This is a just a variation of “Katsuo-no-tataki”カツオのタタキ or bonito filet with the surface cooked/smoked with a fire fueled by straw. Since we had this frozen bonito in our freezer for sometime, we decided to finally eat it one weekend. Instead of the usual way of serving, I decide to serve it carpaccio-style. This was inspired by and adapted from a recipe I saw on line. The dressing is garlic infused light olive oil with anchovies. Served with cucumber, tomato, sweet onion, fried garlic chips, lemon zest and lemon juice. The picture below is just one slice with all the garnish.
The picture below shows the serving dish of bonito I arranged to share one evening. This is a bit more than half of the bonito tataki package we opened.
Here is the package of bonito tataki which was thawed in the refrigerator for over one day. To remove some taste of fishiness, I dried the surface with paper towel and then covered it with a rice vinegar soaked paper towel for 5 minutes. I sliced it into pieces that were a bit less than half an inch thick.
I assembled the garnish from ingredients I had on hand. I sliced half a sweet onion (Vidalia) and some American mini cucumber. I kneaded the cucumber with a pinch of salt and let it stand for 5 minutes. Then I wrung out the excess moisture. I added a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the bottom of the serving plate and placed the onion and cucumber on top.
I happened have some skinned and prepared Campari tomatoes. So I sliced them and layered the tomato and bonito slices in concentric circle as shown below. I scattered some lemon zest over the top using a micro-grater.
For the sauce, Initially I though about a mixture of balsamic vinegar and soy sauce (which is a similar combination used in the sauce that traditionally accompanies bonito tataki. I also considered a Ponzu sauce, which is a mixture of Japanese Yuzu citrus juice and soy sauce). But taking a cue from the aforementioned recipe on line, I made a mixture of garlic infused oil (the oil left over after the garlic chips were fried and set aside) and anchovy paste (I added to taste).
I drizzled the dressing on top of the bonito and tomatoes then squeezed on some lemon juice, and added the fried garlic chips. We ate the slices of bonito with tomato, cucumber and onion. I had my serving with the garlic chips but my wife avoided them. The bottom onion slices absorbed the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The sauce was very good too. Surprisingly, unless someone mentioned the sauce contained anchovies, I never would have guessed. The anchovies did give it an added dimension of complexity even though they did not announce their presence. The combination was quite good and different from our usual way of serving bonito.