I caught the northern pike that I used for this recipe while ice fishing on the lake that I live on in Eastern Ontario, Canada. Whenever I harvest something from nature, I make sure to use everything I possibly can and to not waste a thing. Fish collar is one of those things that is often tossed, but in my opinion, it is even better than the fillets!
Broiled Pike Collar with Grated Daikon Salad
The collar is the cut on a fish just behind the head where the ‘shoulders’ would be. Any pike over 4-5lbs (2kg) will have a beautiful collar that is definitely worth cooking on its own. The collar tends to have more fat and collagen than the fillets, making it juicy, flavourful, and lip-smackingly tasty. You could grill the collars for this recipe as well, but since I caught this pike while ice fishing, I cooked it inside under the broiler. I used an easy cheater’s ponzu sauce for this, but feel free to use real store-bought or homemade ponzu. You can serve this on its own, but I like it as part of a Japanese themed meal or sushi platter. (www.theintrepideater.com)
- 1 whole Pike Collar, 2-3″ (5-8cm) thick
- 1 pinch Kosher salt
- 1 pinch Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 cup Shredded daikon (see step 3)
- 1 tbs Japanese soy sauce
- 2 tsp Lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp White sugar
- 1 whole Scallion, sliced
- Move rack in oven to 10″ (25cm) under top broiler. Preheat broiler on high.
- Season the pike collar generously with salt and pepper. Set onto a baking tray or dish and set under the broiler. Cook for about 15 minutes, flipping it half way through. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn. You want some light charring, but not a chunk of black carbon at the end. Once the fish is lightly charred and flaking with a fork, it is ready.
- Meanwhile, grate a cup’s worth (250mL) of peeled daikon radish on the small side of a box grater. Squeeze the grated daikon over the sink in your fist, ridding it of all of its water. Fluff back up and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together soy, lemon, and sugar until the sugar completely dissolves.
- When the collar is cooked, transfer it to a plate and place the grated daikon into a pile beside it. Spoon over all of the sauce so it gets all over the fish and the daikon and forms a pool under everything on the plate. Sprinkle with finely sliced scallions and serve immediately. Enjoy!