One of my absolute favourite japanese dishes has to be salmon and tuna sashimi. It's so simple - just thick slices of fresh raw fish served with wasabi and soy dipping sauce. It's all about sourcing the right ingredients - you must use only the very freshest fish. Whilst travelling around Japan last year, I was fortunate enough to sample tuna sashimi at what I believe is its finest, at a restaurant next to the main fish market in Kanazawa. The tuna there had come straight off the boats and into the restaurants in a matter of hours and had such a wonderful melt in the mouth consistency - not to mention huge portion sizes and a cheap pricetag! In London however, we are not so fortunate and sashimi is often one of the most expensive dishes on the menu. I have dabbled with making my own sushi rolls and nigiri before, but always stuck with cooked or smoked fish as I don't really trust eating raw fish from my supermarket or local fishmongers in Walthamstow.
Recently I had the pleasure of eating at Fernandez and Leluu's supper club in Hackney (more on them in a later post!) and one of the dishes they served was their own unique take on Fish and Chips - salmon sashimi served with wasabi mayonaise and double cooked chips. I learnt that they get all of their fish from Steve Hatt's fishmongers in Islington - so I decided I had to pay them a visit. I came across the shop after about a ten minute walk from Angel station down the Essex road. In the window was an impressive display of all types of fish and seafood, including my Holy Grail - Sushi grade Tuna and Salmon! I picked up a large salmon fillet and large tuna steak for £8.50, plenty for two very generous portions of sashimi. We had it for dinner that evening served with rice, miso soup, wasabi and agedashi tofu. A perfect homemade japanese meal! I will definately be back to Steve Hatt's maybe to try some monkfish tails or clams next time
You can find Steve Hatt's shop at 88-90 Essex Road Islington, London N1 8LUTel: 020 7226 3963. Opening hours are Mon - Sat: 7am -5pm