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Chefs at Home: King Kampachi Crudo with Calabrian Chili Vinaigrette

  • Chef Andrew Taylor
  • 3 min read

By Chef Andrew Taylor of Eventide in Boston and Portland, Maine

Serves 4 as an appetizer

I wanted to make a super easy and 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.  



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 kampachi 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 



For the vinaigrette: 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.  


For the chili vinaigrette:  

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. 


For 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. 


For the crudo:  

If you’ve gotten your Wulf’s King Kampachi filet whole, pat dry with absorbent towel. With skin side up, cut behind the pectoral fins from the top of the collar down to the ventral fins. This will remove the collar – which is delicious marinated and grilled or broiled! 

Flip the remainder of filet flesh side up and cut down the midline from the collar to the tail to remove the top loin from the bottom loin. Save the bottom loin for another purpose and remove the skin from top loin by sliding the knife between the skin and flesh at the tail and grabbing skin and pulling skin while holding knife angled slightly down. Skin should come off clean.  

Clean cutting board well and trim top loin of any bones or skin that may still be attached.  

At this point, the fish is ready to be served. 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. 


For more great recipes like this, get the Eventide Cookbook, Eventide: Recipes for Clambakes, Oysters, Lobster Rolls, and More from a Modern Maine Seafood Shack 

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