Ike Jime is a Japanese technique that helps recreational anglers have the highest-grade seafood at home. Instead of going to an expensive sushi restaurant, use the Ike Jime technique to have superior-grade seafood. With a few tools and quick steps, Ike Jime can improve the flavor and quality of every fish you catch.
Most anglers have their definition of fresh fish. However, the level of freshness varies depending on how the fish was caught and cleaned. An Ike Jime fish can be caught, filleted, and kept in the fridge five times longer than the fresh fish you purchase at the store. Ike Jime allows anglers to utilize their fish and have less waste. It also enhances the fish’s flavor and there is no “fishy” smell or taste.
Why Restaurants Buy Ike Jimed Fish with Chef Michael Cimarusti
Chef Michael Cimarusti is the owner and head chef at Providence in Los Angeles, a fine-dining seafood restaurant with two Michelin Stars. He spent time in the kitchen at Watergrill before opening Providence in 2005. Excelling in fresh seafood options, Providence has been taking steps towards a sustainable menu for years. His restaurant purchases Ike Jimed fish locally whenever possible because of its superior quality and flavor.
Chef Cimarusti explained that fish that are Ike Jimed provide an exceptional dining experience for customers. He even said that fish who undergo the Ike Jime process impress people who typically don’t eat seafood. Chef Cimarusti added that with Ike Jime, you can store your fish without freezing or giving them away.
As referenced in the Complete Guide to Ike Jime, this process dramatically improves the appearance and quality of your catch. A fish’s appearance is a clear indicator of Ike Jime.
For example, Benitos typically lose their color and stripes within 15-20 minutes of landing them. However, with Ike Jime, Benitos maintain their color and stripes even after being killed. The color of the fish’s flesh is another indicator of Ike Jime because when fish are bled properly, their flesh stays its natural color instead of turning dark. Fish flesh turns dark when they experience stress because they release stress hormones that degrade the quality of their meat.
Chef Cimarusti said, “The fish are just amazing. I recently purchased 100 pounds of fish from a local commercial fisherman, who Ike Jimes his fish. Although we go through these fish in 3-4 days, I can keep them for a week or more because the flavor will only improve. We have dry-aged some of these fish, and the flavors become more pronounced, but not fishy. The skin dries out, allowing us to change our techniques to provide different textures.”
Another culinary benefit of Ike Jime is the freshness and flavor it adds to your catch. Bleeding your fish helps limit bacteria growth that causes a fishy taste and smell. Using the brain spike improves the texture of your fish because it delays rigor mortis, which is when the fish’s muscles and joints stiffen, making it tough. The brain spike also ensures that the fish experiences low levels of stress, and doing so leads to a better-tasting fish. Finally, icing your catch ensures it stays fresh and helps maintain a high-quality flavor. Like the brain spike, it helps delay rigor mortis so anglers can enjoy fish fillets that are firm and soft.
After spending some time in Japan in 2009, Chef Cimarusti had the opportunity to learn about Ike Jime and how to perform it. The results were terrific. As a result, Providence started purchasing Ike Jimed fish from overseas to supply their customers with the best quality seafood. It had to buy imported fish at the time because Ike Jime was not common in the United States. Now, Providence is proud to purchase most of its seafood from local commercial anglers who perform Ike Jime on their fish. To have the best-looking and tasting fish, use Ike Jime and enjoy a high-quality and flavorful catch every time.
Chef Cimarusti's Simple Fish Recipe
Simple and delicious. Chef Cimarusti starts with a mild white meat fish like bocaccio. Snapper, sea bass, and most flatfish are great alternatives, too.
Then Chef Cimarusti makes a simple seasoning using espelette pepper, which is like cayenne pepper. He begins by sprinkling it on both sides of the fish. Next, the fish goes on a hot skillet with some oil. To ensure the fish cooks evenly, he uses a meat weight to weigh it down. After it cooks for a little bit, he flips it. After the flip, he adds butter and bastes the fish.
Once the pan is back on the heat, he squeezes some lemon juice into the pan with the butter, letting the combination emulsify and foam quickly. Now it’s time to serve, and Chef Cimarusti plates the fish with the sauce, making a delicious meal.
With the Ike Jime process, anglers can reap the rewards of their catch with enhanced flavor and long-lasting freshness. By performing each step in the Ike Jime process, anglers reasonably handle their catch and practice sustainability to ensure their fish doesn’t go to waste. To learn more, check out our Complete Guide to Ike Jime and AFTCO Fish Care products.