, maple syrup-cure (also Costco), onigurumi (Japanese walnut, from Amazon) smoke. This was my best batch yet. Whilst I would never be able to slice at the counter of Russ & Daughters, I have done enough salmon now that I can slice the smoked fillet thin enough to be respectable:
12 year-old steeped plum wine – comes with a bit of a kick (40% abv shochu)! I think I must have forgotten about this jar since I am amazed it lasted this long without being drunk…
Few things can beat a good English-style cured ox tongue. This time I cooked it in a pressure cooker, so it was done in 50 minutes instead of 3 hours. If anything this was tastier; no loss of fat or delicious juices. This tongue lasted approximately 1 day after it was done before it was all eaten up: nothing leftover for a curry.
It’s gravlax time of course! This batch was highly praised by the memsahib, and the regulars at my local izakaya. Raw salmon was bought at Costco.
It is not that bad an addiction to have. I managed to take a photo using the memsahib’s digital SLR camera so it came out looking nicer than my usual pics. The great taste is the same, though, no matter what camera you use!
Now is the season for nama-sujiko (raw salmon roe) and my local supermarket was selling it, so I bought some. I am always amazed living here in Japan at the quality of fresh seafood you can obtain just from a regular neighbourhood store, without having to go to an expensive fancy fishmonger or department store. The salmon roe was no exception and I gloated over my purchase.
I turned them into ikura, one of my favourite sushi toppings and general delicious things. It is much more economical than buying it ready made, you can control the amount of salt that goes in (and leave out the artificial preservatives) and the ikura freezes well so you can store it too. I followed the recipe of the amazing Donachys who as well as being skilled cooks, anglers, sailors and travellers are skilled curers of salmon eggs into ikura.
The eggs go whitish-yellow when you wash them in warm water and you have to get rid of the membranes surrounding the eggs. Once they are clean and separated then the eggs can be salted down and they are basically ready to eat. The only thing I did different to the Donachys’ recipe is I swapped half of the salt for soy sauce, to make shoyu-zuke ikura. The ikura turned out quite delicious – of course. Thank you Barbra & Jack Donachy!
Sliced and ready to eat. It came out a lot richer than I expected! This sausage took about two months in the drying chamber before it was ready.