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To prepare ankimo

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Ankimo is Japanese for monkfish liver; it's delicious, and often served as a speciality appetiser in restaurants. It's also really easy to prepare.

I used to suggest wrapping the liver in plastic wrap before wrapping it in aluminum foil, but I got e-mail from a researcher saying that heating up plastic wrap like that causes it to give off surprising amounts of carcinogenic chemicals, so I tried leaving out the plastic wrap, and found it to work just fine without.

I find that 1 lb. or 0.5 kg. monkfish liver makes enough for three.

Salt well
Place the liver in a bowl and salt it well; let it sit in the refrigerator for 40 minutes.
Soak in sake
Wash the salt off with a little sake and then soak the liver in some more sake for 10 minutes or so. The quality of sake really doesn't matter; I have had fine results using cooking sake, or mirin.
After this, the veins should be easier to remove. Carefully extract them using a good pair of tweezers.
Pierce with a skewer
Lay the liver out on a sheet of aluminum foil and roll it up tightly, trying to make a tube about 3 cm. or 1.5 inches in diameter. Pierce 10 or 15 holes in the package with a thin skewer.
Steam it on the stovetop for 35 minutes.
Unwrap and cool
Unwrap it and let it cool to room temperature. It can be served cooler, but don't serve it hot off the stove or cold out of the refrigerator.
Slice and serve
Cut it into quarter-inch or half-centimetre slices and serve in small bowls. Pour a tablespoonful or so of ponzu[1] over it and garnish with grated ginger and thinly-sliced green onions.
The garnished bowls ready to serve.

1. Ponzu is a delicate citrus-based sauce. Don't use soy sauce, as it will overwhelm the flavour of the ankimo.

Last modified 2006-05-20