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.
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.