Chefs at Home: Yellowtail Crudo with Calabrian Chili Vinaigrette
I wanted to make an approachable crudo recipe with Wulf’s King Kampachi and ingredients from the grocery store. In this case, I used a few of my favorite products from the Italian section of most groceries – preserved Calabrian chile and pickled pepperoncini. Because they take some time, make the chili vinaigrette and lemon zest confit the day before you plan to serve the crudo. You'll have more than you need, but they keep indefinitely and have many uses.
This recipe is well-suited for any substantial meaty white fish in the yellowtail/amberjack family, such as Yellowtail Hiramasa, Hamachi, and King Kampachi.
BY CHEF ANDREW TAYLOR OF EVENTIDE IN BOSTON AND PORTLAND, MAINE
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For the Calabrian Chili Vinaigrette (makes about 1 cup)
- ¼ cup smoked paprika
- 3 cups vegetable oil
- ¼ cup crushed Calabrian chili (Tuttocalabria brand is common and good but specialty Italian stores often have a variety of excellent products)
- 2 tablespoons pickled pepperoncini brine
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
For the Confit Lemon Zest
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup water
For the Crudo
- 1 King Kampachi or Yellowtail Hiramasa top loin filet
- Finishing salt, to taste
- ½ cup Calabrian chili vinaigrette
- ¼ cup confit lemon zest
- 5 pepperoncini, sliced in half
- 10 parsley leaves, for garnish
Put smoked paprika and vegetable oil in in medium saucepot and heat on high until oil is 185F. Shut off and let cool for at least one hour.
Once cool, the solids will have settled and you can carefully pour the oil off the top. Discard the spent solids. Use oil needed for recipe and save remainder in covered container in refrigerator. Will last indefinitely.
Whisk ¼ cup paprika oil with remaining ingredients in a medium bowl . Set aside 1/2 cup for recipe and store remainder in airtight container in refrigerator. Will last months and makes a good salad dressing.
The Confit Lemon Zest
Fill a 2-quart sauce pot with water and bring to a boil. Add lemon zest and blanch for two minutes (this removes some of the bitterness). Remove from water and combine blanched lemon zest with sugar, white wine vinegar, and water in a small sauce pot.
Bring to simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook until it begins to look a little syrupy – about 5 minutes. Pour zest into a heatproof container to cool. Use what is needed for recipe and store the remainder in refrigerator for up to two months.
To prep the fish in advance, wrap it with absorbent towel and place in Ziploc in refrigerator for 30 minutes before use.
With a sharp knife, confidently slice fish into ¼ inch slices from the collar to the tail. Arrange slices along service platter and sprinkle finishing salt on the fish.
Drizzle Calabrian chili vinaigrette to taste over and around the fish. Scatter lemon confit across the sliced fish. Nestle the pepperoncini next to the fish for a bracing palate cleanser. Finish with picked parsley leaves.