Want to stay on top of things?
Then you have probably already checked out the latest rage, the Hawaiian poke with raw marinated tuna. If this doesn’t ring a bell, then read on. But read on anyway, we are sharing some hot and creative dishes from the ocean.
Next Level Ceviche
See new ways to interpret this Peruvian classic and bring it to the next level. (It's worth noting poke and crudo have increased in popularity as well. People are not scared of raw or rare fish.)
You don’t have to stick to lime juice, instead substitute it with other acids to create new elegant flavors. Think lobster ceviche marinated in a complex kombucha fermented vinegar. Rhubarb juice works well for ceviche and some Filipino chefs use coconut vinegar for kinilaw, a Filipino variation of ceviche. You can spice the coconut vinegar with garlic, ginger and chilis and toasted coconut flakes for a crunchy finish. Simple, elegant and tasteful.
Have ‘em Both
It can be easy for meat to overpower the seafood, so focus on fish that can stand up to bolder flavors. Do you want the seafood to be the star of the plate? If so, make sure the ratio of fish is higher than meat. This also allows chefs to use a smaller amount of a high cost ingredient but still demand a premium on a menu.
- Combine pan-seared arctic char with shredded pork croquettes and charred scallion pesto.
- Try smoked whitefish cakes with warm pancetta vinaigrette and harissa mayo.
- A humble pork neck becomes elegant with clams and sautéed wild greens.
- Combine red mullet with chorizo cream. Or add spicy baked chorizo to your stewed octopus. It’s great with nutty legumes, like a fava or chickpea puree.
- Melt-in-your-mouth bone marrow gives warmth to a langoustine carpaccio.
- Go Sardinian and serve your beef tenderloin with bottarga butter.
- Top a bruschetta with grilled mackerel or sea urchin with melting lardo, wrap around barbecued tiger prawns or serve on crunchy baked halibut.
- Finish your skate dish with a strip of crispy bacon.
Fish ‘n Chips Evolution
Fish ‘n chips is being refined. Our Dutch chef Anne Zantinge makes an upscale fish ‘n chips with dover sole, herb mayonnaise and crispy polenta fries. Dublin-based restaurant Bia Mara has uplifted fish ‘n chips with enormous success. Here are more ways to refine this standard pub food:
- Go creative on your coatings. Spice things up and offer different batters. How about Cajun flavored batter or a lime and lemongrass tempura?
- Homemade sides add a bit of luxury. Hand cut the fries and season them with truffle and parmesan or smoky chipotle.
- Go for authenticity. A Salt & Battery in New York promises to have the best fish n’ chips west of London. They love catchy phrases such as “Cod save the queen,” and “In cod we trust.” Their signature dishes are not to be missed.
- Diversify the fish you use and discuss options with your supplier.
Cool Old-School Preserving Methods
Pickling and fermenting are back. Add your own taste twists while preserving. Here are some ideas to get you started, if you haven’t already.
- We took inspiration from the Japanese cuisine and the boa bun trend and pickled herring in rice vinegar, served it with soft tofu cream, shiso and purple cress. It’s a great lunch dish on a bao bun, and without, it can be a starter.
- Or how about Nordic salt pickled mackerel with pan-grilled sweet pumpkin, fresh goat cheese and oxalis, sprinkled with some crunchy grains?
- Go Mexican and pickle shrimps in an acid base with jalapeno, red onion and lemon zest. Great on toasted tortillas, served with sour cream, salsa and lots of fresh coriander
Fin to Gill Cooking
Our chefs have been making the most of leftovers and taking advantage of the whole fish. Don’t throw away those fish bones, but fry them crisp like the Japanese and serve as a snack with a dip, or use as garnish on a daring seafood risotto. The trick is to leave some of the fish flesh on so the meat clinging to the bone becomes crispy and brown.
Chef colleagues have been experimenting with fish charcuterie by curing fish and then using every bit of it. Tuna ’nduja is a soft and spicy spreadable salami made from the tuna’s dark red bloodline, the muscle running down the centre of the fillet.
Here are some more suggestions on how to use the whole fish:
- Crispy sardines with toasted pine nuts, currants, green olives drizzled with saffron oil.
- Smoke fish roe and use as a topping or condiment. Or dry it, making your own bottarga.
- Use fish skin as a crackling in a salad, in a fish sandwich as faux bacon or to make crispy cups that can then be filled with something creamy.
- Get back into using fish liver. Genius chef Rene Redzepi from NOMA served ice cold shaved cod liver which melted in the mouth like a foie gras ice cream.
- Fry small fishes whole and serve them as a starter or tapa.