Tokyo is one of the hottest global dining destinations you can visit, in no small reason because of the new wave of modern, Japanese-influenced restaurants taking the cuisine scene by storm. Pick up a copy of Tokyo New Wave and discover the chefs, restaurants and recipes popping up on everyone’s Instagram. Next time you need to floor someone with your culinary skills, make this recipe for Takazawa sashimi with soy dots and leek oil, borrowed from legendary Tokyo chef Yoshiaki Takazawa.
Classic sashimi dishes are traditionally simple sliced fish with soy sauce. I wanted to do it in a more modern way with a twist. So I played with and updated the presentation to make it a bit more unexpected.
Note: A bâtonnet cut is a vegetable cut into batons or sticks, in this case 1 by 3⁄8 by 1⁄8 inches.
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped leeks
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 1/2 tablespoons tamari, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons agar agar powder
- 1 red daikon radish, cut into 12 bâtonnets
- 2 chives, cut into 12 bâtonnets, plus 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
- 12 bâtonnets fresh peeled ginger, plus 2 tablespoons grated ginger, from about 1 piece fresh
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 10 ounces sashimi (any seasonal, high-quality Wagyu beef or sushi-grade fish), cut into 20 slices each, about 3 by 1 1/2 by 1/2 inches
For the sashimi
To make the leek oil, crush the leeks in earthenware mortar and pestle. Mix in the olive oil and continue crushing until coarsely ground, not smooth. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, tamari, and agar agar powder until the mixture thickens enough so that a drop of it on a plate will keep its shape. Decorate a serving platter large enough to fit all of the sashimi with 96 dots of this mixture in 8 lines on the top of the platter.
Arrange the radish, chives, and ginger bâtonnets in small crosses in the center of the plate.
In a small bowl, stir together the grated ginger and chopped chives until it clumps into little balls, then place them on the platter next to the vegetable bâtonnets. Slice the garlic 1⁄8 inch thick. In a small pan, cook the garlic in the leek oil over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the garlic is light brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Transfer the garlic chips to a paper towel to absorb any extra oil, then place them in between the balls of grated ginger and chives.
Just before serving, arrange the slices of sashimi on the platter below the other ingredients.