Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
for the fish cure:
one filet red snapper, skinned and pin bones removed
1 ¾ ounces|50 grams kosher salt
⅞ ounce|25 grams sugar
⅓ ounce|10 grams roughly chopped herbs and flowers from the garden (bronze fennel, anise hyssop, basil, etc.)
for the carrot dashi:
6 ounces|172 grams carrots, sliced finely on a mandoline or by hand (doesn't have to be too perfect, just thin so they release their flavor
½ ounce|13 grams cilantro (stems and leaves are fine)
3 ½ grams whole coriander seeds
4 grams bonito flakes
for the pickled vegetables:
1 tablespoon each of the following vegetables cut to a nice brunoise:
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon white vinegar
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon finely sliced chives
1 tablespoon nice small sweet basil leaves
a few cucumber flowers
a few flakes of coarse sea salt
nice olive oil
- Make the fish cure: Mix the ingredients for the cure in a bowl and rub the herbs and flowers with the salt and sugar so they infuse the salt with their flavor. Season the fish on both sides with an even, but light coating of the cure. Let sit in the fridge 20-25 minutes depending on the size. If they are thin, 15 minutes may be enough. It should feel firm and a bit tacky, but not too tight or hard. Once cured, rinse lightly with ice cold water and set aside to form a light pellicle, 1-2 hours. It's fine to do a day or two.
- Make the carrot dashi: In a medium pot, bring the carrots, cilantro, coriander seeds, and 1 ⅞ cups|435 grams water up to a simmer. Shut off the heat and let steep for an hour. Add the bonito, let sit for 5 minutes, then strain and chill.
- Pickle the vegetables: Mix the vegetables with the salt, vinegar, and sugar. It's a very light pickle. You want the vegetables to remain fresh and crisp. The salt will soften them slightly and allow them to release a little bit of their juices as well as absorb the vinegar. This can be done an hour or two ahead. Not too far though, or they will get too soft.
- To finish: Chill 4 shallow bowls in the freezer. Once the fish is cured, the dashi is chilled, and the vegetables are pickled, you can begin plating. Start by slicing the fish about ¼-inch thick. As you slice, arrange the pieces in the center of the plates. Spoon over a little bit of the pickled vegetables into each bowl. Stir the dashi and pour it over the fish and vegetables. You want it to come up to about the halfway point of the fish (you'll probably have a bit extra). Add a few flakes of the sea salt to each (tiny pinch), a drizzle of the olive oil, and some of the chives, basil and flowers. Serve immediately.
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