1lb smoked sablefish** fillets, cut into 4oz pieces, 1inch thick, skinned
2 asparagus spears, blanched
1/2 cup small pine or oyster mushrooms
1/2 cup burdock roots cleaned and trimmed
2 cups dashi*
2 tbsp light soy sauce
½ tbsp salt
2 tbsp mirin
2 tablespoons sake
1 cup small pine or oyster mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
1. To double-butterfly the fish for stuffing, place each piece of the fillet, flesh side up, on a cutting board, with the grain of the fish running parallel to the top edge of the board.
2. Starting from one side of the fillet, at a point about 1/3 inch down from its surface, make the first horizontal butterfly cut across the fillet stopping about 1/3 before reaching the opposite edge. At the end of the first cut, score the fillet with a shallow vertical cut about 1/3 inch deep. From the end of this cut, make a second butterfly cut across the fillet going the opposite direction from the first, stopping as with the first cut, before cutting through the fish. As a result, each fillet should open up like a two-fold brochure into one long piece about a third the thickness of the original. Set cut fillets aside.
3. In a saucepan, combine all broth ingredients and bring to a boil.
4. Place asparagus, mushroom and bull-dock root on the centre part of each butterflied fish fillet. Fold the side flaps over to make a bundle. Place each bundle into a bowl.
5. Add ½ cup of broth to each bowl and cover tightly with a square of thick parchment paper at least 2 inches larger than the diameter of the bowl to form a tight lid. Tie and secure with kitchen twine.
6. Place bowls in a steamer over high heat and steam for 10 to 12 min.
Makes about 6 cups
1 large piece of kombu (about 5 by 6 inches or 12 by 2 inches, depending on the shape purchased)
6 cups water
1 cup dried bonito flakes
1. Clean the kombu by wiping it with a damp cloth. Place the kombu in a stockpot with 6 cups of cold water and heat over medium heat. Just as the water simmers, remove the pot from the heat. Watch carefully; you don't want the water to boil or the dashi will become too strongly flavored. Allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes, remove the kombu, and return the pot to medium heat.
2. When the broth once again nears the boiling point, remove the pot from the heat and add the bonito flakes. When the flakes sink to the bottom of the pot, strain the dashi through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer. Now you have dashi ready to be used.
1. Cover sablefish with enough salt for 3 days and wash with clean running water and make it dry about 1 day.
2. Lightly smoke with any wood chip for 2 hrs. (cold smoke) Tojo recomends hickory and cedar.