Something of a dismal-Jemmy day at sea today, overcast and windy but with a spring tide the fish were in the mood. I had one very good fish on which put up a terrible fight; unfortunately with just a few fathoms left to reel in before bringing the fish to the surface, the hirame bit clean through my leader; the ones that get away are always the biggest, eh. However, I did snag a young yellowtail early in the morning to make sure my cool-box wasn’t just filled with ice alone.
I landed two good-sized inada (young yellowtail) yesterday, both half-metre-class, and would have caught another, far bigger, but the decky was a little slow in stays and the beast threw the barbless hook at the surface as I bawled for the net. I can hardly complain as I already had two good fish in the bag. Both were killed on landing and a line passed through the spinal cord – how the Tsukiji market workers do it, and one reason why sushi chefs’ fish taste so good – and the fish immediately wrapped in plastic and plunged in ice-water. At home, one of the fish was cut into nice fillets and cooked very simply: dusted with flour and quickly shallow-fried in olive oil so it is still soft and juicy within and nice and crispy-browned without. Alongside buttered fettucine, I made a simple sauce of parsley, tarragon and button mushrooms, made in sake and cream reduced with the oil and scrapings in the same frying pan to complete the meal.
One of the tachiuo (cutlassfish) I caught was immediately commandeered by the memsahib, to be eaten privately, so I made do with making the Japanese dish kobu-jime: sashimi fillets lightly cured and pressed between leaves of konbu kelp. It is one of my favourite ways of dealing with fresh white fish, and improved by serving not only with wasabi but my home-made umeboshi, chopped fine. It also means the fish will keep longer (cutlassfish goes off remarkably quickly, quicker than mackerel) being salted and wrapped up in the kelp.
on Tokyo Bay…
But I was lucky enough to land a brace of cutlassfish:
And ditto inada (young yellowtail):
Thank you very much to Mr. T. and to the fishing boat Sawaura, sailing from Fukagawa, east Tokyo!
New species added to the list, and to the pot!
The second dish is uo-suki, or sukiyaki made with fish. I still have one back fillet and one belly ditto, as well as the kama (operculum) in my fridge. These will be despatched over the long weekend.
No luck with the hirame today, but I had the good fortune to snag a 3kg kanpachi.