Peppered Mahi-mahi Tataki Sushi

Winner of the 2007 Original Sushi Competition. Recipe by Trevor Blythe of the White Fox Restaurant in Tokyo.

Ingredients

Serves: 4

For the peppered mahi-mahi loin

  • 1 x 80g mahi-mahi loin
  • 20ml corn oil
  • fine sea salt
  • milled black pepper, milled white pepper
  • rubbed pink pepper skin*

*Press a few pink peppercorns in a large-holed conical strainer with a small ladle until all the pink skin passes through onto the tray

For the almond & ginger sushi rice

  • 15g butter
  • 50g almonds, finely chopped
  • 30g ginger, finely diced
  • 10g garlic puree
  • vinegared sushi rice

For the pickled fennel

  • 1 large piece of fennel
  • 2g coarse sea salt
  • 50ml sushi vinegar

For the salted yuzu & shiso compote

  • 1 yellow yuzu
  • 40g coarse sea salt
  • 200ml water
  • 2 green shiso leaves (oba)
  • 10ml extra virgin olive oil

Steps

  1. Brush the mahi-mahi loin with a little corn oil, and season it liberally on all sides with the salt, milled peppers, and pink pepper skin.
  2. Heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan and quickly fry the loin on all sides.
  3. Remove the loin from the pan and wrap it tightly in cling film, taking care to press out all the air. Plunge it into ice cold water thus ensuring only the outside edge is cooked and the center of the loin remains raw.
  4. Once cold, remove from the iced water and pay dry on a cloth, then store in a plastic container in a refrigerator until required.
  5. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, and add the almonds, ginger and garlic. Cook gently, stirring frequently, until all the butter has been absorbed and the mixture is a deep golden brown colour.
  6. Spread the mixture over the surface of a tray lined with greaseproof paper, and store in a plate warmer, if possible. This mixture will be stirred into the vinegared sushi rice when required.
  7. To make the pickled fennel, cut 8 x 10cm strips of fennel with a vegetable peeler and neatly trim the sides.
  8. Lie the fennel strips on a tray and sprinkle with the seas salt. Leave for 10 minutes, then wash off the salt and soak in the sushi vinegar for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from the vinegar, and store in a plastic container in the refrigerator until required.
  10. To make the yuzu compote, carefully remove the outside zest of the yuzu with a fine grater, reserving the zest for later.
  11. In a small sauce pan, dissolve the salt into the water and boil rapidly. Add the whole yuzu and cook rapidly for 20 minutes, until it is very soft to the touch.
  12. Remove the yuzu and refresh it in ice water until it is completely cold. With a very sharp knife, cut the yuzu skin away from the seeds and centre membrane, then dice the skin into 5mm blocks.
  13. Finely chop the green shiso leaves and mix them into the diced yuzu with the reserved yuzu zest and the olive oil. Store the mixture in a plastic container in the refrigerator until later.
  14. To serve, remove the ends of the mahi-mahi loin and cut the loin into 8 equal slices.
  15. Stir the almond and ginger mixture into the vinegared sushi rice and mould 8 pieces (in the style of nigiri sushi), then place one piece of peppered loin on top of each piece.
  16. Wrap each piece with a strip of pickled fennel, and top with a small pile of yuzu and shiso compote.