Thursday, September 15, 2005

One Block of Fish -- Two Delicious Meals

With places like Sasabune and Yabu in the Sawtelle area, one doesn’t have to travel far for melt-in-your-mouth sushi. But you’ll find yourself driving to the ATM quite frequently. It’s a fact, good sushi isn’t cheap and neither are those aforementioned places. So do what I do when you’re checking account is in double digits. Go buy your own block of fish!

After checking out all the Japanese markets on Sawtelle and Mitsuwa on Centinela, I found my tuna block. I think I spent about $12. I thought about going to Ralph’s, but I had been warned by my friends to go to a Japanese market instead. It is said that the fish meat is injected with food coloring to feign freshness. Terrible.

Here’s my seared tuna salad. Cut the block in half and dipped it in sesame seeds with a little salt. Sear both sides for about 2 minutes on medium heat until an 1/8 of an inch is browned. Slice up some green onions (curly style) and make your own marinade. You can use Angelo Pietro’s fantastic dressing or just conjure up a soy sauce/vinegar/sugar/sesame oil dressing in a matter of seconds.

The remaining half of the block requires no cooking. Just sashimi it with a few radish sprouts. Instead of using plain sauce, I like to microplane garlic and ginger and mix it in with the soy sauce. I had it this way in Hong Kong and haven't eaten sushi any other way.

For a side dish I like to eat cold tofu with soy sauce, furikake, bonito flakes and sesame oil. And also a cold wakame (seaweed) salad which consists of salt, sugar, vinegar, white pepper and sesame seeds. Enjoy.


BoLA said...

And you didn't call Mac and me to come over?! :O --> Me in shock, me in denial! LOL!

Yum! Maguro is one of my all-time faves. Maybe you should come over with Mac to my next family's a FOOD HEAVEN! haha! Especially for fresh sashimi.

By the way, I am SO looking forward to Sunday's B-B-Que! Bring it b/c you know I will! ;)

KirkK said...

There are markets who treat the maguro with Carbon Monoxide to extend the life of the product after a while you can tell when the tuna has been treated. Though it is outlawed in Japan - it is perfectly legal here in the US, and doesn't even have to be labeled as smoked - because the carbon monoxide treatment leaves no smoke flavor.

eatdrinknbmerry said...

Thanks Kirkk. So do you think Ralph's is doing the same thing? Or are they doing something entirely different.

KirkK said...

Dylan - When I moved to LA from Honolulu I was really shocked at the poor quality of fish at those supermarket chains - I had one really bad experience at Vons, where I was sold a half spoiled, smelly, piece of salmon, took it back and got into an argument with the fish/meat dept Manager who tried to convince me it was perfectly good - I ended up asking him for a microwave - I told him since I already paid for it, and if it's so damn good, let's heat up a piece in the microwave and I want you to eat it! Well you get the drift! Let me ask you, since you need really good grade fish for these types of dishes - would you eat sashimi from Ralph's? I used to (and still do drive all the way from San Diego)get my Maguro from either Marukai, Mitsuwa, Nijiya, or Santa Monica seafood. If you hit Marukai at the right time(not busy) and order a good quantity - say 1 1/2lb the fish cutter will actually go ahead a bring the whole fish out and cut it for you there! I know it's a bit more expensive, IMHO worth it! I enjoy reading about what you're eating!
Take Care,

eatdrinknbmerry said...

Thanks Kirk. You're right about Ralph's. I bought it there once b/c i actually didn't like the 'color' of the fish sold at all the japanese places. Obviously i was fooled by Ralph's tainting process.

Did the guy eat the fish??? haha. funny stuff.

Do you usually get the prepackaged fish or ask the butcher to cut a piece off the whole fish? Besides Nijija and Mitsuwa, i found two mom&pop shops that sold fish in a display case.

Thanks for reading my blog Kirk.

KirkK said...

Hey Dylan - No I got my money back - even he knew how crappy that piece of fish was. I'll buy prepackaged stuff from Marukai - but will use the timing strategy if possible - that is, if the fish dept is not busy, there's no portion of fish that fits what I need, and the guy looks like he'll do it, i'll get a fresh cut. At Nijiya and Mitsuwa, I do the "poke" test - poke the fish to see how resilient the flesh is; it should rebound pretty quickly, and the liquid test - I turn the package to make sure liquid has not been leeching out of the filet, a sure sign the fish has been around too long. And I'm still not ensured of a great cut. If you have a Mom & Pop, get to know the fish Guy, once you develop a relationship, he'll most likely give you the "scoop".

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