FUJI-SAN SALMON (Rainbow trout) DRESSING AND RECIPE
FUJI-SAN SALMON (Rainbow trout) : The other day we went to interview Mrs. Izumi Iwamoto at Kakishima Trout Farm in Fujinomiya City.
There, at 700 meter -altitude at the foot of Mount Fuji, Rainbow trout are bred with the difference it will never go to the sea thus avoiding all kinds of pollution. Apart of a single vaccine the fish are bred in pure mountain waters running down from Mount Fuji.
We took the opportunity to acquire a couple of 2.5 kg hauled live directly out of their ponds.
They were immediately put into sealed boxes for safe transport.
The boxes are full of ice to ensure freshness at their destination even a day later.
The same fish thrust inside a special vinyl envelope to prevent any external contact.
Time to cut !
I decided to dress it up at home at once in full freedom from the nagging comments and advice from my worse half!
To put it simply, it proved a heck of a chore lasting almost an hour!
I had readied no less than three types of professional knives but I had to revise my opinions about fish preparation, although I am not a novice!
I at once hit on the fact that it is very hard to puncture the skin skin even under its stomach when I tried first stabbing his belly with a sharp short knife!
Moreover, the skin is very slippery as it is completely covered with what I can only call natural jelly. Even holding the tail in one hand is impossible. Unless you are a professional using a washing and processing machine you have to use your brains to prevent that fish surfing all over the place!
Actually, there is a simple trick to stop the fish completely from slipping around. On the cutting board, spread some clean kitchen paper and once spread on it the fish will not move an inch!
I first opened the underbelly to take out the entrails which surprisingly do not amount to much and wash the inside under clear running water, an exercise which brought me back to handling an impossibly slippery creature.
Next, I proceeded to cut the head off. Some people might use it for soup or else.
But I was past care and I threw it away with the entrails and the bones (for which I was verbally assaulted by my worse half!)
The next step was to cut the skin along the back as close as possible to, but along the backbone and cut again across the body just before the tail fin.
Then you slice the filet carefully away from the bones taking care to take out as much flesh as possible into one single piece.
The first half is not too hard to cut out, but the opposite half is a pain in an unmentionable place to pare out as you have to repeat the first process in a reverse fashion!
Once the filets have been cut out, you can check and cut out any flesh left in particular along the backbone.
Taking the skin away from the flesh should not be too difficult.
Incise the meat across as close to the tail (end) as possible, insert the blade of the knife between the meat and the skin and slide the knife along the skin holding the latter at one end with your other hand.
After all this clumsy cutting I still had plenty of fish for cooking for at least four days (I do not include all the fish stock that my worse half would have wanted to make with the head, bones, and whatnot!)
The fish being too fresh to serve as sashimi at once, we cooked the whole in batches in different manners.
My worse (in that case, my better!) half poured some olive oil in a skillet and fried one side of a large chunk. That done, she smeared to top side with plenty of tomato koji (fermented rice mixed tomato puree) and put the whole to bake in the oven at medium temperature.
Halfway through she garnished it with steamed broccoli and fried carrots.
Just before completion she added a dollop of white butter and some lemon.
One easy, natural and absolutely delicious way to enjoy the fish which deserved it!