Black bass sashimi
This dish was inspired by a meal I had at Uni, the tiny sashimi bar in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, while Chef Chris Chung still worked there. I’m a huge fan of Chef Chung, and often try to re-create his dishes at home. The plate he served was Kinmedai, with black sesame vinaigrette. Kinmedai, named for it’s large ‘golden eyes’ is a type of sea bream native to the waters of Japan. It’s simply delicious, but not something you find in your typical fish market.
The day I tried this recipe I used black bass. You could substitute any number of white to pink fleshed fish as long as it’s extremely fresh. The sesame vinaigrette takes some patience. I made it in a mini food processor, but even still it takes a lot of sesame seeds to give the mill something to ‘bite’ into. For the garnish, the restaurant used a variety of pickled plums, radish and chili. I thought something sweet would be fun, so I pickled strawberries and rhubarb.
1 fillet very fresh fish, such as bass, snapper or flounder
½ cup black sesame seeds
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon mirin
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 strawberries cut into small dice
½ stalk rhubarb, cut into small dice
Salt and pepper
Small greens for garnish
1. Make the sesame vinaigrette in a small food processor by combining sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon mirin and sesame oil. Puree until the seeds break down and you have a dark oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, strain and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup mirin with the ¼ cup rice vinegar. Add the strawberries and rhubarb and pickle 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
3. Slice the fish very thin on a bias.
4. To finish, spoon some vinaigrette onto a plate, mound thin slices of fish on top of the vinaigrette, garnish with the fruit and greens, and serve.