Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sake-steamed chicken with togarashi soy sauce mayonnaise 酒蒸し鶏肉の唐辛子醤油マヨネーズ

This is just another way to serve "sakamushi" 酒蒸し or sake steamed chicken. I just sliced sakamushi chicken breast and served it with a mixture of 7 flavored Japanese red pepper flakes 七味唐辛子, soy sauce and mayonnaise (actually I did not mix it, you need to mix it before dipping.) It looks like lots of red pepper but mayo dampens the heat.

This mayonnaise concoction reminds me of my old drinking days in Susukino 薄野, Sapporo. Many bars served grilled semi-dried "Komai*" fish with this mayo. I remember in the bars which had hostesses, they carefully removed the meat from the fish and dipped it in the mayonnaise concoction and fed you (you paid dearly for the attention, of course).

Komai こまい is a small fish which belongs to the cod family. The best season is in the coldest time of the winter in Hokkaido and traditionally fished by a net under the ice (after breaking the surface ice, of course). Thus, the kanji letter for this fish is 氷下魚 meaning under-the-ice fish. This appears to be rather peculiar to Hokkaido and was (at least when I was there) one of the popular drinking snacks in bars and drinking places in Sapporo. This is not unlike shishamo ししゃも and Hokkadoian (or Hokkaidoites?, an erudite English speaker will have to tell me which.) appear to like small semi-dried fish as a drinking snack.

In any case, I do not think I can find "komai" around here but this mayo concoction worked well with sakamush chicken.


Jon said...

I had a large piece of dried komai hanging in my kitchen until it got too smelly and I disposed of it. Still feel guilty about that, but the weather got too warm to grill it and eat it with kanzake.

Uncle N said...

This story sounds like an episode in "Shogun" where the English-man-tuned-Samurai hung local game birds to mature in the kitchen. He somehow forgot these maturing game birds were still hanging. After few weeks, Chief of the Japanese household staff has to take down and bury them because of the awful smell and then offered to commit "seppuku" for defying the master's order.

I am impressed that you enjoy komai with hot sake; a true sign of komai connoisseur.