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Shime Saba
Mackerel in Vinegared Dressing

1 1/2 pounds Boston or Spanish mackerel, cleaned, scaled and filleted,
but with skin left on
2 T salt
6 T rice vinegar, or substitute
1/4 c mild white vinegar
3/4 c cold water
1 1/2 T sugar

1/2 c namasu root (diakon)
4 sprigs parsley
1 tsp finely grated, scraped fresh ginger root
1/2 c sambai-zu (see below)

A day ahead, sprinkle the fish on both sides with salt and place
the fillets in a deep glass, stainless-steel or enameled baking
dish large enough to hold them in one layer. Cover with plastic
wrap and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Then remove any remaining
bones with tweezers.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, water and sugar, and pour
over the fish. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. Then
place the fish on a cutting board and slice the fish diagonally
into 1/2-inch-wide pieces.

Divide the dish into 4 portions and arrange the slices side by side
on individual plates or in small soup bowls. Garnish each portion
with 2 tablespoons of namasu and a sprig of parsley. Sprinkle each
serving of fish evenly with grated ginger and accompany with
individual bowls of sambai-zu.

Shime saba will serve four as a first course, or it will serve two
as a main course for lunch.


Sambai-zu
Rice Vinegar and Soy Dipping Sauce

2 1/2 T rice vinegar
2 tsp Japanese all-purpose soy sauce
2 1/2 T niban dashi
1/8 tsp salt
4 tsp sugar
MSG

Combine the rice vinegar, niban dashi, sugar, soy sauce and salt
in a 1-quart enameled or stainless-steel saucepan and sprinkle
lightly with MSG. Stirring constantly, bring the sauce to a boil,
uncovered, over high heat. Then immediately remove the pan from
the heat and set the sauce aside to cool to room temperature.

SERVE: Serve the sambai-zu in tiny individual cups or dishes, as
a dipping sauce for shime saba, kani kyuri ikomi, or kani sunomono.
Makes about 1/2 cup.

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