The team were working on some salmon sashimi yesterday and we wanted to show you where the sashimi is sliced from on the salmon fillet and how it is trimmed and tidied up afterwards. We sell a whole range of sashimi but this is by far our most popular in the range. The belly section of the salmon is creamier in taste as it has a higher fat content.
Recently we received a shipment of uni that was our best yet. I suppose you could say that we have caught ‘UNI fever’ at Fish Palace. As we have been talking alot about uni in the past few days, I decided to do a quick blog to let you know some of the things we found out.
Firstly, we should answer the question ‘what is uni?’. Uni is the Japanese word for sea urchin. The prize is found inside the spiny shell, a yellow/orange sack which is the urchin’s gonads (reproductive organ). Most chefs and keen enthusiasts serve and eat uni raw, a few more adventurous folk cook it using obscure and adventurous methods.
Until recently, uni was mainly appreciated by the Japanese and was primarily found in Japanese restaurants in East Asian countries and Western cities. From what we gather our customers buy uni to lay out as a center piece in their sashimi and sushi feasts. On special occasions they opt for uni, keta, gindara and maguro to really impress. Whilst our customers seem to know a lot about uni we are still catching up a bit.
We’ve had quite a mixed variety of uni over the years. Uni can range in colour and form depending on quality and origin. There are around 200 species of sea urchin but only some are used on a commercial level for human consumption. The main regions of the world producing uni are Hokkaido – Japan, California – USA, Maine – USA, Chile. These are not the only places in the world your uni could come from, they are just the top 4.
As you will have gathered; we are super impressed with our current supply shipped in from Canada. We called in a favour from one of our suppliers who is an importer from that region and asked to take a small percentage of their devoted uni shipment. A small percentage to them is a vast quantity to us! Luckily the quality is premium so we are more than happy to be over stocked in sashimi grade uni. The uni is packed in neat little trays that has 2 sacs to a compartment making it perfectly convenient to take them out and construct your sashimi stacks.
So from our end the outlook is pretty positive for the this years’ supply of high grade uni. No more of that ‘eggy’ and ‘soupy’ grade 2 uni, we are rolling with the grade 1 ‘creme de la creme’ from here on out.
The Fish Society sells over 400 ‘generics’. A generic is normally a specific cut of fish, of which there might be four or more per species. For instance cod ‘generics’ are as follows (excluding smoked cod and cod roe…)
- Bullet – thickest part of the fillet with the biggest muscle flakes
- Fillet steak – neat squarish piece of fish which always looks the part
- Fillet portion slightly less desirable than fillet steaks.
- Belly or ventresca discarded from smaller fish but on large fish – such as salmon and black cod – is very desirable, rich in oils. The Fish Society cuts the pin bone strip out (the row of dots)
- Misshapes are also known as offcuts
- Cheeks – not shown – similar pieces but finer. From the cheeks of large fish.
All the above cuts are only taken from large fillets, aiming for cut sizes (portions) of 100-300g
Fillets under 300g are normally sold as whole fillets. For expensive fish such as red mullet, we will normally remove pinbones.
For a full list of the 100 species The Society supplies, plus styles and accessories head to our shop.
2016 was a great year for us at fish palace. We welcomed many enthusiastic new members and widened our offering of seafood.
We have exciting plans for 2017. Perhaps the most important is to commence routine Saturday deliveries starting from Easter. So – the many amongst you who decide on Friday to serve six lobster tails on a Saturday… we look forward to hearing from you.
We also plan to launch a subscription service which will give you a wide range of options for regular fish deliveries without you needing to comb through our website each month. Would you fancy eight servings of healthy oily fish a month? A dozen large kippers every eight weeks? How about a celebrity shellfish package for a slapup meal once a quarter? We’ll be offering a wide range of both budget and timing options and you’ll pay up to 15% less than website prices.
We’re thinking of inviting our very best customers to join a Fish Society Tasting Panel. You’ll be the first to see our new lines and we’ll be thanking you with some free samples.
Growing competition prize
Finally, we’re getting a bit bored with your performance in our Where Is This Fish? competition (which is in our marketing email each week). You’re just not trying hard enough. So have another look, because we’ll be increasing the prize by £100 a month until July, which would take it to £1,000 worth of vouchers. Now, that would make a very fine fish feast. Here’s a clue – we estimate that at least 100 million people know the answer. But, we confess, not many of them live in the UK.
All the best for 2017.