This epic recipe is by Ben from The Kirk on Te Aroha Street in Hamilton.
Images by Ashlee DeCaires

Ponzu Sauce

½ cup gluten free soy sauce

½ cup yuzu juice*

lemon zest from 1 lemon

2 tbsp mirin

1 tsp sake

½ cup dried bonito flakes

1 piece of kombu (dried kelp), shredded (available from The Herbal Dispensary and Huckleberry)

1 tbsp peppercorns

Combine all the ingredients in a jar, mix well and refrigerate overnight or up to one week.
After steeping, sieve into a pot and simmer to reduce by half. Add more lemon juice if too salty.

*Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit with a distinct flavour, a cross between grapefruit and lime.  You can find the juice in Asian food stores, otherwise substitute with lemon.


500g salmon fillet, skinned and deboned

2 tbsp sea salt

2 tbsp brown raw sugar

3 tbsp of MasterFoods garlic honey soy marinade

zest of 2 limes and 2 lemons

Rub both sides of the salmon with the honey soy marinade.
Mix all other ingredients together and spread on top of marinade. Place on a plate and refrigerate for 24 hours. After 24 hours rinse under cold water then pat dry.

Slice off a third of the salmon to make tartare, smoking the remaining two thirds.

For Tataki (smoke)

I use a smoking gun loaded with Szechwan peppercorn and apple wood chips to smoke the cured salmon fillet. Smoke the fish until the smoke chips in your gun are spent.

After it has been smoked, cover and coat the salmon with that reduced ponzu sauce for 20 minutes then rub with New York cut pepper and wakame furikake seasoning.

To serve, slice finely just like carpaccio and place on the plate with the tartare and other components

For the tartare leave the salmon as it is

**Furikake is a savoury and salty Japanese seasoning often used for sprinkling on rice.  Available from The Herbal Dispensary in Raglan or Huckleberry.

Looking for one of these handy smoking guns the chefs love? Check out



½ a red onion, finely diced

cured salmon, diced into 1cm cubes

dash of olive oil

1 ripe avocado, finely diced

zest of 1 lime

1 tbsp finely chopped coriander

2 tbsp mayonnaise (I used Kewpie, available in the international section of supermarket or Asian food stores)

Fold all ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper.
Place in a ramekin and tip it upside down for shape

Wonton crisps

Cut wonton wrappers in half diagonally, place on a lined baking tray and brush with hot sesame oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and salt. Bake at 180°C until golden and crispy.

Cured Wasabi Egg Yolk

Carefully separate white and egg yolk.
Cover egg yolk in a thick layer of table salt mixed with wasabi paste for 24 hours.
Rinse egg yolk and pat dry.
Leave egg yolk to aerate uncovered in the fridge overnight — on a cooling tray is perfect.
The egg yolk should then be dry enough and ready to grate or slice.


1 x 43g tube of wasabi paste

½ cup sugar

150ml cream

2 tbsp milk

1 tsp olive oil

1 tbsp furikake seasoning

Heat all ingredients over a low heat till sugar dissolves. Allow to cool then put in an air tight container.

Pickled Ginger

1 cup rice wine vinegar

100g finely sliced ginger (as thin as you can get it)

3 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp butterfly-pea powder**

In a saucepan dissolve sugar with rice wine vinegar and butterfly-pea powder.

When warm, pour on-top of sliced ginger.

Refrigerate overnight.


** This natural food colouring can easily be omitted.  Look for it in organic shops.


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