Chefs at Home: Oil-Poached Kampachi with Pickled Shiitakes
With the Kampachi crudo recipe Chef Taylor developed for Wulf’s, the top loin was the star of the show. Here, he showcases Kampachi's versatility by using the bottom loin and belly of the fish in a cooked preparation. In this recipe, the fish is oil-poached and served with charred broccoli rabe, pickled shiitake mushrooms and blood orange over rice.
Recipes and photos by Chef Andrew Taylor of Eventide in Boston and Portland, Maine. 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.
For the pickled shiitakes
- 1 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup granulated white sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon mirin
For the rice
- ¾ cup sushi rice
- ¾ cup water
- 2 tablespoons shiitake pickling liquid
For the fish
- 1 bottom loin King Kampachi
- 3 cups vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 bunches broccoli rabe, cleaned and trimmed
- 1 blood orange, segmented
- Finishing salt, to taste
Mix the mushrooms with remaining ingredients in a small saucepot. Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Shut heat off and let cool at room temperature.
Once cool, the shiitake caps will be ready to use. Keep in an airtight container in refrigerator and they will keep for up to two months in their liquid.
Rinse sushi rice in fine mesh colander under cold water until the water runs clear. Put rice in rice cooker or a sauce pot with lid, add water and either start rice cooker or put on stove at medium high heat with lid on.
When you see steam, reduce heat to lowest setting and cook for 30 minutes. Remove lid, let steam dissipate (about 1 minute), and lightly fluff with fork or wooden spoon. Add pickled shiitake liquid and gently fold in with wooden spoon. Return lid to rice and keep off heat.
Having already separated the bottom loin from the top loin for the kampachi crudo, you now need to remove the rib bones from the belly. Take a sharp knife and work from the mid-line and slide the knife under the ribs until they come off clean, taking the belly lining with them. Try to preserve as much of the belly intact as possible.
Next, remove the skin from the bottom loin by sliding knife between 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 the bottom loin of any bones or skin that may still be attached. Cut the filet roughly in half right at the end of the belly where the filet starts to get thicker.
At this point, the fish is ready to cook. If you're prepping it in advance, wrap with an absorbent towel and place in Ziploc in refrigerator until 30 minutes before use.
Combine the vegetable and sesame oils in a large saucepot and heat to 145°F. Reduce heat to low so that temperature is maintained. Season the kampachi with salt and slide into the oil. Cook, 6 to 8 minutes, maintaining temperature between 140°-150°F, until fish is barely cooked through.
*A good trick is to slide a cake tester through the fish — when you don’t feel any resistance, the fish is cooked through. Remove pieces of fish with a fish spatula or slotted spoon to a plate with an absorbent towel on it.
While fish is cooking, get a sauté pan very hot — cast iron is great — and add 1 to 2 tablespoons oil — enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Put the trimmed broccoli rabe in the pan, reduce heat to medium high, and season with salt. Char the rabe until lightly blackened in spots, turning once to char both sides. Once color has become a darker green and the broccoli rabe has become slightly limp, remove to a plate with an absorbent towel.
To finish, split the seasoned rice between two bowls. Place the fish over the rice and sprinkle with a bit of finishing salt. Curl the broccoli rabe around the fish and top with slices of pickled shiitake and segments of blood orange.