All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


A pound of fish

The seafood counter at Uwajimaya in Seattle attracts lots of customers and people admiring the variety of fish, and I join the crowd several times a year. But the first place I check is one end of an open refrigerated chest for fillet fish. There is a section dedicated to fish tips, which often have lots of bones. These fish tips come straight out from behind the counter after filleting for good-looking larger pieces, meaning they are super fresh.

There are a number of dishes where you only need a tiny piece or small chunk of fish. Don’t miss the great deal offered by fish tips.

The last time we were there, I picked up two packs of fish tips – one of lingcod and one of channel rockfish. Kinki, the channel rockfish (about 1.3 lb/600 g), had lots of bones and only a small amount of flesh but was enough for two meals for us. I made my favorite aradaki with daikon radish, and we ate it the same day as purchased and again the next day.

The other pack contained just over a pound (485 g) of lingcod chunks for $4.26 ($3.99/lb)! I knew we would not eat it on the same day, but it was too good to pass up. I had two dishes in mind. Chimaki zongzi Chinese rice dumplings in bamboo leaves (would take 200 g) and tamagoyaki omelet with fish and nanohana (40-50 g). Half of the fish is already booked. I couldn’t decide what to do with the remaining half, so I preserved it with sake and salt.

Chunks A (210 g)
Kept as is for a day.

On the next day (Day 2) the fish was marinated in soy sauce, sake and ginger juice, and sauteed with other ingredients and steamed to make Chuka chimaki zongzi Chinese rice dumplings (made 15 dumplings). Chimaki keeps well. Make it while the fish is fresh, and keep finished chimaki in the fridge (up to several days) or freezer (1 month) for later. A great party food!

Chunks B (160 g)
Salted and kept in the fridge for 2 days, and grilled to keep longer.

100 g turned into a saute with moyashi bean sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, atsuage deep-fried tofu and egg on Day 3.
60g turned into yummy croquettes with herbs on Day 4.

Chunk C (55 g)
Steamed (microwaved) with sake the day of purchase, and kept in the fridge for a few days.

Finally put in jjigae Korean stew on Day 3. Sake-steamed fish stays heavenly soft like super silky Korean tofu, and it was a good match for the spicy broth.

Chunk D (60 g)
Marinated in soy sauce and sake, and cooked over parchment paper in a frying pan (without oil) on the day of purchase.

On Day 2, used as an ingredient in tamagoyaki omelet. 60 g was actually a bit too much for the recipe with 2 eggs and the goodies almost burst out during cooking, but it turned out nice and tasty.

When you have too much fresh fish, you can always freeze it, but if the amount is manageable, some prep in advance lets you enjoy the quality of the fresh fish without compromising it for several days.

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