Artisan work: Hirame Kobujime

Hirame Kobujime is flatfish sandwiched between sheets of kelp.

Kelp brings out the refined flavor of the white fish…

The flatfish is as transparent as rice and wasabi under it can be seen.

This refine appearance is really aesthetic too.

Its umami enhances and its texture becomes tender by sandwiching it between sheets of kelp, because protein containing the fish changes into amino acid.

Flatfish is one of the most famous white fish in winter.

It gradually becomes tasty around autumn and becomes fatty and the best to eat in the middle of winter when the temperature of the sea water becomes the lowest.

It has a high-quality, springy, firm texture and light, elegant sweetness that is the best attractive part of the fish.

Nowadays, we can get fresh flatfish everywhere and it is delicious enough as it is.

However, the technique to sandwich the fish with sheets of kelp is not only to add a flavor but also to make it last longer and more delicious.

This is the fruit of cleverness and wisdom of people in the Edo period.

“The key factor when making Kobujime is that kelp contains the right amount of salt.”

“Rehydrate kelp, wash it with vinegar, sprinkle salt over it, and wrap sliced flatfish with the lightly salted kelp.”

“We don’t sprinkle salt directly over fish because fish will become too salty.”

“The fish texture will be tender and smooth by absorbing the umami and saltiness of kelp.”

Chef George (Japanese) explained.

If you leave flatfish sandwiched with sheets of kelp in a refrigerator for one or two days, the fish will change its color to subtle amber because kelp essence will transfer to the fish.

The fish itself will enhance its flavor with the flavor of kelp and its texture will become moist and smooth.

Hirame Kobujime doesn’t have a strong distinctive flavor compared to Maguro (tuna) or Kohada (gizzard shad) Kobujime.

However, it has a refined umami that is special to white fish.

Furthermore, it is soft and nutritious due to kelp.

You can enjoy two in one.

Hirame Kobujime is essential for sushi served at the Edomaekan.

Please try Hirame Kobujime when you visit a sushi shop in Japan.