Sorry for the erratic posting lately. Anyway, here are the fruits of my last aji fishing trip. November isn’t really the best time to eat aji (for the gourmand, the best eating season is late spring/early summer) but if you are lucky like I was this trip, you usually catch some mackerel as by-catch. At this time of year mackerel is considered so good there is a Japanese proverb: aki saba yome-ni kuwasu-na, lit. don’t feed your wife autumn mackerel. Considering there is also a proverb “don’t feed your wife autumn aubergines”, I don’t think either should be taken too seriously…but anyway, on to the eating!
Sashimi! (with a side order of walnutwood-smoke salmon)
Shoyu/mirin deep-fried mackerel chunks (sorry for the blurriness, but by this time it had been a long day)!
The “secret” tartar sauce was made and wheeled out to great acclaim…
…and dolloped on the breadcrumbed aji in generous amounts.
Leftover aji fillets were salted down:
…flavoured with mirin and toasted sesame seeds and left out on the balcony to dry overnight. Winter here is so dry the fish is ready in about eight hours, just in time for breakfast!
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:
As fun as it has been, no more cephalod-fishing for me this year, I think. Instead I went aji fishing!
Last of the octopus meat was despatched in a highly traditional Japanese curry.
For some reason this year my winter has been somewhat cephalopodic, something that will be rectified next week with some more orthodox fishing.
Did a Tri-tip on the Weber, with lots of sakura smoke; it came out okay. This is the thin end.
Vinegared octopus salad (with prawns, wakame and cucumber):
Pressure cooker-cooked octopus pieces, super-tender in 10 minutes:
Octopus, tomato & black olive spaghetti:
There were no Morris dancers, eunuchs or bearded Ladies unfortunately but plenty to eat…
Among the cornucopia of octopus, the standouts tonight were homemade takoyaki:
…and takomeshi (octopus rice):
As Paul Harrell might say, they were not bad at all.