"I love bonito for this recipe, but you could substitute mackerel or another semi-oily fish, just as long as it's super-fresh," says James Henry. You'll need a blowtorch to achieve the combination of caramelised exterior and rare flesh; it's difficult to replicate this effect with a griller.
- 75 gm each caster sugar and sea salt (1/3 cup)
- 1.6 kg bonito, filleted, skinned, pin bones and blood line removed, cut into 10cm lengths
- 1 Spanish onion, quartered, petals separated
- 400 ml buttermilk
- 80 ml ponzu (1/3 cup)
- mojama (see note), toasted sesame oil and baby wood sorrel leaves (optional), To serve
- 1Combine sugar and salt in a bowl, scatter mixture over both sides of fish and refrigerate to cure for 3 hours.
- 2Blanch onion until just tender (30 seconds), refresh and drain well. Place in a non-reactive container with buttermilk and ponzu and marinate for 1 hour.
- 3Brush cure mixture from fish (discard) and transfer fish to a foil-lined oven tray. Lightly caramelise with a blowtorch and divide among serving plates.
- 4Drain onion (reserve marinade), scatter onto bonito, then finely grate mojama over the top. Drizzle with a little buttermilk marinade and sesame oil, scatter with sorrel leaves and serve.
Note Mojama, dried cured tuna, is available from Spanish delicatessens.