Food Porn: Akimono Sushi Roll (Monkfish Liver)

AkimonoRoll

Sushi handroll made with akimono

My local fishmonger had fresh monkfish liver, AKA akimono or “the foie gras of the sea” for $12.95 a pound. That’s not much more than calf’s liver! So it was time to bring some home and do some experimentation.

I did a caucus of the internets for preparation suggestions which are all over the place. Some mention getting rid of the “fishy odor” but mine had a mild and pleasant scent of the ocean. I excised a couple of visible veins then soaked it in cold water a couple of hours, drained and soaked again in a mixture of white wine (would have used sake if I had some) and soy sauce.

AkimonoPonzu

Akimono in ponzu sauce with green onion

After a couple more hours the liver was drained, dried with a paper towel, wrapped with plastic wrap then wrapped again in aluminum foil and formed into a burrito shape. I steamed it in a wok for about 30 minutes then refrigerated overnight. In the morning the result was well shaped and easy to work with.

SushiKim

I used this Annie Chun’s kim shacks to make my sushi rolls

First thing I did was a taste test using a simple prep I saw on several Japanese websites: chunks of akimono in ponzu sauce (a citrus-flavored soy) with a garnish of shaved green onion. The akimono had a very mild taste with the texture and the fact that it was clearly an oceanic product being the draw.

Next I made some sushi handrolls as documented above. I was out of nori sheets so used these snack packs of Annie Chun. Dabbed a bit of wasabi onto the nori then added the sushi rice and shredded green onion, cucumber, avocado, mint leaf (a pretty good stand-in for shiso) and the akimono; rolled it up then added a second sheet for handling purposes on top and served up with some good shoyu for dipping.

SushiMiseEnPlace

My akimono sushi mis en place

I’ve still got some left so will next try it in pasta and a seared version, as you might do with foie gras. But I think the sushi roll is going to stay my favorite. It reminds me of our favorite sushi place in San Francisco, Hama-Ko, where the chef would trot out a nigiri with “monkfish ribber” as a special treat.

 

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