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Chefs at Home: Seared King Kampachi with Stinging Nettles, Pancetta and White Sturgeon Caviar Butter

  • Chef Marc Sheehan
  • 3 min read

By Chef Marc Sheehan of Loyal Nine in Cambridge

This simple process of searing the King Kampachi is one you’ll want to use again and again, whether it’s prepared as the recipe details with the luxe addition of a caviar butter sauce, or with a simple green salad on a hurried weeknight. Double the recipe if you’re cooking for more than one.

Makes 1 portion



For the parsnips:

Half of 1 medium size parsnip, peeled 

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste

Lemon juice, to taste


For the nettles:

1 1/2 cups stinging nettles, washed, stems removed

2 tablespoons parsley, picked and coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 teaspoon minced ginger

1 teaspoon minced jalapeño pepper

1 tablespoon minced pear

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon minced parsley


For the caviar butter

1/2 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil

2 tablespoons shallot, brunoise

1 clove garlic, brunoise

3 leaves lemon verbena or any other aromatic herb (thyme, bay leaf etc)

3/4 cup hard cider

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon water

Kosher salt, to taste

Juice of 1/4 lemon

As much white sturgeon caviar as you want, but no less than 1 teaspoon per person


For the kampachi:

1 five-ounce king kampachi loin, skinned, excess blood line removed

3 to 4 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 garlic clove, crushed

Kosher salt, to taste


To finish:

Flaky salt, to taste

3 pieces pancetta, room temperature




For the parsnips:

Heat oven to 400°F. Thinly slice the parsnip on a mandoline or a sharp knife. Toss with the olive oil and salt and roast 10-15 minutes until cooked and slightly crispy. Remove from the oven, season with the lemon juice and keep warm.


For the nettles:

In a small saucepan, gently warm the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, jalapeño, and pear, season with salt and pepper and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until soft. 

Increase the heat to high and add in the nettles, season, stirring constantly until wilted. Remove from the heat, add in the vinegar and parsley and adjust seasoning as necessary. Keep warm.


For the sturgeon butter:

In a small sauce pot, gently heat the oil. Add in the shallot and garlic and season with a little salt. Sweat for 1-2 minutes until cooked with no color. Add the lemon verbena and the hard cider. Bring to a boil and reduce the cider by 3/4. Add in the cider vinegar and let simmer. 

Turn the heat down to low and whisk in the butter to create an emulsified sauce, adding in a little water if needed to stabilize the emulsion or if the sauce is too acidic. Season with salt and lemon juice, if needed. Keep warm. Don't let the sauce break. 


For the kampachi:

Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and place in the refrigerator until ready to cook. About 1 minute before serving, remove the fish from the refrigerator and season with the kosher salt. 

Heat a medium sized heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add the fish to the pan and cook 15-20 seconds per side. 

Once all sides have been seared, add in the butter and garlic clove, let quickly foam, baste the kampachi for about 15-20 seconds total while constantly moving the fish so that it doesn't overcook. 

Remove from the pan and let rest 30 seconds on a cutting board. With a very sharp knife, slice the fish into 3/4 inch slices.


To finish:

Place a few dollops of the nettles on a plate and cover with the roasted parsnips. 

Lay down the slices of kampachi and season the fish with a few flakes of flakey sea salt, and then drape the pancetta over the top.

Place the plate in your warm oven for about 10 seconds to slightly melt the pancetta.

Gently warm the butter sauce. Do not boil.

Add the caviar to your warm butter sauce and swirl through just to lightly warm it. Sauce your fish and your plate with your sauce, making sure you aren't leaving too many little fish eggs behind. 


Recipes and photos by Chef Marc Sheehan of Loyal Nine in Cambridge

On Instagram, follow Chef Marc and Loyal Nine.

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