Jennie Tai
Japanese wtf delicious

WTF Delicious: Monkfish Liver (Ankimo)

WTFDelicious spotlights brow-raising bites that venture out-of-the-box to change the way we see “good food”. Enjoy hover-friendly photos and deets on forks full of pure, tasty, genius.

Who knew cheese curds could come from such a scary looking fish? (Hover over the image to see what a monkfish looks like).

Ok, not real cheesecurds–but this popular Japanese delicacy was ranked #32 in CNN’s “World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods”  and has a soft, creamy, silky and slightly chewy texture that tastes very similar to firm mozzarella.

Ankimo, Japan’s “foie gras” is wildly popular among sushi fanatics, and is made of deveined monkfish liver that is first rubbed with salt, then rinsed with sake, rolled into a cylinder and steamed before it is served with sliced green onions and ponzu sauce. At Blue Ocean in Fairfax, VA–Ankimo is served with shredded seaweed and ponzu (pictured above).

Though available year-round in the United States, anikimo is normally just a winter delicacy in Japan. Many believe that Japanese fishermen first prepared ankimo, because they didn’t want to discard any part of their catch, including the massive liver that is normally more than half a foot long and weighs well over a pound.

This traditional dish is becoming increasingly popular in upscale sushi bars, despite concerns that monkfish are overfished, so it’s possible ankimo won’t be around much longer. If you do spot them on the menu though, consider giving it a try.

Where to find Ankimo now:

DC
Kotobuki: 4822 MacArthur Blvd NW, 2nd Floor; DC; 202-625-9080; www.kotobukiusa.com.
Kaz Sushi Bistro: 1915 I St NW, DC; 202-530-5500; www.kazsushibistro.com.
Izakaya Seki: 1117 V St NW, DC; 202-588-5841; www.sekidc.com.
Murasaki: 4620 Wisconsin Ave NW, DC; 202-966-0023; www.murasakidc.com.
Sushi Taro: 1503 17th St NW, DC; 202-462-8999; www.sushitaro.com.

VA
Blue Ocean: 9440 Main St, Fairfax VA; 703-425-7555; www.izakayablueocean.com.
Sushi Yoshi: 101 Church St NW, Vienna VA; 703-242-1350; www.sushiyoshivienna.com.
Ariake: 12184 Glade Dr, Reston, VA; 703-391-9006; www.ariakerestaurant.com.
Maneki Neko: 238 W Broad St, Falls Church, VA; 703-534-8666; www.mneko.com.
Tachibana: 6715 Lowell Ave, McLean VA, 703-847-1771; www.tachibana.us.

 

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