Saturday, January 14, 2012

Iki Jime: Delaying Rigor Mortis, One Fish at a Time.

Ever since my buddy Yuji invited me to check out True World fish warehouse in Jerz I have gone hog-wild with the ike jime research. I can't get enough of these flesh preserving, taste enhancing Japanese fish handling techniques. Most American Fishermen already know that when you bleed 'em on board, you make more dough. Fish is a limited natural resource, and the Japanese know how to handle their fish. They like to eat seafood in the freshest condition possible and fishermen who use iki jime techniques to kill their prey receive the most money for each single piece.

"Coring" the brain.
Ike Jime literally means "spinal cord destruction" and it is the practice of a non-stress death and bleeding of fish on board fishing vessels. I have seen charter fishing videos where the fishermen and mates are literally kicking still-alive codfish around on deck. This is disgraceful! I understand that with trawlers and in bad weather, performing an iki jime fish execution might be a challenge. That said, I do believe that for hook fishermen, long liners and trap fishermen iki jime is a viable and progressive way to make more money by implementing free techniques! Here is an interesting short video of two chefs going through the process of iki jime. Ike jime should be preformed at the time of the fish's death.

Iki Jime involves severing the brain of the fish. The best way to do this is puncturing the brain from inside the fish's gill plate. You always want the fish to remain as intact as possible, however, if you want you can through the spinal cord behind the eyes of the fish. Always be careful not to puncture the heart. Once the head stuff is over with, sever the tail of the fish, just like the diagram below. Insert the wire into the spine. Bleed the fish in a bucket of ice slurry, aka ice with sea water. Now you know what to do. Go practice on some cod this winter!

The wire is inserted here:

French Culinary Institute Explains Iki Jime.

Although it may seem gruesome, execution by way of hole-through-brain and wire-through-spinal cord is the most humane method out there. Ike jime is totally in style too. Lucky Peach, the super awesome new food mag by David Chang and Anthony Bourdain just did a good article about ike jimi, which is still in stores.

I could go on about iki jime for days, and I will. For now, check out this ike shime squid killing tool. Be sure to watch the video at the bottom of the page where the squid turns all  shades of brown pre and post mortem.

1 comment:

  1. Hello a very nicely researched blog - have you seen (it is a cool site as well)


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