Monday, September 22, 2008

TLA #5 After a Typhoon...

Gold-lined Sea Bream Carpaccio, Japanese-style

Some anglers say that you can expect a better catch after a typhoon passed. The reason is that when the ocean is rough during the storm, some offshore fish evacuate into ports/bays, and they may stay there for a couple of days. Also, because the rough waves stir up plankton and stimulate the fish's appetite, they will be more active and more likely to eat the bait.

On the other hand, there are others who say that you can't expect a good catch after a typhoon. They say that increased river water (from heavy rainfalls) makes the coastal seawater dirty and less salty, which, as a result, makes most fish less active. Only certain types of sea breams are said to be active under such a condition.

Now, what I've learned in the past years is that when there are two contradicting theories, both are likely to be partially right and partially wrong, or applicable to certain situations but not all. And there's only one way to find out which theory works in my particular case. Hence, another fishing trip two days after the typhoon Sinlaku. :D

And as you can see in this photo, I caught a couple of sea breams! Not bad. Actually I caught four other fish which I didn't want to keep, so overall, it was much better than some other fishing trips in August.

I salted and grilled the smaller pink sea bream. The bigger one (called "gold lined sea bream" in English, if I'm not mistaken) is not a very popular fish here. Many people say that this sea bream tastes rather bland. So instead of making typical sashimi, I made "Japanese-style carpaccio" with it.

What was "Japanese " about my carpaccio was a couple of Japanese ingredients added to the sauce in addition to the typical ingredients such as olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice. The secret ingredients were soy sauce and yuzu kosho. The sliced fish was placed on mizuna leaves and topped with sliced onion, minced shiso (green perilla) and garlic chips. Then the sauce was poured all over.

The carpaccio was amazingly good!!! I fell in love with the Japanese-style carpaccio sauce. Oh, but don't ask for the recipe... please. I stole the idea from several Japanese cooking websites, but I was too lazy to measure each ingredient (as usual) when I made the sauce. If you're interested in this sauce, the best I can do for you is listing all the ingredients -- which I already did in the above paragraph -- and asking you to experiment yourself. Sorry! :P

Ara-daki (head and bones simmered with burdock)

And the head and bones of the sea bream turned into this tai no aradaki on the next day.

How nice. I truly enjoyed the pull when I caught these fish (esp. the bigger one), and managed to make three dishes with them. How about that?

For some reason, economical lifestyle always seems so attractive to me. ;)



ghanima said...

Hi Obachan! Great post. I also enjoy the "challenge" of getting as many meals as possible out of quality ingredients. I guess that's why I make so many casseroles and stews!

Anonymous said...

Japanese style carpaccio! I really like the idea of taking something traditional and changing it with whatever you have at hand. I would definitely get yelled at by "traditionalists", but you should cook with your own style, right? I like your style, Obachan :)

Unknown said...

Obachan, these dishes are amazing! I love the idea of the carpaccio dish with the thin chips of garlic. Sounds wonderful!

Pinkity said...

I feel like fishing after reading this post!! :)

Thanks Obachan!

Anonymous said...

Hi Obachan, i was searching for myoga tempura recipe when I stumbled onto your blog. Wow, you really impressed me with your cooking and gardening. If I'm a guy, I'll probably ask you to marry me lol.
Anyway thanks for the myoga recipes, I'm making the pickled myoga right now, hopefully it'll turn out ok.

Anonymous said...


obachan said...

Hi! Thanks. Yeah, it is a challenge, in a sense, but for me probably it is more like a necessity. Hahaha...

Thanks for your support. But I love both ultra-traditional dishes and fusion dishes, and just grateful that I'm living in the world where both of them co-exsist. :D

It was good, but I have to admit that it was overpowering-- it almost totally hid the taste of the fish itself. And it was then that I realized how great the combination of soy sauce and wasabi mustard is. Both have strong taste, but they bring out the delicate taste of sliced raw fish. I really admire and thank our ancestors for discovering this combination.

Anonymous commenter
Thanks for your comment! How did your myoga pickles turn out? I hope you liked it.
BTW, do you like cleaning the house? If you do, PLEASE consider marrying me.