Katsuo is a fish that has a distinctive bluish colour to it's back and so is natively known as the "blue fish". 'Blue fish' are becoming ever popular because it is proven to reduce neutral fat. Katsuo (bonito) migrate from Shikoku (in the South of Japan) to Tohoku (in the North) after Spring. Those katsuo that are caught around the Spring season are called "hatsu gatsuo" (the first season of Katsuo) as this katsuo migration is taken to be a sign that summer is soon to visit. The Japanese love to eat seasonally, enjoying the great variety and flavours that each season brings, making the most of the abundant foods that nature provides.
At the beginning of summer, one dish that is popular is "katsuo no tataki", as it signals the long, warm, hazy days of summer and because it is a simple dish to prepare. Making "katsuo no tataki" is not complicated and there are a couple of theories regarding the origin of the cooking method of "tataki" - food seared by an open flame, by frying or by quick boiling. One theory is that "tataki" existed since the time of Edo and was popularised then, the other is that it started as a method if cooking at a famous katsuo fish port in Tosa, around the Meiji period. Cooked using the searing method, the scales are first removed from the fish but the skin is left on. Next you need to clean and fillet the fish. The fillets are then seared over a flame, capturing the flavour. The dish is served and complimented, with a simple vinaigrette dressing and chopped condiments.
300 -500 g Katsuo (Bonito)
salt to sprinkle
a cold wet tea towel that has been firmly wrung out
For the condiment:
6 pieces myoga (Japanese ginger)
13 leaves of Green perilla (shiso)
12 green spring onions / or use half onion
Half a clove of garlic
Salt to sprinkle
Lemon - to taste.
For the "chiri su" sauce (vinaigrette)
6 tablespoon soy sauce
6 tablespoon vinegar
2 table spoon mirin