We came up with this when we were messing around with different ingredients for chips. We had yucca root, and we liked how well a thin yucca chip worked with sashimi. We added some yellowtail that we had cured and smoked to give it a salty sweetness. Then we added crunchy Marcona almonds and candied garlic and contrasted that with golden raisins. A lot of people call these Japanese nachos, which is pretty fitting.
For the Smoked Hamachi: Place sugar and salt in large mixing bowl. Combine cinnamon, cloves, and juniper in a kitchen towel and crush with the back of a knife. Then place in a spice grinder until finely ground. Mix well with sugar and salt mixture. To prepare the fish for smoking, cut it down the middle between the pin bones. Remove the rib cage from the belly side and place it in a sheet pan. Trim all dark meat from the other half of the fish and add it to the sheet pan. Pour a generous amount of curing mixture over the fish and let cure, covered, in refrigeration for at least 2 to 3 hours. Remove excess cure from the fish, but be sure to leave a little on the surface. That will help the smoke hang on to the fish and add nice flavor. To smoke, fill a hotel pan or 9 x 13 baking pan with ice. Place the fish on top of the ice and place the half pan inside a deeper hotel pan. Add applewood chips to one side of the larger pan and cover with a hotel pan of equal size to create a closed box for smoking. Place the "smoking box" on the stove, making sure that only the side with the wood is exposed to the heat. Smoke on high for 7 minutes, then remove from heat and let smoke for additional 3 minutes. Remove from the smoker and let chill before serving.
For the Yucca Chip: In a table-top fryer, or in a large sauce pot, heat oil to 350 degrees F. With a mandolin, slice the yucca lengthwise to 1/16 inch thick. Fry the chips, a few at a time, in order to allow maximum oil coverage. You do not want them overlapping. Fry until they have caramelized to a slight golden brown, but do not let the color get too dark. Flip the chips halfway through the process to achieve an evenly fried chip. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain excess oil. Slightly salt chips while still warm. Reserve for later use.
Assembly: With a very sharp knife, slice smoked hamachi into 1/4-inch slices. Place the sliced fish into a cold stainless bowl and reserve over ice. Dice the garlic into 1/16-inch pieces and reserve. Slice the Asian pear into 1/4-inch slices and reserve with hamachi. In the same bowl, toss the fish, pear, raisins, and almonds with the white soy and orange oil. Add the diced garlic and toss well to coat. To serve, on a chilled plate, place one chip down with a piece of the sliced fish and pear on top. Add a bit of the almonds and raisins. Alternately layer chips with the pear, fish, raisins, and almonds. Garnish plate with a bit of orange oil and micro chervil.
This page created September 2011
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