Leather jacket are what many Aussies call ‘poor mans lobster’ they are inexpensive, mild flavoured fish with firm, sweet, white flesh. They are easily deboned and much underrated. The bonus of this recipe is that if you wish, you also get the most delightful mild fish stock, for later use.
I invented this recipe in my first restaurant Manna, back in the early 80’s and they also featured on Iku Wholefood Kitchen’s menu in the early days. The recipe is included in my first book Nourish, which is currently out of print. I thought you might like to have this, as summer approaches. Who knew all the way back then, that a grain free nori roll would be in fashion almost 40 years on?
This recipe is excellent for many reasons, primarily it is, of course delicious but it’s super handy to have a jar in the fridge to eat in any way you choose over the following two to three days. The umeboshi (salty, citrusy pickled Japanese apricots) in the mix, helps maintain freshness. Do be careful to see you have removed ALL the bones.
For more such dishes…book your place in my next class on October 18th at North Sydney Community Centre, Cook Once Eat Twice click to see more or look & book my November 1st Macro Grazing Table class Here
Leather Jacket for nori rolls recipe
3-4 fresh, whole, medium/large leather jackets, known as Ocean jackets in WA. If you are elsewhere in the world use any other flaky, firm white fish
¼ cup hulled tahini
1 tablespoon umeboshi paste
2 teaspoons umeboshi vinegar
½ bunch each of garlic chives and coriander or whatever herbs you choose, roughly chopped
½ tablespoon yuzu or lime juice
Steam the fish until the meat can just be pushed off the bone
Cool the fish enough to handle, keep the liquid you steamed them in and add this to the stockpot
Very carefully debone the fish
Place the fish meat in a bowl and add the bones and frames to the stock pot, cover with cold water and bring to a simmer, cook 20 minutes, strain, cool, contain and voila stock to use later, keep in the fridge or freeze once cold
Combine fish with the tahini, herbs, umeboshi paste/vinegar and yuzu or lemon/lime
Mix together well but don’t mush the fish, keep it flaky
Let the mix cool for a few minutes, in the fridge
This can be used straight away or stored in an airtight glass jar in the fridge, for up to 4 days
Use to make grain free norimaki or musubi or simply serve with a salad
Spread half of the mix on a sheet of nori and roll up or form the fish in to triangles and wrap in half a sheet of nori, to make O’musubi, place half a sheet of toasted nori smooth side down with horizontal lines, see images below for how to wrap. Wrap the triangle as you would a gift and if possible, eat while the nori is still crisp.