“Reina Nagai is one of those people who you would see at the Sant Joan Market on a Sunday, at the beach or in a nightclub and you would ask yourself, is she is a DJ, an artist or maybe a fashion designer?”
You’d be right in thinking that she works in some sort of creative industry, only in this case she’s the creative, artistic, taste-bud ‘Dish-Jockey’ of Nagai Restaurant here in Sant Joan, Ibiza.
Born in Nagoya (Japan), Reina’s passion for food started from a very young age, where she was raised spending most of her time in her traditional, family-run restaurant.
From learning everything about the world of Japanese Cuisine so early on in life, it gave her a wealth on knowledge that many would be envious of.
Her fond childhood memories include holding her grandfathers hand whilst he sold his freshly-caught Tuna Fish at the early morning markets. It’s memories like these that have moulded Reina into the world class Chef that she is today.
Reina classes herself as a ‘classic modern-alternative chef’, who’s guided by her tastebuds.
Nagai Ibiza restaurant was opened in 2011 by owners Melchior, Eleonora, Luigi and of course Reina Nagai.
The Japanese-Gastro brand started in Koh Phangan (Thailand) in 2005, and the Sushi-Fusion mastermind has been the staple of its success ever since.
Reina is daring, bold and undeniably devoted to her craft.
Her passion and attention to detail shows in every part of her cuisine and is enjoyed by Ibiza’s movers, shakers, hippies and travellers alike, each and every summer on the island.
“A glimpse through the swinging doors reveals the ‘mad scientist’ with six arms (all going at the same time), coordinating orders, times of preparation, textures, temperatures and decoration. Her sheer drive for results creates an explosion of colour, taste and satisfied smiles all around the table once served.”
Reina has provided Home Cooked Heroes with one of her favourite recipes, as it’s super quick and easy to create.
This dish makes for a fantastic addition to any dining table, as it’s perfect to be enjoyed with friends and family at home.
- Base Sauce
For the sauce
- Heat a small pan on the hob and pour the water inside. Add all the stock, salt, sugar and soy sauce in with the water.
- Remove pan from the heat, add the lemon and onion. Leave to cool for 5 -10 minutes.
- Once cooled, place it in the fridge. For the fish
- Sprinkle the salt over the salmon fillet and leave it for 10 minutes. Pat dry with a square of thick kitchen roll, or a clean cloth.
- Heat a pan on a high temperature/flame and pour in a tiny drizzle of the sesame oil.
- Sear the salmon fillet (on all sides) then dry all off the oil from the fillet, using the roll or cloth.
- Keep the seared salmon in the fridge for a further 5 minutes (try not to leave any longer). **The fish is easier to cut when it's cold**
- Slice the seared salmon into 5mm-1cm thick pieces, then place in a soup-sized bowl. To finish the sauce
- Take the sauce from the fridge, then add the lemon and vinegar.
- Pour the sauce on the salmon, and sprinkle over the garnish.
Useful items for this recipe