Espelette Salmon Tartare
4 ounces of sushi-grade salmon
3-4 medium radishes, washed and trimmed
Fleur de sel
1 small or 1/2 large ripe avocado
1/2 fresh lemon
Carefully inspect your salmon, removing any bones, and cutting away any excess skin or dark-colored flesh. Optionally, you can wrap the fillet in a pichit sheet for 90 minutes. A Japanese invention, they absorb excess moisture and subtly increase the savory character of fish, improving texture, aroma, and flavor. It replicates the controlled aging processes commonly applied to many cuts of fish when preparing sushi and sashimi. This recipe is designed to work with trim from this sashimi recipe, or you can just buy a small piece of fish just for tartare.
Cut the radishes into a fine dice (approximately 1/8" pieces), and toss with a few pinches of fleur de sel and set aside.
Using a sharp knife slice the salmon in 1/4" cubes, season lightly with fleur de sel and a pinch or two of Espelette pepper and set aside.
Slice the avocado into 1/4" inch cubes. This is easiest to do if you first halve the avocado, removing the pit, then peel and slice on a cutting board before cubing.
Remove any excess moisture from the radishes, and gently combine them with the salmon, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and a small quantity of olive oil.
Fold in the avocado cubes with a clean hand until well mixed, being careful not to mash to avocado too much. Check the flavor and adjust it to your tastes.
You can serve as is, or gently press the tartare into an olive-oil lined cup or bowl to shape it before unmolding it on a serving dish.
Serve with thinly sliced lemon and a dusting of Espelette pepper. Great with crackers or toasted bread, or just eaten with a spoon.
Variations & Ideas
• Try small cubes of jicama instead of radish, and a light touch of Primonition hot sauce for a gently smoky variation with noticeable heat. Great with fresh corn tortilla chips.
• Try a carpaccio for a more dramatic presentation. Gently pound thin slices of salmon flat between sheets of plastic wrap. Serve with dollops of grated radish, thinly sliced lemon, and avocado zhug.
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