Friday, September 10, 2010

Monkfish liver "Ankimo" with Ponzu and grated daikon 鮟肝とポン酢紅葉おろし

When we received the shipment from Catalina, we did not eat the ankimo 鮟肝 immediately since it was frozen and can keep for some time. Now, having polished off all the sashimi items, we decided to hit the ankimo. This time I served it in a more traditional style with grated daikon mixed with red pepper flakes called "momiji oroshi" 紅葉おろし (meaning "red maple leaf" grated daikon), with ponzu ポン酢 instead of the orange marmalade soy sauce. I also added "nagaimo" 長芋, which was cut into match stick-sized julienne dressed with sushi vinegar and garnished with "aonori" 青のり.
The traditional way to prepare "momiji oroshi" is to make a small hole in the middle of the daikon and insert a dried whole red pepper and then grate the daikon and pepper as one. I simply added Japanese red pepper flakes from the bottle 七味 or 一味唐辛子 and mixed it with grated daikon then poured ponzu shouyu (from the bottle) over it. The grated daikon cuts the heat of the red pepper and also the fattiness of the ankimo.
After I made (or arranged) this dish, we realized our house sake, Yaegaki "Mu" Junmai daiginjou 八重垣 "無" was all gone but, for ankimo, we need sake. We did have several bottles of the US brewed sake called "Haiku" 俳句 (we keep it for emergencies), which is brewed from Californian rice and Sierra water in California by Ozeki 大関酒造.  It is not too bad (in an emergency), and is a type of "Tokubetsu junmai" 特別純米酒 but it is a bit yeasty for our taste and we liked to have a better sake with ankimo. Then, we found the last bottle of "Nanawarai" daiginjou 七笑大吟醸 from Kiso  木曽 in our refrigerator, which we hand carried home last year from Japan.

This was good; a very gentle sake without assertive flavors. It reminded us of Dassai 23 獺祭 23. For a more clean fruity taste, we favor our house sake but this sake tasted better than I remembered it. I am not sure if I can get this sake here in the U.S. anyway. In any case, ankimo and cold sake went so well together.

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