Cured Hamachi

I love raw fish with a passion, but it wasn’t always so. My dad was the one who actually turned our whole family onto sushi and sashimi. I can barely remember the first time my family went to a sushi restaurant, but I do remember that I refused to eat anything except chicken teriakyi. My dad tried to convince the whole family that sashimi was to die for, but I was just convinced that I’d die if I had to eat raw fish.

My parents weren’t the forcing type and since neither my brother or my mom were eating the slimy stuff, I was content with my sticky, saucy chicken. My dad was pretty happy too since he didn’t have to share. It wasn’t until much later and many more Japanese restaurant visits that the rest of us finally caught on.

Now, I can’t imagine living without sushi: I love the silky, melt in your mouth texture of the perfect piece of hamachi. I love the restraint, the balance and the thought that go into each bite. I’d be hard pressed to choose a favourite kind of food, but I know Japanese cuisine is in there for sure.

If you’ve been to Vancouver, you know, we have more sushi joints than Starbucks. They’re not all good, but there are definitely a few gems. The abundance of sushi restaurants means that I don’t make sushi at home; why make when I can go to my favourite Japanese restaurant where the chef has trained for years to learn his craft?

There are people who like making sushi at home, and for those, there’s Fujiya, where they sell sashimi and sushi grade quality fish. It’s where I picked up my hamachi and the chazuke I ended up using.

Chang’s cured hamachi recipe calls for wakame chazuke furikake, which is a Japanese rice seasoning. I asked a helpful stock boy at Fujiya if they had it, but he explained to me, that they were two different things. Chazuke is rice seasoning. Furikake is rice seasoning. But together, they are not the same rice seasoning. I decided to go with the Chazuke, because of the little rice puffs. Of course, I couldn’t resist the Pikachu chazuke; it has Pikachu faces!

I used a little restraint and didn’t use the Pikachu faces in the final dish. This dish is all about restraint and subtlety. Hamachi is cured in a Sichuan peppercorn, coriander seed, salt-sugar rub, then sliced at a slight 15˚ angle. It’s plated with a horseradish-edamame puree, whole edamame beans, pea shoots, and a sprinkling of wakame chazuke furikake, or in my case, Pikachu chazuke. The firm silkiness of the fish with the crunchy rice puffs and edamame puree is simple, subtle and delicious.

25 Comments add yours

  1. Oh wow, that last photo is beautiful. Hard to believe Pikachu packaging was involved in a finished product so professional looking! :)

    I choose Pikachu!

    steph on April 15th, 2010 at 11:21 am
  2. beautiful photo except for the bloodline. the bloodline (for me) leaves a weird lingering flavor in the palate.

    Thanks! I would have cut out the bloodline, but really, I have no experience as a sushi chef and don’t even know what a bloodline is. Thanks for the heads-ups though!

    I’d have to disagree. The bloodline adds to the flavor of the hamachi. I always look for those particular pieces.

    shar on September 13th, 2011 at 1:18 am

    The bloodline on hamachi isnt offensive as it would be with fish such as Ahi. It slightly adds to flavor as well as an appetizing “hamachi” visual appeal.

    G on July 23rd, 2012 at 3:25 am
    steph on April 15th, 2010 at 11:22 am
  3. That looks phenomenal – nice photographs and fabulous post. Looks like the best sushi grade quality hamachi ever!

    Thanks! Truthfully, I like going out for sushi more than making it at home though! Heehee, I figure I should leave it to the professionals.

    steph on April 15th, 2010 at 11:26 am
  4. That looks phenomenal – nice photographs and fabulous post. Looks like the best sushi grade quality hamachi ever!

  5. ha! Pikachu Hamachi!
    I don’t eat raw fish. I’m the worst asian ever…!

    Raw fish isn’t for everyone! It’s funny though, I have a friend that doesn’t like to eat raw stuff when we have sushi, but she always digs into the spicy tuna roll and spicy scallop. Shh, I don’t think she knows it’s raw!

    steph on April 15th, 2010 at 11:27 am
  6. this is a lovely dish. I love sashimi as well. I am not sure if I ever had Hamachi. Need to suss it out.

    Hamachi is pretty tasty, I hope you find it!

    steph on April 15th, 2010 at 11:30 am
  7. Hi! I see you like cooking with Edamame!
    Im with Seapoint Farms and we distribute edamame across the US! We just made a fun stop motion video about bad snacking which is on youtube.
    Through today we are running a sweepstakes for people who comment on the video… leave a comment to win a case of KooLoos and dry roasted edamame!

  8. Haha that’s hilarious about the Pikachu! Your helpful Fukiyama boy has now solved my problem too – I couldn’t find this stuff anywhere! Now I’ll know what to look for – thanks :-)

    I had this dish at Noodle Bar in November, it was very subtle, and the rice seasoning was really more-ish.

    I think there must be some combination of the wakame chazuke furikake, I think I’ve seen it before. I’m going to keep looking, especially if you think it was more-ish!

    Yup there sure is~ I found it actually here

    I believe you can buy online from here as well; not sure if Canada has H-marts though

    Christopher on February 9th, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Here in Hawaii they sell that particular Ajishima brand and another brand called Mishima. They’re all in clear jars. Usually in the asian section of your grocery store.

    shar on September 13th, 2011 at 1:29 am
    steph on April 18th, 2010 at 9:41 am
  9. What a beautiful finished product! I’d love to try my hand at sashimi at home, but for the next few months, I’m living in China and don’t trust the fish to be good quality enough to eat raw. I’ll bookmark your site for future inspiration!

    Living in China, I’m sure there are tonnes of other “safe” things to eat! Hope you get to give sashimi at home a try when you’re back home!

    steph on April 18th, 2010 at 9:44 am
  10. Hola,

    Fellow vancouverite here: where do you get your sashimi grade fish?

    I usually buy it from Fujiya.

    steph on April 27th, 2010 at 12:28 pm
  11. It’s really beautiful and delicous ART. Great!

    Thank you!

    steph on April 28th, 2010 at 12:40 pm
  12. Here is some useless fact in case anyone was interested in the difference between chazuke and furikake: Traditionally, chazuke is poured on cooked rice, followed by hot water to make a soupy dish called, “ochazuke” or “chazuke.” Furikake is flaked on top of cooked rice and eaten without the hot water. The dish is often called, “furikake gohan.” Either way, I think both would’ve worked for this dish!

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