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.