Sashimi with Olive Oil and Soy Sauce
This deceptively simple dish -- a short recipe, simple presentation -- needs a chef bent on perfection. For this dish, no amount of technique can substitute for perfect ingredients. Chef Wayne Nish feels that the blending of olive oil and soy sauce on the same plate perfectly embodies the East-West fusion food philosophy. Nish uses single olive, first cold pressing Ligurian olive oil and imported Japanese soy sauce. He takes time to explain: “regular” soy sauce is fermented from 80% soybeans and 20% wheat. White soy sauce, shiroshoyu, reverses this combination. Adding niboshi (tiny dried sardines), konbu (dried giant seaweed), and dried shiitake mushrooms creates a more flavorful blend called shirodashi, which he recommends for the soy sauce; look for it in Asian markets. Hamachi, Japanese yellowtail tuna, and the older, larger buri, may be used for the fish. Nish recommends hirame, a flatfish from the flounder family. Many others may be substituted, but he definitely recommends fish from cold waters, and he’s adamant about freshness.
- Sashimi-quality Fish - 1/2 pound, fresh
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 4 tablespoons
- Shirodashi or Regular Japanese soy sauce - 4 tablespoons
- White Sesame Seeds - 1-1/2 tablespoons, not toasted
- Fresh Chives - 1/2 ounce, finely cut
Slice the fish, fresh from the refrigerator, very thinly with a very sharp, thin-bladed knife. Arrange the slices of fish evenly on four chilled plates. You should be able to see through the slices of fish.
Drizzle first with olive oil, then soy sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chives. Serve immediately.