The Fall striped bass run is officially on in New Jersey and I got out last week on a friend’s boat for fast action on some hard fighting and delicious linesiders. Wild striped bass are some of the finest eating fish anywhere, and there’s nothing better than serving freshly caught bass as both sashimi (Japanese style) and as a crudo (Mediterranean). It’s hard to say which we like best, so give both a try and test for yourself…we guarantee you’ll reserve the nicest portion of every striped bass fillet for the raw bar. Here’s how to serve both:
Striped Bass Sashimi
Although not widely available on sushi menus, fresh striped bass in tender, delicate and absolutely pure tasting. Slice the thickest portion of the fillet very thinly and against the grain with a really sharp knife and serve it with the sashimi basics.
– 1/4 lb wild striped bass fillet, skinned – try to use the thick piece of the filet nearest the head
– Soy sauce – go for Japanese soy sauce vs. Chinese (it’s less salty and a bit milder)
– Wasabi powder or prepared wasabi in a tube (use freshly grated wasabi root if you can get it)
– Dash of water to make wasabi paste
1. Slice the chilled bass fillet into thin 1/4-inch slices, against the grain, and arrange on a nice plate for a single serving or to share…or put 3-4 pieces on individual plates
2. Mix wasabi powder with a touch of water in a small dish to create a paste and place a dollop on the serving plate. If you ever see real wasabi root at the market, get it! Most wasabi powders and prepared pastes are made up primarily of horseradish….wasabi root is more subtle and something really special.
3. Pour soy sauce in a smaller dish and place on the serving plate or alongside
4. Use chopsticks (or your fingers) and dab with wasabi and soy.
Striped Bass Crudo
The word itself means “raw” in Italian and Spanish, and typically refers to slices of fish drizzled with olive oil and brightened up with lemon or other citrus and salt, in the classic presentation.
- 1/4 pound wild striped bass fillet, skinned – the thick, white meat portion closest to the head is best – black sea bass or fluke (summer flounder) are good substitutes
- Zest and juice of 1/2 small lemon
- Sprinkles of coarse sea salt (we like Hawaiian black lava for look and taste)
- Few grinds of fresh black pepper
- Drizzle of your best Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Fresh herbs finely chopped (optional) – chives or parsley
- Slice the chilled bass fillet into thin 1/4-inch slices, against the grain, and arrange on a nice plate or plates
- Zest the lemon and sprinkle it and the juice over the fish, then sprinkle fish slices evenly with a small amount of sea salt and cracked pepper.
- Top each piece with a nice drizzle of olive oil and garnish with fresh cut herbs.