It’s exciting, moving to a new city. Doubly so if, like me, you grew up on the coast and it’s the first time you’ve lived by the sea for 16 years. There’s the immediate hit of being in a different place, and then a slow burning pleasure it opens up and starts to reveal its secrets.
And so it was with some excitement that we discovered Fish just a short bike ride away near Hove lagoon. It sits in a plain concrete building, with wonderful counter covered in crushed ice, displaying some of the freshest, and local, fish and shellfish I’ve seen. This is what a fishmonger should be like, not the sorry excuse – offering the same ageing fish – you see in supermarkets.
Sparkling mackerel, live crabs, grumpy looking John Dory, sleek grey mullet, live razors, mussels and clams and much, much more. I just walked up and down the counter relishing the fresh salty tang and totally unable to make a choice. We came back with some mackerel for the BBQ, a lovely looking squid and the determination to return. Regularly.
And to top it all off, we stumbled on Marrocco’s on the way back, where we had a huge platter of superb frito misto for £18. More than enough for two, and we were able to eat it outside looking out over the sea.
This recipe is what I made from the squid we bought back from Fish. It’s pretty quick and the sweet-salty marinade, so typical of Japanese cooking, highlights the creamy taste of the squid beautifully. The perfect way to celebrate our fine new discovery.
Japanese seared squid with chilli
Feeds two if you use a medium squid
1 squid – cleaned , butterflied and scored
60ml/Qtr cup Mirin
60ml/Qtr cup soy sauce
1 tblsp caster sugar
A little chilli powder (I use Shichimi Togarashi) to finish
Pour the mirin and soy sauce into a small small pan and add the sugar. Bring to the boil and then turn immediately drown to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Meanwhile clean (here’s a pretty good guide, i used the guide in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Fish book) and score the squid. Then, when the mirin. mixture is cool, marinade the squid in it for about 30 minutes.
While you cook the rest of the meal heat up a griddle or frying pan until it is smoking hot – and then heat it some more, you want to make sure it is red hot.
Sear the squid on it for one minute (there will be smoke from the marinade), turn and leave it for one more minute, no more. Then serve immediately with a little chilli powder sprinkled on top.