Sakana is "fish" in Japanese, and you can use any sashimi-grade cut for this more-ish cool-and-tangy salad. Don't worry, though - if you're squeamish about raw seafood, this has had boiled water poured over the fish slices and it's perfectly, tenderly, and completely done.
The salad recipe also calls for myohga, a cousin of shohga (ginger), but if you can't find it in your neck of the woods, you could always substitute ginger or maybe even water chestnuts. Myohga has an almost grassy-earthy flavor with a hint of sourness and I sure hope you can try it - it's not as strong as ginger and it adds a wonderful crunchy herby zinginess to this salad. Just what the doctor ordered for when you're natsubatte (wilting in the summer heat).
Myohga - isn't it beautiful?
For the salad you'll need:
- 1 carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
- 2 Japanese thin cucumbers, cut the same way
- 3 myohga, ditto on the cutting method
- sashimi fish, about 24o g, sliced thinly
- 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 T. mustard (I used dijon)
- 2 T. white wine vinegar
- 1/2 t. salt
- bit of cracked pepper
- 5 T. oil (I used canola - any will do)
Mix the dressing ingredients together in a bowl and set aside (I used a small whisk for this). The chef on the show said to add an extra pinch of salt to the dressing for "umami balance."
Put the sliced fish in a colander, set over a bigger bowl, and pour boiling water over it into the bowl. Almost immediately pick up the colander with the cooked fish and place in another bowl full of ice water. Allow the fish to cool, then lift out and drain on a paper towel (also wipe the top with a paper towel) and sprinkle with some salt.
Place a platter or big plate in the fridge to cool, then in a big bowl toss the sliced veggies (except tomatoes), fish, and dressing, reserving a bit of dressing to add at the end. Pull out your cold platter, place the salad on it, then arrange the tomatoes on and around the salad, adding the last bit of dressing over all.
I served this with some suh-weeeeeet corn-on-the-cob for a light summer supper, and I've already ordered the ingredients from the co-op to make it again next week! Can't wait!