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Ankimo 1

Japanese delicacy made from monkfish liver

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Awesome food from an ugly fish

  • Oct 30, 2008
  • by
It comes from within one of the world's ugliest fish but don't let that technicality deter you. Ankimo, otherwise known as monkfish liver, is an oft-overlooked gem of Japanese cuisine that offers interesting textures and taste combinations--a rewarding experience for the discerning palate. It's a dish you'd more likely find at true Japanese restaurants (ones frequented by mainly Japanese patrons) but if you see it on the menu, do yourself a favor and order it at least once.
Ankimo is generally grayish-orange in color and comes served with grated daikon radish and dressed in ponzu (citrus soy) sauce. While it's appearance may not be the most appetizing, the delicately sweet flavor combined with the tang from the ponzu is sure to help anyone overcome the initial skepticism. The grated daikon radish provides just enough texture, counterbalancing the creaminess of the liver.
Sounds like high praise for a dish made essentially from the inner organs of a squat, flat fish that's mostly head. But seriously, those are minor details compared to the dish itself. I realize not everyone's going to be a fan, but those open to new culinary adventures just might find themselves pleasantly surprised.
Dish of Ankimo

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May 02, 2009
Will surely try it when I see it next time or next trip to Japan. I had the blowfish sashimi when in Kyoto last time, an online friend's treat, oishii desu ne!
May 04, 2009
totemo oishii desu :)
May 04, 2009
Wish I can be there this moment! Excellent fugu. I just love the sushi in Japan. It's so unlike sushi around the world. Has to be the Japanese rice & the right way of making them!
April 12, 2009
Mmmmm, I just had this for the first time tonight, so it's coincidental that your review popped up as a featured review on my homepage!  My platter of ankimo was topped with tobiko and lots of sliced onions, which I thought made it extra yummy.  On a sidenote, I don't even know what a monkfish looks like, but now I'm super curious!
April 07, 2009
Interesting. I love the poor man's lobster, but I've never had poor man lobster liver. I'm intimidated by the idea, but have to give it a try if I see it.
March 18, 2009
I love culinary adventures, I'll try anything! Looks like this should be my next target, thanks for the great review!
More Ankimo reviews
Quick Tip by . April 26, 2010
I love ankimo nigiri. Think of it as the Japanese foie gras. Amazing with sliced onions & ponzu sauce!
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Sarinya ()
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About this food


The liver is first rubbed with salt, then rinsed with sake. Then its veins are picked out and the liver is rolled into a cylinder and steamed. Ankimo is often served with chili-tinted grated daikon radish, thinly sliced green onions and ponzu sauce.

Ankimo is considered one of the Chinmi (delicacies) of Japan.

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