Ikijime, this is the secret of the most famous Sushimen and Chefs when preparing dishes with fresh fish.
The first time I saw an Ikijime I had no idea what it was or how it was used. We received the Ikijime from the famous Japanese brand Lumica, in a delivery to our Everquest Sports store, in Brazil. Diogo Yamada, as the son of Japanese parents and a great connoisseur of Asian cuisine, already knew about this device, but I didn't even know it existed.
As soon as we started to publicize receiving the Ikijime, several Chefs from Brazil became interested, among them the renowned Chef Emerson Kim, head chef of the acclaimed restaurant Makoto Shopping Cidade Jardim and the head of a praised team that has catered exclusive dinners for Tiffany & Co and Dior.
Chef Emerson Kim, son of Korean parents and prominent in Japanese cuisine, has traveled the world learning and teaching in restaurants like Nobu in St Moritz, Switzerland, Matsuhisa, in Mykonos, Greece, and Amura, in Orlando, United States. He is an avid fisherman, he knows the Ikijime technique, and he likes to take care of fish personally, using the technique in his dishes to preserve the meat in the best texture and quality.
Ikijime or Ikejime is a method used mainly by Japanese sport fishermen which guarantees the quality of the meat in addition to providing quick and humane death to the fish. This technique was developed in Japan but is currently practiced worldwide.
When the fish is removed from the water, it quickly begins to suffer a series of nervous stimuli, producing lactic acid. The lactic acid then produces a metallic flavor in the fish meat, and the degradation process is accelerated, generating the characteristic smell that we associate with fish (burnt tuna or yake meat syndrome, in Japanese). But the truth is that fresh and correctly slaughtered fish do not have an unpleasant smell.
In the Ikijime technique, the fisherman inserts a spike directly into the fish's brain, preventing nerve stimuli from reaching the muscles and triggering the chemical reactions responsible for the bad odor.
Then, as the heart is still beating, 3 cuts are made to bleed the fish: 2 under each side of the gills and a third in the artery in the tail. The last step is to insert a rod through the spinal cord channel that cuts all nerve signals, preventing the generation of more lactic acid.
With the use of the Ikijime technique, the fish not only dies faster and without suffering, but its meat also has a much more refined flavor, with a whiter color and no clots, indispensable for maturing and reaching the maximum flavor of the fish with the development of salts and can still be preserved for longer.
If you want to try the Ikijime technique and guarantee more flavor and quality to your fish, come to The Fisherman`s Hut, importer and distributor of Japanese sport fishing products in the United States.