Out of the five dishes I served at my “Namie” pop-up for 4Foodie, I would say that this one was the one I was most excited about. I never actually tried to do a sashimi dish before, at least without the help of somebody else slicing the fish for me. However, in this case, I actually sliced it myself and everything(with a lot of carefulness as to not make the pieces too large, clunky, or ugly). When it comes to sashimi, you want thin slices so that the fish almost melts in your mouth, so I was definitely aiming for that. For the actual dish, I went with a hamachi that I marinated in a stock made from butterfly pea and kombu, as well as rice koji. Rice koji converts the salt that is added into the marinade into amino acids, which in turn, imparts even more umami into the hamachi, and giving it a meatier texture as well. With the butterfly pea stock, it was split into being a marinade for the hamachi, but also infused with lemongrass and soy lecithin to form a foam that resembles the ocean waves. I paired that with some Thai chilies, microherbs, and limes to round out the experience, as the chilies add a needed heat to an otherwise flat dish, and the lime added the acidity, but also gives the dish a cool color-changing effect as the lime juice dissipates the foam, and reduces it into a pretty purple broth that is then soaked into your hamachi!
For the base stock:
1 teaspoon butterfly pea powder or 4 butterfly pea flowers
2 cups water
a pinch of salt
Bring all of the ingredients to a simmer until the kombu is completely soft and the stock is a pleasant blue color. Split into 2 halves.
For the marinade:
1/2 base stock
3 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons rice koji
While the stock is still warm, add in the salt and rice koji, allowing the salt to fully dissolve into the liquid and the koji to soften.
For the hamachi:
2 8oz pieces of sushi-grade hamachi
Once the marinade is fully cold, submerge the hamachi in there for at least 20 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. Pat the hamachi dry and store, wrapped in paper towels, in an airtight container in the refrigerator until time to plate to guarantee optimal freshness. For slicing, use the sharpest knife you have and carefully slice the fish across the grain, making sure to cut each slice in 2 motions(one forward and one back) as to not mar the flesh.
For the foam:
1/2 base stock
1/2 stalk of lemongrass
1 teaspoon soy lecithin powder
Smash the lemongrass to release the oils of it. Place in with the other ingredients and simmer for another 10 minutes. Strain out the lemongrass and allow the mixture to fully cool down before whipping into a foam with a whisk or blender.
Thai chilies, thinly slices
Lime, sliced into wedges to serve
Start with 5 pieces of the hamachi per plate. Garnish with the chilies, microherbs, foam, and serve with the lime on the side.