Japanese Foie gras: Ankimo and its preparation


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frogfish.jpg

“Ankimo” is the liver of the Frogfish (“anko”), a fish that can be found in most the Northern Hemisphere and elsewhere. Not a nicelooking fish, it is nonetheless appreciated almost everywhere.
The Japanese love it in “nabe” (Japanese-style fish pot au feu), while the French either introduce it in Bouillabaisse, or even better, baked rooled inside prime bacon.

The liver is much appreciated in some countries, especially France and Scandinavia.
In Japan they steam it in sake to make “ankimo”, which I usually introduce to neophytes as “Japanese fish foie gras”!

Pic taken at Yumeshin, Shizuoka City.
I asked for it served (it is a cold appetizer) as it is as “tsumami” (hors d’oeuvre) with “ponzu shoyu”, finely chopped thin leeks and a dash of “Momiji-oroshi” (grated daikon and chili pepper) on a shiso leaf.
It is also great in small pieces on a gunkan topped with the same as above!

As I have been asked again, here is the recipe for making “Ankimo”!
Note that sake can be replaced white wine.

Step 1:

Choose fresh ankimo. That is how it should look!

Step 2:

Take off blood vessels. Don’t worry about the nerves.

Step 3:

After taking blood vessels away it does not look pretty. Nothing to worry about actually!

Step 4:

Lightly salt all sides

Step 5:

Wrap it in cooking wrap and let rest for an hour.

Step 6:

That is how it will look after an hour.

Step 7:

Take off all water and salt with kitchen paper.
Get the teamer ready.

Step 8:

As in the picture place wrap on bamboo roll maker (use a soft plastic sheet if not available). Place the frogfish liver on third of the way as equally as possible.

Step 9:

Roll in carefully, making sure the wrap sheet does not accidentally penetrate the liver.

Step 10:

Twist both ends of the wrap sheet until there is no space left inside.

Step 11:

Cut extremities of the wrap making sure the roll does not unfold and wrap it inside another sheet.

Step 12:

Wrap inside cooking aluminum foil.

Step 13:

Twist ends to close.

Step 14-15-16:

-Put inside steamer and close.
-Cook for 30 minutes above strong heat
-Take off and let cool

Step 17:

For better consistency leave in refrigerator for a full day. Cut slices to your preferred thickness.

Step 18:

(For example) serve astride sliced cucumber, sprinkle it with a generous amount of ponzu shoyu and place half a spoon of “momiji oroshi” (grated daikon seasoned with chili pepper). Finely chopped thin leeks or shiso would make a nice finishing touch, too!

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12 thoughts on “Japanese Foie gras: Ankimo and its preparation”

  1. Dear Rowena, do not worry about typos!
    I’m a champion at them! LOL
    In the west of France where frogfish is caught off the coast, frogfish (or “lotte” in French) liver is a readily available delicacy called foie de lotte.
    How fresh is Frogfish in Italy? That could explain why it is not sold there! Pity!

  2. I have been on the hunt for this ugly fish since…forever! Usually they only come with the head off, or it it’s whole, the fish has already been gutten and the liver is NO MORE! Once, I even asked the fish monger if they had any frozen ones…he looked at me like I was crazy. Pfffft! Italians just do not know what they are missing!

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