When I pontificated about sanma さんまor pacific saury, I mentioned that “sashimi” of sanma is not unusual now. (This is because of the improvements in distribution that get these perishable “blue” fish quickly to the market. One aspect of this improvement is that this formerly lowely fish has been “up-graded” in status and has become much more expensive in many sushi bars). I was surprised to see frozen and vinegared sanma or shime-sanma 〆さんま in the freezer case of our Japanese grocery store. Although vinegared mackerel or シメサバ is very common, I have never seen sanma sold this way and promptly bought it.
I served it with two kinds of cucumber salad (one with thinly sliced myoga and one with thinly sliced red onion, both salted, washed and then excess moisture wrung out and dressed in vinegar dressing). I also put both grated ginger and wasabi.
As you can see below, this is very well vinegared and the meat is all opaque (i.e. chemically cooked) which is the same in packaged frozen vinegared Mackerel.
The below was how it came. One package had three filets of sanma.
After thawing, I blotted excess moisture and sliced it slightly obliquely.
The shime sanma tasted very similar to shime saba or mackerel. The vinegar was a bit sweeter than I would like but my wife thought it was fine. As I mentioned, the meat was throughly vinegared and opaque. If the center was a bit closer to raw would have been better but I am asking too much.
The only drink that goes with this is sake. This sake called “Tozai Living Jewel” is widely available in US and appears to be an export only brand from Kizakura brewery 黄桜酒造 in Kyoto, Japan. We have tasted turbid sake from them before called “snow maiden” “Tozai Yuki musume” 東西雪娘.
The current one is “junmai shu” 純米酒 and it is not too yeasty, Although it does not have depth or complex flavors or fruity note (which is more from ginjo and daiginjo flavors) and the taste disappears quickly in the palate (i.e. short finish), it is quite a drinkable sake. This one went particularly well with a strong oily fish with vinegar and sweet taste of vinegared sanma we were having.
So, we enjoyed this dish and sake.