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Hau'oli Makahiki Hou: Time for Sashimi

Moriawase Sashimi: (top row) Maguro (Tuna), Ebi (Shrimp);
(bottom row) Sake (Salmon), Toro (Fatty Tuna), with Julienne Daikon and Wasabi. $9

In Hawaii, every year in late December following Christmas, there are two things you can be sure will be in high demand: Fireworks and Sashimi. The former from China, the latter from Japan; yet both completely established through generations as a “local” New Year’s tradition in the islands.

During this time of peak demand, folks flock to the markets in droves seeking out the best cuts of Sashimi grade Ahi they can get their hands on. The best grades sometimes running over $30 per pound, depending, who, where and what.

I won’t sit here any longer explaining what exactly Sashimi is or the specifics of the traditions, as I’m by far no expert; I just know I love it.

If you gave me a choice between a full-course prime rib dinner, or that platter of Sashimi I have pictured above, I’d more than likely choose the Sashimi. Well, depends on my mood, but just saying, that’s how much I adore this dish.

We had a conservative spread of Sashimi and Poke for our little New Year’s gathering this year, but that was wiped out no sooner than I could get my camera out and say “Ahi!”.

Not to fret, as still craving more, I was able to get my hands on this freshly-made Moriawase Sashimi platter from Marukai at Ward Farmer’s Market today. This beautiful, fully-loaded assortment of Sashimi-grade Maguro (Tuna), Toro (Fatty Tuna), Ebi (Shrimp) and Sake (Salmon) was just $9, just 2 days after the high-demand New Year’s Eve rush.

The only traditional item this spread is missing is the Shiso leaf. No biggy. Heck, this fish is so fresh, it makes those plastic green “garnishes” almost come alive! At least it has shredded Daikon, which I love, as it gives the delicate fish some texture contrast.

Here, have a bite of some Maguro Sashimi…

Fresh Maguro (raw tuna) Sashimi with thinly-sliced Daikon

I tell ya’, this stuff was so fresh, tender and “buttery”, I could barely keep it on my chopsticks (hashi) while taking that photo before it was ready to tear apart and fall off on its own. As you can see, there’s a dab of Wasabi on it, and also a quick dip in shoyu. Sink that piece whole, along with the shredded Daikon in one bite and… MMMMMMM… Oishii desu yo! Like “buttuh”. In fact, this entire platter pretty much fit that description. I want more!

If I were to make the Sashimi myself, I’d simply put just Maguro (not all the other varieties) over a bed of thinly-sliced cabbage, and garnish with chopped green onion. Instead of wasabi and shoyu, I’d use Coleman’s Mustard and shoyu, which has Chinese influence. This is how our family has always prepared Sashimi at home, and it’s really ono that way. But of course the traditional Japanese presentation is fantastic as well.

Well it’s 2008 gang, and WOW, how time is flying, yet still so much more to share here on The Tasty Island.

With that, in an entry following soon, I’ll showcase some interesting Poke varieties available in our local markets, including one I seen recently made out of Kamaboko (fish cake).

Shinnen Omedeto Gozaimasu
Hau’oli Makahiki Hou
Happy New Year!


3 thoughts on “Hau'oli Makahiki Hou: Time for Sashimi

  • January 4, 2008 at 5:56 am

    that sashimi looks really fresh! can’t wait to see your poke varieties.

    Have a delicious 2008!

  • January 4, 2008 at 9:11 am

    Nice!!! Though the sashimi here is mo bettah!!!

    My daughter after visiting here and eating the sashimi and nigiri sushi doesn’t like the stuff in Hawaii.

    Me, I’m going home to visit and eat meat!!! Hopefully in a month.

  • January 4, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    That first image…dang! It just brings tears to my eyes. Cruel man, cruel. If ONLY I could find fresh fish like that over here. I miss my sashimi!

    As for the subject of fireworks – the two italian girls that I was with were like “Rowena..how can you play with those things?!” They were actually afraid, stay-away-from-the-american-girl-afraid. I was only air-drawing with SPARKLERS!! Arghghgh!


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