Bonito salad with garlic sauce – by Kihachi Kumagai

11 September 2006
Bonito salad with garlic sauce – by Kihachi Kumagai

Kihachi says the aroma and taste of garlic marries well with fresh bonito fish "katsuo" in Japanese. The key to the success of the dish is the marinading of the fish.


(serves four)

450g fresh bonito fish (bonito is a member of the mackerel family and has firm oily flesh. Tuna fish could be used instead)

For the spice mixture:
1tsp groundginger
Pinch of ground garlic
Few finely chopped shiso leaves
Splash of brandy (optional)
3tbs garlic oil
2tbs tomato sauce made with fresh tomatoes
Chopped herbs - cress parsley fresh basil

For the marinade: 90cc vinegar
90cc soy sauce
25cc sake (rice wine)
50cc mirin (sweet rice wine)
2/3 cup grated dried bonito
Squeeze of lemon juice

For the garlic oil:
30g thinly sliced garlic
150cc olive oil
1 fresh red chilli
Coarsely ground black pepper


Put the olive oil into a heavy saucepan and gently fry the garlic slices on a low heat.

If the heat is too high the garlic slices will curl up and burn.

Once the garlic slices are crisp and golden remove from the pan and strain from the oil. Remove the seeds from red chilli and chop finely.

Add it to the garlic oil along with black pepper to taste.

Clean fresh bonito and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

Mix the ingredients for the marinade well. Bring to the boil then leave to cool.

Add the mixture of spices into the cooled marinade.

Sear the bonito skin side down under a hot grill. Cook until the flesh turns white.

Remove and submerge in icy water so it cools quickly. Remove the fish from water and dry.

Then leave it in the marinade for about two hours. Remove the fish and retain the liquid.

Cut the marinaded fish into bite-sized pieces. Place the salad and the bite-sized chunks of marinaded fish on to a plate.

Dribble tomato sauce on to the fish before pouring the marinade over the salad.

To finish sprinkle over the chopped herbs and garlic chips.

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