Whole Fish

Gulf Seafood + Southern Food

Almaco Jack Filet

In a previous post, I talked about the Almaco Jack or Longfin Yellowtail coming out of the Gulf, which shocked me with its resemblance to farm-raised Yellowtail-Hamachi and Almaco -Kona Kampachi coming out of the Pacific. Now that you’ve had the history lesson, let’s get to the eating part. Different proteins call for different applications, some are versatile while others aren’t. The Almaco Jack, although very good in hot applications, shines tremendously on the cold/raw side.

At Reef, we love experimenting with contrasts in texture in relation to how the fish structure changes under certain applications. For this dish, we used somewhat of a “short” cure to alter the outer flesh while still retaining the integrity and silkiness of the inner part of the filet.

Kanzuri Cure...Curing

The cure consists of a ratio of 3 to 1 sugar to salt (which many would consider high on the sweet side for a cure). For the sweet end of the deal, we use palm sugar and agave nectar; on the salt side, sea salt and Kanzuri Paste. Kanzuri paste is a very interesting product -- it’s a fermented chili paste from the mountains of Japan where the peppers have been exposed to the snow (kind of a frost bit deal), mixed with salt and malt, then fermented for around three years. It has a deep, complex, salty heat. Together with the sweet and the salt, we mix crushed jalapenos, shallots, mint and lime zest. The fish then sets to cure for around three to four hours depending on the thickness of the filet.

To plate the dish: we place sliced cucumbers between the pieces of cured fish, add cucumber water and some pureed cure marinade (fresh, not used!) and there you have it!

Kanzuri Cured Longfin Yellowtail, Cucumber Water and Mint


mer said...

I love this dish. I haven't yet had the chance to try it, but I love to see it. It's just so dang pretty. I find all the different shades of green that are incorporated and the delicate way that the fish is layered with the cucumber to be simply beautiful.

Erin said...

We had this last night, just because of this blog entry. It was a lot more delicate in flavor than I would have guessed, based from reading the curing process. Still VERY tasty. Had an Albarino wine with it - the wine complimented the dish perfectly (made all flavors pop).

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