Adapted from a Chef Jeffrey Stout recipe
The kids are feeling a bit toady after weeks of holiday eating and have decided to go on a keto/Atkins low-carb diet. These diets are vegetable/protein forward. Usually, I go with dishes where I can serve the starch on the side, for those who wish for more.
Last week we went to The Sea by Alexander to celebrate our younger daughter’s graduation from college. One of the signature dishes of this high-end restaurant are their hamachi shots. Son-in-law Chris challenged me to learn make these little wonders of flavor, so we could have them more often.
This task was made easier—and harder—because Chef Stout has released his recipe. I did not have to reverse engineer the ingredients list, from my memory of having had an hamachi shot or two. However—as is frequently the case in chef released recipes—some of the ingredients are not commonly available or the quantities to use are either vague or geared to restaurant volumes.
The original hamachi shots include: Hamachi, fried ginger and scallions, red jalapeno, black sesame seeds, avocado, truffle oil, and micro wasabi greens. If you do not grow your own—or have access to a Japanese truck farm—you will not be able to find the wasabi greens—even in a Japanese supermarket. Knowing what is in a dish does not tell you anything about the proportions and balance is between those ingredients. The recipe Chef Stout’s gives for his ponzu sauce is geared for use in a large restaurant—1 cup sherry, 1 cup soy sauce, and 1 cup lime juice.
Note: I used a commercial brand of ponzu.
A further problem occurs when you try to buy hamachi. In Japan, it is called inada, hamachi, or buri on the table—depending on the fish’s age/weight when it is harvested. In the stores—even Japanese supermarkets—it is usually sold as “yellowtail” or “Amberjack.” I got to the market four minutes after they had opened on new year’s eve. There was already 30-40 people there grabbing the sashimi, even before the worker could put it out. I was lucky to get my piece before it was all gone.
Moving to the vegetable bins I could not find wasabi greens. As a substitute, I decided to use daikon sprouts. Red radish seed sprouts would also be a good choice, because they would have a similar “bite” as wasabi greens.
After Dinner Note: I did not get the balance of ingredients just right. I made the mistake of not having everything preped and ready when I started assembling my shots. I for got to add the avocado and sesame seeds, so I guess I will just have to keep trying until I get it right.
Karl’s Hamachi Shots
Note: For 10 hamachi shots
½ tsp. vegetable oil
¾ inch piece ginger, finely julienned
1 green onion, finely julienned into ¾ pieces
1 avocado, cut into ten ¼ x ½ x ¾ inch pieces
1 red jalapeño, cut into ten ¼ x ¾ inch pieces
¼± tsp. black truffle oil
¼± tsp. black sesame seeds
30-40 daikon sprouts (a.k.a. micro greens)
½ ±Tbs. ponzu
Tiny dab of wasabi paste
3 oz. yellowtail sashimi (a piece about ½ x 1 x 3 inches)
10 shot glasses
1. Put the oil in a small skillet, over medium high heat, and fry the ginger shreds until golden brown, about 1 minute.
2. Remove the ginger to a paper towel to drain off excess oil.
3. Fry the green onions in the remaining ginger oil until just wilted, about 30 seconds.
4. Remove the onion pieces to the paper towel to drain off excess oil.
5. Cut the avocado and pepper into the appropriate sizes and lay them out around your work surface.
Note: You want each ingredient laid out, easy to hand, around a central area where you will assemble the shots.
6. Lay out the sesame seeds and truffle oil.
7. Trim the daikon sprouts down to ¾ inch.
Note: Daikon sprouts grow to about three inch long.
8. Put the ponzu into a small cup and mix in the wasabi paste.
Note: The daikon sprouts do nt have the same bite as wasabi greens. Adding the wasabi to the ponzu is to add this flavor to the shot.
9. Slice the yellowtail sashimi into ¼ inch slices.
Tip: For a more tender bite, you can make the slices ⅛ inch and use two for each shot.
10. Place a shot glass on its side, and lay a slice of yellowtail down into the bottom and up one side of the glass.
11. Lay a piece of avocado over the fish.
12. Lay a piece of the red pepper over the avocado.
Tip: Gently press down on the slice of pepper, so that the pepper, avocado, and fish stay in place when you turn the glass upright.
Note: Repeat this process with the other nine shot glasses.
13. Set the shot glasses upright.
14. Add a drop or two of truffle oil into each glass.
15. Sprinkle 8-10 sesame seeds into each shot glass.
16. Garnish each glass with 3-4 micro greens.
17. Drizzle ¼-⅓ tsp. of ponzu over the contents of each shot glasses.
18. Serve slightly chilled, but not cold.
Note: To eat, use a small pickle fork to slightly toss and mix the shot glasses contents, and eat in one bite.