Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Saba-Weekday style for the Doc

This one is for Dr. Biggles... His call for (quick) weekday meals was perfect for me, since I've had a hectic week at work already, and it's only Tuesday. I feel my energy to cook and eat zapped by my recent workload and work stress... Sigh.

Anyway, Doc, I sincerely appreciated your help with my mid-week rib problem, so when you asked for a week-day recipe, I knew I had to contribute.

This one is oh-so-easy, I feel almost guilty posting it as any kind of entry... But we Japanese believe that bringing out the best in the ingredient can be done with the simplest of preparation methods. And this one really takes that concept to the extreme...

Saba, otherwise known as mackerel, is a staple for me. When in doubt, go for a saba dinner. I mean, seriously, this is so easy, even the Papa Bear can handle it by himself - so much that he made it for Anne when I was away (and then saved her left-over saba skin to eat later - eeeeewwe, again!!).

Here's the recipe.

1. Stop by a Japanese grocery store. Any Japanese grocery store will do, since even the tiny Nakayama Market in Pleasanton carries saba and daikon.

2. Purchase saba and daikon (that big white root vegetable). Also purchase a lemon or a lime if you don't have one handy at home.

3. Grill saba. On my two layer fish roaster, it takes 10 min. Since the Doc is a grill-meister, he can probably do this without the aid of an electric griddle...

4. Peel and grate daikon. This may be the only step difficult for a non-Japanese person. One has to purchase a daikon grater, which one can also pick up at a Japanese grocery store for $5-$10.

5. Serve saba with grated daikon, quartered citrus, and soy sauce.

I usually make a side of greens and white rice to go with this, but really, that's all there is. From start to finish, it never takes more than 20 min, and it's oh-so-yummy every time. Saba is full of that fishy oil that is supposed to be good for your eyes and mental cognition, not to mention the dance of umami amino acids on your tongue!!! This is really the working girl's gourmet meal that looks and tastes gourmet - feels like a meal at the local Japanese restaurant in the comfort of your own home.

Enjoy, Doc!


Sam said...

is the saba fresh or frozen or otherwise presented when you buy it from 'any japanese grocery store' ?

The Papa Bear said...

You'll never let me forget that one, won't ya? :) I didn't eat it, by the way.

Sam, some grocery stores sell the saba frozen; some sell it fresh. But they always filet for you. You don't have to shy away from the frozen ones, since it takes very little time to thaw it (in its filet form).

Like the Baby Bear had said; this is one very easy and tasty meal to make. Notice the "fusion" look. I don't think the Japanese use too much chili peppers in their food, especially the ones as hot as the one in the picture. :)