This past weekend I made my monthly run across the Hudson to Mitsuwa for Japanese groceries. Their selection is quite impressive and I’m always finding new stuff to buy. Going on an empty stomach would be a mistake for the wallet, but thankfully they have a decent food court which happens to have one of my favourite bowls of ramen in the area. But I digress…
Recent beef find aside, I usually make the trek out to Edgewater for their large selection of fresh sashimi grade seafood. Since you want to eat sashimi as fresh as possible it’s usually best to eat it the day you buy it. To make my haul last a bit longer I buy a couple types of fish specifically for curing in salt. This makes it last a few days or longer (depending on the amount of salt you use).
One of the the best fish for curing is Tai. This fish is loaded with umami and once cured can be eaten drizzled in olive oil, on a salad, or over a bowl of rice with hot green tea poured on top (ochazuke) which gently cooks the fish and turns the tea into a savory broth. If I’m eating it straight I’ll usually use less salt, but if I’m going to use it for ochazuke I’ll load it up with plenty of salt as it seasons the broth.
6 oz sashimi grade Tai
3 pieces of dashi konbu (kelp) rehydrated (about 5″ by 4″)
lots of good salt (I used smoked salt)
Using a very sharp knife (sashimi knife if you have one), slice the fish as thin as you can.
On a flat plate lay down a paper towel and put a piece of konbu on top. Sprinkle a thin even layer of salt on the konbu.
Lay half the sliced Tai on the salted konbu in a single layer and then cover with more salt. Layer on another slice of Konbu then repeat using the rest of the Tai. Cover with another layer of konbu and a paper towel.
Place a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy (I use a 1 qt Le Creuset filled with water). Then stick the entire assembly in the fridge overnight. Provided you used enough salt, it should keep for at least a week (although I usually eat it before then). You could probably make it last even longer if you submerged it in olive oil after it’s done curing.