Pichitto! for smoked tuna
If you love to cook fish yourself, you have to appreciate this fantastic product.
This is a plastic sheet with special gel that absorbs liquid and edgy odors. The gel is made of glutinous starch and seaweed adhesive. You just need to wrap fish or meat with this sheet and let it sit in the fridge. The osmotic pressure of the gel sucks out liquid and edgy odors from the fish, but still leaving Umami components like glutamic acid in the fish.
If you know what wonderful things it does to preserve your precious catch, you would love to give Pichitto! a novel prize. This does exactly the same effects as the dry aging of ham, bacons, and prosciutto, quickly and easily by merely wrapping and leaving in the fridge.
Regular 32 sheets: JPY2,268-
- It takes out the excess liquid and edgy odors and condenses Umami (savor).
- You can freeze fish and still keep the good texture after defrosting. It is liquid that gets crystalized and damages the meat. Pichitto! takes out the liquid and sticks to the surface of the fish to protect from freezerburn.
- Overnight with Pichitto! wrap is usually enough to take out liquid from surface and leave some inside. The fish will be still juicy when cooked.
I tried with steak and chicken drums as well, and the effect was amazing. The taste is finer and richer. It seems to help the meat to put on the seasonings as well.
If you want to buy Pichitto!, send me an email. I would love to share this with people around the world.
I didn’t post up a report, but I went out fishing last Sunday. My first jigging of this season which is just beginning. I forgot my camera. No photo. I got a couple of 2-3kg amberjacks and a couple of 2kg bonitos.
Bonito, Sarda orientalis, is not as valued as mackerel tuna and skipjack tuna in the market. Because the meat is very soft to handle and it’s fast to go bad. But the taste isn’t bad at all. As soon as I started cutting, I can tell that this one is carrying good fat. It’s been closed with Ike-Jime, of course. I decided to cold smoke it.
You can put in anything here, but I did simple Japanese seasoning.
Fish fillet: 1.5kg
Soy sauce: 100cc
Garlic: 2 cloves
Soy sauce has about 15% to 17% salt. It makes this marinade sauce have about 5% salt. That’s what I am looking for. 4 to 5 hours, or just overnight, in 5% salt.
In order to get the air out of the bag, I dip the whole bag in the water to close it. The air can oxidize the unsaturated fat and create unevenness of the marinade. Getting the air out also helps to marinate with little sauce too.
This is the next morning. I cut out a slice and taste it. It was a little too salty.
I let it sit in the running water for about 30 minutes and tasted again. It tasted OK.
You just need to taste to see if watering is necessary or how long you should do it. But this process helps to take out some fishiness, and you are supposed to marinate to the degree of salty and bring it back down with watering.
It’s important not to let the running water hit the fish directly.
And here comes Pichitto!
After watering, gently tap the fillet with towel to dry. Wrap the fillets with Pichitto! And let it sit in the fridge for more than 12 hours. If you dry more than a day, you should change Pichitto! every 24 hours. This time I started Pichitto! at 8am and unwrapped at 9pm.
This is 9pm.
The perfect state of semi-dried by Pichitto!
You touch it and the surface isn’t wet anymore. But inside it’s raw, just a little less moistured. This would make good sashimi or carpaccio as it is, but I’m going to smoke it today.
I wanted to cold smoke.
I put in a bag of ice on the lower shelf. It will cool off the smoke and keep the smoker under 20C degrees. I used the apple tree pellet, which burns itself to smoke. No heater needed.
1 hour later. Smoked.
At this finish, I sensed that it’s still holding too much liquid, so I wrapped with Pichitto! again in the fridge until dinner the next day.
And here it is. It was very very delicious. It was served at the dinner with my friends and it was the center of attention.
Even though it was half-dried, salted and smoked, the fish was not heated and this was particularly a very fast fish to go. It was caught on Sunday and this dinner was Tuesday. I could have gone raw for a week with other fish, but I figured I should cook it now.
Please be advised that eating raw fish involves certain risks, some high risks with killer pathogens. Unless you know exactly what you are doing, you should refrain from eating raw even with your own fresh catch.
Don’t do what I do. I’m crazy!
I put the smoked fish into extra virgin olive oil with black pepper, red pepper and bay leaves, and cooked low-temperature 70 C.degrees for one hour. Confit. The soft tender bonito is even more tasty now. The oil carries all the aroma too. It’s fabulous with salad, sandwich, or pasta. In a sealed bin, it’s good for a month or so.
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