The fish should be purchased, prepared and served on the same day.
Lay a 30 cm (12 inch) length of plastic wrap on a work surface. Sprinkle one-third of the fennel mixture in the centre of the wrap, covering an area the same size as your piece of fish. Place the fish on top and sprinkle over the remaining fennel mixture, making sure the top and sides are evenly covered. Tightly wrap the fish and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Remove from the refrigerator and unwrap. Discard the excess fennel mixture and rinse the fish in a bowl of iced water. Pat dry with paper towel. Place, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 35 minutes or until the flesh begins to feel tacky.
Light a cold smoker* using the sawdust and smoke the fish at 2°C (36°F) for 1 hour to lightly perfume the flesh. Wrap the fish in plastic wrap again and store in the refrigerator until needed.
Twenty minutes before you’re ready to serve, remove the fish from the refrigerator so it isn’t fridge cold. When ready to plate, using a sashimi knife, cut the fish against the grain into 12 slices.
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