Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hamachi Kama

Fish collar, its what was for dinner today at work. I was excited. As I mentioned a few posts back, fish collar is said to be quite a treat in the Eastern countries. Naturally, when I heard the question, "We're having tuna collar for dinner, you want some?" I answered, "Hell yeah!" All I could imagine was the big C-shaped piece of fish sizzling away on the grill. 

Well, I was close—the chefs cooked the collars in pans with a little bit of oil and seasoned with black pepper and salt. When finished, they served it with teriyaki sauce. I was a little disappointed with the teriyaki sauce but it was still delicious. The meat was very tender and had a lot of flavor. Despite the occasional scales and picking apart the flaky meat from the bones, it was good. Accompanied with some spicy kimchi, the sweetness of the sauce evened out and was much more enjoyable. 

I was surprised to see just how much meat was still left on the collar. Like I started saying in the other post, most American cooks or eaters, are only accustomed to preparing or eating fish fillets that they purchase from the store. So the amount of meat left behind from the collar can make a meal all on its own. I didn't even finish my own piece, but I did box it up for myself to eat later. I even threw some kimchi in the box too. My taste buds have fallen for kimchi, I want to make it at home and eat it with everything. 

But I digress, so we had Yellowtail collar pan-seared with salt and pepper. I'm interested in trying some at a Japanese restaurant, where (as far as I know) the tradition originated. I was talking to the head sushi chef, a Korean man not much taller than I am (brother of the infamous Suzy) named Jin, and he said that fish collar is an expensive meal at some Japanese restaurants. I think also that it's possible to purchase fish collars at markets where fresh fish are sold. I know Albuquerque doesn't sound like the best place for that, but I think its possible if its researched well. Talin sells live crabs and other uncommon foods, so they may sell fish collar there. I'm sure that the collars would make a great component in soup too. 

I think I'll have to take a trip to Talin and see what they have to offer. I haven't been there in a while–maybe a few years at that. They'll probably have a bunch of things that I can't read or even imagine what they are, but I know that I can find some awesome loose teas and ramens too. I'll let you know what I find. I think I'll go this weekend. 

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