Grilled Hamachi Collar and Corn Fritters

A few weeks ago, when we were down at the Pike Place Market, we stopped in at Pike Place Fish to say hi to my long time friend Sam.  I'd been buying fish from Sam since I was a senior in college.  My last year at UW, after having gone through a fair share of living situations, I had a sweet corner studio apartment downtown and worked downtown.  I did a lot of shopping in the Market.  After a stint of living in Taipei after college, I returned to living downtown and resumed my Market shopping.  On this last trip, among other items, I asked for some fish heads for crabbing bait.  Sam gave me a little ribbing asking if I was really going to use it as bait because, after all, I am Chinese.  Yes, that was indeed my intention.  

I got the huge, I mean really huge, salmon heads home and started to ready them for freezing and transport for our Desolation trip.  Sam had split them in half, lengthwise, for me because there would have been no way to get one into a bait bag otherwise.  I surveyed the heads and called Chris over.  Hmmm, could I really let the meaty, juicy collars go to bait use?  No.  The salmon smelled very fresh, and so I proceeded to remove the collars and then marinated them for grilling.  Yes, let no good thing go to waste.  I doubt you would ever find fish collar displayed in a western market.  At least I have never seen any.  But if you go to a fish monger who might be filleting their own whole large fish, you might be able to convince them to sell you some, if they aren't keeping it for themselves.  I got some Hamachi collars at Uwajimaya this morning while out for other provisions for a sashimi and sushi night.  We may prefer the collar to most other cuts of fish.
2 Hamachi collars
1/3 cup light soy sauce
1/3 cup mirin
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp grapeseed oil
2 scallions, cut into 1" pieces
8 thin slices of ginger
freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients and marinate the collar for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
Take the collars out of the refrigerator about half hour before grilling.  Heat grill to medium high.  Grill the collars, meat side down first, for a few minutes a side, until just cooked through.  It's a hidden treasure after you thought you already got the prize.
Corn fritters was one of the amazing dishes we had in Vancouver at Suika Snack Bar.  I made sauteed fresh corn the other night and had some left over, so decided to make some corn fritters as well tonight.
1 1/4 cups fresh corn, or left over cooked corn
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sriracha hot sauce]
freshly ground pepper
Combine all ingredients and stir to combine well.  Heat a large skillet over medium to medium high heat.  Add enough oil to coat the pan with about 1/8" oil.  Use a large spoon to drop dollop-fulls into the pan.  Fry each side for a few minutes until browned.


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