How can fish be both sashimi and smoked at the same time? With a bit of clever handling, something very familiar to Masaharu Morimoto. The Iron Chef was in town this week at his Morimoto Philadelphia, and we had the chance to try this the new dish at his sushi bar. If you like smoked flavor as much as we do, you may never want sashimi any other way.
First Morimoto gathered kindling of cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise and a block of compressed cherry blossoms, and lit the pile on fire with a torch. Then he capped the glowing embers with a large wine glass, which quickly filled with billowing smoke. A few freshly-carved slices of sakura masu (cherry trout) and amadai (tile fish) were arranged on a separate plate, onto which the chef carefully transferred the smoke-filled glass.
After around five minutes, he lifted the wine glass from the fish, which had been drizzled with a bit of olive oil and soy sauce, and served it with a special flourish - a small pour of Morimoto sake swirled in the same glass used to collect the smoke. The fish was both silky and toothy, as raw fish should be, but infused with incredible smoky flavors for much more depth than sashimi usually carries. Sips of sake intensified the experience. A lot of effort for a few slices of fish, perhaps, but so totally worth it.