The Butterfly Effect

Hamachi Tartare with Miso Pickled Cucumber & Salmon Roe:

Small changes to an initial intention can cause a chain reaction that leads to large changes and eventually a completely different end result – the butterfly effect. This happened to me recently as I entered an H-Mart. If you’ve never been to an H-Mart, it simply is a moral imperative as a foodie, let alone for the shear cultural experience. On this occasion in Burlington Massachusetts, it was a cornucopia of culinary bliss. I have been to many markets across the globe, but this particular market inspired me intensely, and instantly changed my well defined plan and altered course for something completely different. I was fervently on the hunt for fresh sea bass – something wrongfully un-findable in most markets – but as fate would have it, was in abundance at this H-Mart, along with fluke, halibut, mackerel, flounder, skate, and monk fish to name just a few. However, like walking into a bar without intention and locking eyes with that Hamachi Tartare with Miso Pickled Cucumber & Salmon Roespecial someone that will eventually be your soul mate, a beautiful fresh cut of Hamachi (Amberjack) called my name, and my original plan was out the window. It was like a fireworks show of inspiration. After liberating the perfect cut of Hamachi, I stumbled into fresh quail eggs and salmon roe just then pulled from a whole salmon. Fresh was the secret ingredient in this recipe, and the end result most gratifying. With a simple dressing, and some patience for the cucumber that I started a few days earlier, this dish delivered. Quail egg optional, but like any respectable tartare, dare to pour it on top and add additional creamy finish and delight.

SECRET INGREDIENT:  Fresh Hamachi (Amberjack), sushi grade

TIP: Make the picked cucumber several days ahead

Hamachi Tartare with Miso Pickled Cucumber & Salmon Roe

  • Olive oil (1 Tbl)
  • Rice wine vinegar (2 tsp)
  • Fresh lime juice (1/2 lime)
  • Lemon zest (1/4 tsp)
  • Dijon mustard (1/4 tsp)
  • Shallot (2 tsp, finely minced)
  • Fresh flat parsley (1 Tbl, finely minced)
  • Salt (pinch)
  • Fresh ground pepper (2 turns of mill)
  • Hamachi – Amberjack (1/4 lb, cube cut into ¼ inch pieces)
  • Salmon roe (2 Tbl)
  • Micro greens (for garnish)
  • Quail egg raw (of course option, but like great tartare, and excellent finish)
  1. Mix ingredients for dressing and toss with Hamachi, then chill in freezer for 5 minutes.
  2. Using a form mold, press Hamachi mixture firmly. Then top with salmon roe and garnish with micro green, cucumber, and quail

For Pickled Cucumber

  • English Cucumber
  • Miso paste (1 cup)
  • Garlic (2 cloves, pressed)
  • Sake (1 Tbl)
  1. With a vegetable peeler, peel cucumber every half inch to make green and white strips. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds.
  2. In a small bowl, stir miso, garlic, and sake until combined completely.
  3. In a small container, spread some miso mixture, then layer the cucumber spreading more miso mixture to completely cover cucumber pieces. Cover and refrigerate for 1-3 days.
  4. Remove from container and rinse in cold water. Cut cucumber into quarter inch slices.

Hamachi Tartare with Miso Pickled Cucumber & Salmon Roe

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