Introducing our new series,Hooked: Newlyweds in the Kitchen, where Boston-based couple Kim Watson Ito and Justin Ito-Adler chronicle their love of seafood and a whole lot of quarantine cooking. Follow their adventures here and on Instagram and Facebook at #hookedonwulfs
We were pumped for our next assignment at Wulf’s. Blowfish tails have been trending at restaurants all over the country for the past few years. They’re a perfect handheld appetizer and can stand up to bold flavors and a variety of preps. We decided to deep fry them because we have been eating healthy and, as usual, Kim was craving that gastropub experience.
How We Prepped It
Justin: OK, so my plan is heat up some canola oil, double coat them in flour and serve with a spicy sauce. First, I cleaned out the central artery, took off the little fins, removed the stray pin bone. These are American so the poisonous reputation is not a concern, and we can get right to cooking. I added kosher salt, black pepper, horseradish powder (sneaky awesome ingredient) and paprika into all purpose flour; coated them and then coated them again. All in all pretty quick and painless.
Kim: Wow, these look like little birds! Can’t imagine what they’re going to taste like, but if it’s fried it’s for me.
Justin: I heated up the oil in our little HotPoint stovetop at an 8 or a 9. Then I poured myself a glass of wine. Then I poured Kim a glass of wine. Then I took some pictures. Then she took some pictures. Then I made a sauce of Kewpie Mayo, chopped Italian hots, salt and pepper. Then we picked a show to watch with dinner. Then we talked about work. Then I opened the lid and realized the oil was too hot and our entire apartment filled with smoke…
Kim: First of all, I can’t believe you know the name of our stove. Second of all, oh my god was there smoke. In less than five minutes I felt like I was living on the inside of a cloud, and not in a good way. I think my hair still smells like smoke.
Reflecting On Our Struggles
Justin: (Coughing Through Tears) Remember when I said we should do this at your brother’s house where we could fry outside? Totally my fault, but I think my tenure as a fry cook in our 550 square foot apartment is done.
Kim:You were right, you were right. I officially give up the dream of making fried food at home. I just hope no one called our landlord.
These are GOOD. Like having a chicken wing that tastes like fish and chips. Really light and flaky, and the spicy Kewpie sauce sends it home. I love it.
Cooking The Blowfish
Justin: The oil was still too hot, but Kim was hungry so I threw a couple in. They actually crisped up nicely. After I turned the heat down the next couple didn’t fry quite as nicely, but I finally got the temp right on the last few. Note to self, invest in a digital thermometer…
Kim: These are GOOD. Like having a chicken wing that tastes like fish and chips. Really light and flaky, and the spicy Kewpie sauce sends it home. I love it.
Justin: It is an unusual, but true phenomenon that you don’t always want what you have been laboring over in the kitchen. After a long day of making sushi the cook might want a steak. After hours of flipping burgers a salad might sound more refreshing. I had a couple of them, but by the time the literal smoke cleared I was not hungry for blowfish. I have to say that the ones that I had were really, really good. Not as flaky and battery as fish and chips, but definitely a nice meaty seafood flavor. Will definitely be ordering and cooking them again. At my brother-in-law’s house…
Kim: You live and learn, and then you air out your apartment. These were delicious little fish treats that I’d love to have again. Just not here.
Kim Watson Ito and Justin Ito-Adler are newlyweds living in the North End of Boston. One is a professional writer and the other is a former restaurant industry professional. We’ll let you discover who’s who. Their kitchen is tiny, but their appetites are big. Hooked is a collection of their trials, tribulations, and tastes as they explore the wide world of Wulf’s seafood.