Sanma or Pacific Saury is a long needle nosed fish with a shiny blue-tinted skin which puts it in a class of fish called aozakana or “blue fish”.
1 daikon radish peeled
2 C water
1 Tbs kosher salt
1 Tsp sugar
2 Pacific Saury
3/4 C sake
1/2 C mirin
1/4 C soy sauce
1 Tbs sugar
1″ piece of ginger cut into rounds
To prepare the daikon, slice it into 1/2″ thick rounds. Use a vegetable peeler to “peel” the corners. Rounding off the corners prevents the daikon from breaking apart as it cooks. Add the water, salt and sugar in a pot along with the daikon and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the daikon is tender, but not soft. Drain and set aside.
To prepare the sanma, use a sturdy knife to cut the tail off and remove the head around the gills. Make an incision along the belly from where the head used to be to the anus. Pull out as much of the innards as you can then rinse off the inside in cold water to get rid of any remaining blood and offal. Cut each cleaned sanma into 4 pieces.
In a pan that’s big enough to accommodate the daikon and sanma in a single layer, add the sake, mirin, soy sauce, sugar and ginger and bring to a boil. Add the daikon and sanma pieces making sure the pieces are submerged. If you have an otoshi-buta (wooden drop lid), set it on top to keep it all submerged. If not, it’s no big deal, but you’ll need to gently flip the pieces half way through cooking. Turn down the heat to maintain a gentle boil and cook for 10 minutes.
To serve, plate the daikon first then top with the sanma drizzling some of the cooking liquid on top.