Ecstasy Isn't Cheap, Salt and Pepper Semi-Cured Hamachi Sashimi for Labor Day

After vegetarian-no cooking needed Watermelon Feta recipe  from Salt Block Cooking, 70 Recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing, and Serving on Himalayan Salt Blocks (Andrews McMeel, May 2013) by Mark Bitterman, we go sashimi.

Salt and Pepper Semi-Cured Hamachi Sashimi

A cut of fish glistening from the sea asks that we honor it. Simple slices of pristine Hamachi can’t bear the insult of ornamentation, but they are exalted by salt. Resting fresh fish flesh on a chilled block of salt returns it momentarily to its birthplace, impregnating it with salinity, firming its muscularity. You will need very high-quality fish for this dish. If you have access to an Asian market, the fishmonger there can usually get you sushi-grade hamachi. Plan ahead, because it might have to be special-ordered. Yes, I know it is pricey, but ecstasy isn’t cheap.

1 (9-inch) square or round salt block
1 pound sushi-grade yellowtail
flounder (hamachi)
2 Tellicherry peppercorns
4 dried green peppercorns
4 Szechuan peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
2 scallions, roots and dark green ends
trimmed, thinly sliced
4 thin lime slices



Chill the salt block in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Cut the yellowtail into .-inch-thick slices. Place the fish slices on the chilled salt block and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Then flip the pieces of fish so the other side comes in contact with the salt and refrigerate for another 5 minutes.

While the fish is curing, smash the Tellicherry, green, and Szechuan peppercorns with the flat side of a large knife, a meat pounder, or the bottom of a heavy skillet. Mix the peppercorns together with the Aleppo pepper.

To serve, scatter the pepper and scallions over the fish, and serve on the salt block with the lime slices. Squeeze a lime over the dish if desired, or save it for a salty lime dessert.

(*Recipe excerpted from 'Salt Block Cooking' by Mark Bitterman- Andrews McMeel Publishing, May 2013- reproduced with permission)

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