Red snapper in aspic 鯛の煮こごり

japanese cake

I did not make this dish, the dish made itself! We recently had simmered red snapper. (This was the second time we had this dish in recent weeks). We could not finish one whole fish so my wife carefully removed the meat sans bones and placed it in a sealable container, poured in the left over simmering liquid and placed the container in the refrigerator. A few days later, when I tried to serve this leftover fish, I was pleasantly surprised to find this dish; simmered red snapper aspic. In Japanese, this type of jell or aspic is called “nikogori” 煮こごり. When I was a kid this usually happened in winter when our kitchen was very cold and the leftover simmered fish (I remember it was often sand dabs) was covered with its own natural aspic. The best way to eat this was to put it on the top of hot steamed rice. The aspic started melting immediately and seasoned the rice nicely. When I saw what had happened with the red snapper that came out of our fridge, I quickly changed gears and served this eclectic dinner featuring red snapper aspic as the main dish. The rest of the plate came from whatever we had in our refrigerator.

Here is a close-up of the aspic. Although we did not intend to make this dish, this was nicely done.

I made Chinese -style “nibuta” 煮豚 sometime ago and last weekend I also made “ajitsuke tamago”  味付け卵 and served that.

I also served a small slice of Chinese simmered pork and cucumber/onion salad with fresh dill dressed in rice vinegar and Greek yogurt (my wife made the Greek yogurt by draining regular yogurt through cheese cloth in the fridge overnight).

Ajitsuke tamago:

This is the most common topping for ramen noodle. I made soft boiled eggs from home pasteurized shell eggs using my sous vide machine. I then soaked the eggs in the simmering liquid of the pork and let it sit for a few days. This process seasoned the eggs as well as changed the consistency of the egg yolks. I could have made “softer” boiled eggs but this was just fine.

I also served steamed green asparagus that I prepared the prior weekend with mayo. Since we did not have a time to prepare rice, I microwaved leftover rice and garnished with dried ao-nori. By the time, we were ready to eat, the rice was not hot enough to melt the aspic but it was good. Since the seasoning was on the light side, this worked better. This was a rather well balanced eclectic meal

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