Food, Home & Lifestyle

Zukuri: Modern Rockfish Sashimi

Niki Nakayama

Lesson time 24:58 min

Niki introduces Western ingredients to Japanese technique as she demonstrates how to prepare, cure, and slice rockfish for this sashimi dish.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Blanching · Salt Curing · Sauce and Garnish Prep · Burnt Romaine Sauce · Slicing · Vegetable Garnishes


[MUSIC PLAYING] NIKI: For this segment, we'll be making a dish called modern zukuri, and that is a modern interpretation of sashimi. One of the fun things that we're going to do to this fish, because it's a modern interpretation, we're going to introduce new flavor profiles to it. And what we're going to pair it with is a burnt romaine main source that we like to use. It's very light and it actually enhances the fish. So we have a pot of boiling water, and we're going to ladle this hot water over the skin very gently. And you can see how that skin sort of curls up. That helps, when you have sashimi with skin on, to enhance flavors and also soften the texture so it's easy to bite through. And Carole's going to put that in the ice bath. CAROLE: So we're just shocking the fish and making sure that that hot water is completely washed off of it, and making sure it stays a sashimi and stays in its raw form, and helping it cool back down. - So after it's been steeped in the ice bath, we're going to put it on top of paper towel. It's just steeped in the ice bath for about 20 to 30 seconds. - And you just want to be gentle and get rid of as much of the excess water as you can before you place it on there. NIKI: Yes. And then we can pat dry the top part of the fish. Make sure to squeeze out that water. And then at this point, even though we've made sure while we were cutting the fish-- when we were cutting the fish that the scale had been removed and nothing was in the way, this is a perfect opportunity to make certain one more time that that is the case. So we would take a spoon. Carole? And run it through against the grain to see if there's anything left. CAROLE: You should feel some resistance, and that will help you make sure that you're grabbing the scales. There you see there's a small piece of scale that was still left. [MUSIC PLAYING] This is something that we would not typically do in a traditional sashimi, but it's just an amazing way to complement the fish's already natural flavors. NIKI: For Japanese cuisine, we do salt fish as a form of curing. But we very rarely add herbs. And in this case, we're introducing herbs that aren't naturally part of Japanese cuisine. For example, the dill and the Italian parsley, those aren't natural Japanese flavors. But I think we've found a good way to incorporate that and still maintain its Japanese identity. CAROLE: So yeah, this can just be a really rough chop. Doesn't have to be super fine. It's going to get tossed with the salt and just sprinkled on top and bottom of the fish, so you don't really have to be too careful. Just be careful not to cut yourself. NIKI: The great thing about this cure is that it's not a single-use cure. You can use it multiple times. But we do recommend that you use it with the same type of fish. So at this point, we would just hand-mix it? - Yes. I'm going to still add a little bit of the rind of the li...

About the Instructor

The chef and owner of two-Michelin-starred restaurant n/naka in Los Angeles, Niki Nakayama is celebrated for her modern interpretation of kaiseki, a traditional Japanese cuisine. With her partner and sous chef, Carole, Niki will teach you techniques for preparing sashimi, tempura, perfect rice, and more. Learn how to make dishes that honor fresh ingredients as Niki shows you how to cook with care and gratitude.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

Niki Nakayama

Niki Nakayama of two-Michelin-starred n/naka teaches you how to honor fresh ingredients with her innovative take on Japanese home cooking techniques.

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