The basics: Simply fish cooking techniques- Sashimi
Preparation time: 5 mins
Ingredients: Fresh fish you caught yourself, otherwise sashimi grade fish from a trusted fishmonger
Ok, this may seem really silly. A post on how to “cook” sashimi. Surely you just cut up a fillet of raw fish right? Kind of. There is a little bit more to it but not much more.
Kinds of fish you can sashimi?
The short answer is LOTS. While most Aussie fishermen stick to the classics, tuna and kingfish, you may be pleasantly surprised if you decide to push the envelope a little bit (for a bogan Aussie that is) and give a few other species a go. There is a reason that Kingfish and tuna are favourites, they make gorgeous sashimi, but many other species are also worth a go. For starters, mullet (yes even mullet), jewfish, snapper, bonito, flathead whiting, slimy mackerel, flounder, trevally and morwong are all worth a try. Trust me you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
The key for sashimi-ing any of these fish is how you kill and care for your catch. Always bleed fish that you plan sashimi (I’ll be covering how to kill and care for your catch and how to fillet your catch in two posts that are on the way soon). After your fish is killed, its important that its kept clean, cold and cared for in the best manner. For kingfish and tuna, I like to clean the fish and remove the gills before icing them. Its a bit more effort but I think its worth the effort. Its especially important with Tuna which are “warm” blooded, so you can effectively cool the fish down quickly by putting ice in the gut cavity. Once the fish is ready to be iced, I like to keep my fish in an ice slurry, made up of ice and salt water, given that you shouldn’t sashimi freshwater fish, this is the best way to go IMO… An ice slurry will cool the fish down quickly and keep it in top notch condition when you get back to the cleaning station. Thats it really, your ready to go.
Sashimi-ing your catch
Clean and fillet your fish (I’ll cover this in more detail in later posts). You are now almost ready to go. Personally, I think sashimi is usually best if you leave the fish in the fridge overnight to let the flesh relax. As long as you have been clean and thorough looking after and cleaning your fish, this wont cause any problems in terms of danger and IMO results in an improved product (softer and with a slightly better texture). Now the only thing left to do is cut your fish across the grain into slices. Now, the slices DO NOT NEED to be paper thin. They will be best quite “thick”, rounghly 3-5mm. This is best done with a sharp knife of course (again, I’ll be covering knife care in the future).
Serve with soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger. And trust me, be a bit adventurous and think outside the box a bit, there are lots of species that make great sashimi in Australia that us Aussie fishermen totally ignore. Take a risk, you may enjoy it 🙂
Note: We have only been blogging for a short while. Taking photos of everything you do wasn’t a priority before we started, so for some posts like this one, I don’t have photos I really should have. I’ll add some soon, promise 🙂 for now, photos from flikr creative commons will have to do…