Easy Izakaya Fare
The foods of the Japanese izakaya (taverns) are among the most beloved in the world. There’s not a chef in the country who doesn’t try his or her hand at chawanmushi, ramen, soba, robata-style fish, yakitori and so on. Surprisingly, though, very few home cooks do. I’m not sure why. Myths abound about arcane ingredients and difficult techniques, but that couldn’t be less true. This is simple, easy bar food.
This broiled yellowtail collar can be made in a flash. When it’s served with rice and someoshinko (Japanese pickles), it makes the perfect meal. If you can’t find yellowtail collars, you can use tuna, salmon or swordfish collars as well. It’s the most amazing cut on a large fish and the salting and broiling technique is one you can replicate with other cuts of fish as well.
Broiled Yellowtail Collar with Daikon
- Four 1/2-pound yellowtail collars
- Kosher salt
- 1/3 cup soy sauce (this is my favorite soy sauce)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of sugar
- 1/2 pound daikon, peeled and shredded
Season the yellowtail collar all over with salt and let stand for 15 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels.
Preheat the broiler and position the rack 8 to 10 inches from the heat. Season the yellowtail collars lightly with salt and arrange skin side up on a large rimmed baking sheet. Broil for about 10 minutes, until the skin is lightly charred. Flip the collars and broil for 10 minutes longer, until the meat flakes with a fork.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce with the lemon juice and sugar.
Transfer the broiled yellowtail collars to a platter and pile the daikon alongside. Drizzle some of the lemon soy sauce over the daikon and serve, passing additional lemon soy sauce at the table.
Photography by Madeleine Hill.
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