Tag Archives: Hirame/halibut

Back from Nakaminato

and the Yutaka-maru!


Still eating hirame

Despite the orgiastic feasting on hirame, there was plenty of fish left over for later use.  First up was engawa, the wings of the fillets, which I made into sushi.

One way to enjoy filletted fish without cooking it is in kobu-jime, where the fish is salted lightly and then pressed between two fronds of kobu kelp.  It comes out cured and very well flavoured and perfumed by the kelp, and you can control the strength of the flavour by how long you keep the fish wrapped in kobu; usually I go for 24 hours for a middling taste.  This I always eat with the chopped up flesh of umeboshi plums.

Filletting fish for sushi or sashimi invariably leaves you with the skin leftover.  Most restaurants and sushi chefs will toss this away (there are some notable exceptions to this) but with bigger fish like hirame or tai the skin is actually pretty tasty grilled, fried or poached.  I like mine deep-fried and send it down with a couple of cold beers.

The last remnants of the hirame were consumed in that highly traditional Japanese dish fish pie.

There are plenty of recipes and versions of this online, but mine is pretty simple: a layer of raw spinach leaves, layer of raw white fish sprinkled with a touch of salt, white pepper and some grated nutmeg, then a layer of chopped up hard-boiled eggs, a sprinkle of chopped parsley, then cover the lot in Bechemel sauce.  The whole is topped off with freshly made mashed potatoes (mine contains wasabi!) and a little Cheddar cheese sprinkled over the top.

Cook in the oven at 180°C till bubbling and nicely browned on top.  Serve with Worcester sauce and/or chilli sauce.

Ibaraki Hirame Fishing

on the Yutaka-maru, fun as always!  Click through to read the full story.

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The other hirame

First time for me angling when one fish takes two anglers’ baits and gets hooked on both anglers’ tackle!   If you look carefully in the photo, one hook is set deep but you can see another leader going into the left-hand corner of the fish’s mouth (this was my hook).  Fortunately, both myself and the other angler were able to agree that by the end of the day’s fishing, the person who caught less than the other would keep this fish.  Even more fortunately, for both of us, the other chap caught a massive hirame, the biggest boated that day, as well as a nice green-ling so I got to keep this one, no tiddler itself at 65cm.  Given its unusual landing I did not exult too much over this fish but the captain took a photo for me on the way home.  Thank you very much Mr. I. for your kindness!

Back from Nakaminato

Snagged a pair of hirame today sailing on the Yutaka-maru, Ibaraki prefecture.

Many thanks to Captain Yutaka as always!

First Fishing Trip of 2014

On Sagami Bay, under a winter sun with hardly a breath of wind.  The weather was if anything, too good, and the day passed quite undisturbed by fish.  Luckily I had taken the precaution of packing a number of Yebisu beers, and snacks, in my ice chest and the day was passed most pleasantly in full view of Mt. Fuji and very little to do beyond occasionally making a pretense of checking one’s tackle, and fetching another beer from the cooler.

Fishing on Sagami Bay in the winter usually means calm water and spectacular views of Mt. Fuji.  In my advancing years, it is hard to imagine that in my youth I actually climbed it to the very top.  As the Japanese saying goes, “every person should climb Mt. Fuji once in their lifetime; he who does it twice, is an idiot.”  Anyway, back on shore we were greeted by a bowl of hot udon, some fried things and a great number of boiled eggs, laid on by the boat as part of the day’s fee, and by the captain’s cat who waylaid us as we were finishing up our meal.  Amongst twelve anglers that day the cat soon had me down as the soft touch, a mark, a flat, and I was obliged to amuse her whilst my fishing buddies were preparing to go home.  I managed to escape eventually, under a cloud of feline disapprobation.

Dark and Stormy Day

on Sagami Bay, but it was nice to get out on the water after a hiatus in my sea-fishing.  I also caught two new species of fish to add to my list!

Many thanks as always to Noboru-maru, sailing from Urushiyama Nagai in Kanagawa Prefecture.