A lot of people believe that Okinawa has no good fish. So did I.
But when I started fishing in the deep off shore here, I quickly learned that the fish that this ocean can offer is amazing! There’s cold, mineral-rich deepsea current flowing through the area and I catch some gorgeous fish. They are very expensive fish if purchased.
Now I decided to share it with fish lovers in a pop-up restaurant style with a help of cafe Miyabi Chaya in Okinawa-shi.
The restaurant will really pop up. I usually go fishing on Wednesday. Once or twice a month. I will make the announcement on facebook ‘Full of Okinawa’ on Thursday. The restaurant will open on Saturday.
Unfortunately this is the end of my fishing season. It will start again around September.
With this in mind, I asked my friends to taste my fish dinner for the first time.
Here are my catch for the tasting.
A 3kg amberjack. It was small but it looked like it’s got nice fats. The testicle was loaded. A good sign.
A longfinned bullseye. This is an OK fish.
A 9kg pale snapper.
I didn’t know what to do with this fish. It was my first time to eat this fish.
I pulled this fish out of 400-meter deep.
I tasted sashimi. It was watery and soft. The texture wasn’t really good. But I knew the taste was great, packed with Umami. I tried saute. To my surprise, it contracted so tightly to the heat. Very meaty. A little gummy even. Not really the best way to cook this fish.
I heard everyone praised the soup from the bones. That should be a sure thing. But this is a big fish. I need to come up with something…
3 days later on Saturday, my friends came to the tasting dinner.
Amberjack sashimi was gorgeous. Succulent and tasty. One of the best in the season.
Carpaccio with semi-dried pale fish.
This was a success with the pale snapper. I used Pichitto! to semi-dry the fillet after brining with salt and sake, aged 3 days in Pichitto, and marinated it with smoked soy sauce just before serving. I was very happy with how it came out. The wateriness is gone now. The texture was meaty and succulent, not chewy at all. Umami of the fish was top-notch.
Low-temp ajillo with amberjack.
This was my experiment with my sous vide technique. I bagged it with olive oil, garlic and smoked soy sauce in a ziplock, bathed it at 50C degrees for 30 minutes. The result was remarkable. Amberjack never tasted like this before. The texture was soft and silky. So juicy and packed with flavor. Amberjack dries out quickly when heated. That’s why we don’t have any amberjack cooking in Japanese cuisine while we have so many yellowtail cooking. 50C degree low-temp ajillo turned out to change the game completely.
The other dish I decided to make with pale snapper was breaded deep-fry. With my handmade tartar sauce with pickled Okinawa shallots. It was perfect. I’m very sure that this is the best recipe for meaty pale snapper.
I marinated it with soy sauce, sake, mirin and ginger, sous vide at 50C degrees for 30 minutes, pat in wheat, dunk in eggs, pat in breadcrumbs, and deep-fry quickly. It was tender, succulent, and sooo delicious!
Gratitudes to the ocean.