Monkfish Tempura In Rich Tare Sauce With Liver on Rice: A Chef’s Success Story

Monkfish Tempura In Rich Tare Sauce With Liver on Rice
Yomiuri Shimbun: あんこう天丼…肝入り、たまりじょうゆダレ, January 19, 2010

Monkfish Tempura
Ankō tendon is monkfish filet tempura and steamed liver on rice with local vegetables.

The Ōarai Seaside Hotel in Ōarai, Ibaraki has debuted a popular new dish, ankō tendon, which consists of the local delicacy monkfish‘s filet and local vegetables fried tempura-style in tare sauce and served along with the fish’s steamed liver over rice.

The hotel’s PR slogan is “savor the charm of monkfish in a different context than the nabe (steampot).”

This is the height of monkfish season. Many guests stay at the hotel to enjoy the aforementioned nabemono, but many people dislike the funky look and smell of the fish, and some avoid the dish because the fish’s innards are included. With that in mind, as monkfish season approached last fall, junior proprietor Kazuko Ishii (54) approached Head Chef Shōji Koibuchi (44) about adding new, non-nabe offerings to the menu.

Mr. Koibuchi tried boiling monkfish in red wine and in cheese fondue, but he “couldn’t make it easy to eat” that way. Next, he tried to adapt it to perennial favorite tendon (tempura on rice).

The natural moisture of the monkfish made it unsuitable for tempura, and many of his techniques were foiled. Finally, by cutting the white meat into thin slices and running hot water over it to remove the moisture, and by steaming the characteristic liver and cutting it into bite-sized pieces, he removed the fishy stink. To add a mildly sweet tempura flavor, he fried the filet in rich tare sauce [a sweetened, thickened soy-based dipping sauce]. Tempura versions of local vegetables like carrots and garland chrysanthemum were added to fill the bowl to the brim.

The dish was added to the menu last December and drew an excellent response. “Since we only include the filet and liver, even those who dislike the fish can enjoy this dish,” Ishii says. Koibuchi says, “In February, the size and fat content of the monkfish’s liver peaks, and I’m definitely looking forward to eating it.”

For 1500 yen, customers who are not overnight guests can order the dish from the hotel restaurant. For more information, call the Ōarai Seaside Hotel at 029-267-2111.

あんこう天丼…肝入り、たまりじょうゆダレ
アンコウの白身と肝の天ぷらが乗った「あんこう天丼」

 茨城県大洗町の大洗シーサイドホテルで、茨城の味覚アンコウを天ぷらに揚げた「あんこう天丼」が登場し、人気を呼んでいる。

 同ホテルは「鍋とは違ったアンコウの魅力を味わって」とPRしている。

 アンコウは今がちょうど食べ頃。同ホテルでは鍋を目当てに宿泊する客も多いが、独特の臭みや外見を嫌がったり、内臓なども入るため敬遠する客もいた。そこで若おかみの石井和子さん(54)が昨年秋、アンコウが旬を迎えるのを前に料理長の鯉渕正司さん(44)に相談し、鍋以外の新しいメニューを考えることにした。

 鯉渕さんはアンコウを赤ワインで煮たり、チーズフォンデュにしたりと洋食のメニューも作ってみたが、「気軽に食べてもらう料理ではない」と断念。どの世代にも受け入れられるよう天丼を作ることにした。

 アンコウは水気が多く、本来は天ぷらに向いていないため、様々な工夫が凝らされた。白身部分は薄く切り、湯通しして水気を飛ばし、アンコウの特徴とも言える肝は蒸してから一口大に切って揚げることで生臭さをなくした。淡泊な味のため、天ぷらにかけるタレも一工夫し、たまりじょうゆを使って甘めに仕上げた。ニンジンやシュンギクなど茨城産の野菜の天ぷらも一緒に盛りつけ、ボリューム満点の天丼が完成した。

 昨年12月に新メニューに加えて以来、客の反応も上々で、石井さんは「白身と肝だけを使っているので、苦手と思っている人も食べられるのでは」、鯉渕さんは「アンコウは2月にかけて肝が大きくなって脂がのるので、是非食べてもらいたい」と話している。

 1500円(税込み)で、宿泊客以外もホテル内のレストランで注文できる。問い合わせは大洗シーサイドホテル(029・267・2111)へ。
(2011年1月19日12時42分 読売新聞)

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