Warm weather is upon us. That means rosé will soon flow like a river. Restaurants will cram as many tiny tables and tiny chairs on the sidewalk as is humanly possible. And for those of us with no chance of getting to the beach any time soon, fresh, high-quality seafood will be our only chance to feel like we’re anywhere near water. Oyster shooters and seafood towers can only do so much on their own to transport you to the idyllic seaside town of your fantasy vacation. One of the best ways to really luxuriate in the fresh flavors of the ocean is to experience your fish raw, and perfectly chilled. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite raw fish recipes to give you a little taste of the sea, even if you’re landlocked for the summer.
Even though it has under five ingredients, and is a universally beloved dish, you don't often hear about people making tuna rolls at home. Thankfully Sushi Chef John Daley of New York's Sushi Ko is here to teach us.
After you break down the fish, this dish comes together quickly, and before you know it, you’ll have a dish of flavorful crudo, accented with peach vinegar, a few drops of fragrant garlic-chive oil, pretty hunks of white peach flesh, and a sprinkle of flowers and curly mint.
"People need to get in the rhythm and natural cycle of fish seasons, and not expect to be able to consume the same fish all year,” says chef Vinny Milburn. Luckily, May through September is peak fluke season.
Hamachi, or Pacific yellowtail, is a delicately flavored fish that is super-popular in Japan. And as chef Andrew D’Ambrosi notes, “Hamachi is the Beyoncé of the seafood scene.”
Every good crudo should have a generous hit of acid—it’s why mignonette is so important for oysters, and why even fried fish comes with a lemon wedge. Here, quick-pickled vegetables diced super finely add both kick and texture.
The unique texture of a bay scallop combined with its slightly fruity, briny flavors make it great for crudo. Play up textures even more with soft avocado and papaya, and crunchy passion fruit seeds and celery.
Ceviche, the ever-popular traditional dish of Peru, relies on the freshest fish you can get your hands on and a healthy dose of fresh-squeezed lime juice. This is Lima-based chef Javier Wong’s version.
Chef Chris Oh from LA’s EscaLA serves his ceviche with house-made black sesame crackers, but whatever cracker you have hanging around would also be fine.
With the intent of recreating their homeland dishes using local ingredients, Japanese immigrants in Peru informally created Nikkei cuisine, a fusion popularized worldwide by Nobu Matsuhisa's empire. This ceviche is a prime example.
Spot prawns are the sustainable seafood darlings of our Canadian neighbors to the north, but you can substitute any prawn or shrimp here, if you can’t get your hands on them.
Chef Eric Werner of Tulum’s Hartwood restaurant says, “When you cut fish for ceviche, angle your knife at 45 degrees and make thin cuts against the grain so that each piece is about ¼-inch thick. Make sure that you are slicing in one fluid movement—it's like slicing through an apple, not sawing though a loaf of bread.” Take your time!
You might not be able to swing plating this ceviche in a real coconut, but don’t skimp on the freshly-fried plantain chips for some added sweetness.
Be sure to serve this dish in shallow bowls: everyone will want to drink the super-vegetal broth after they've finished the fish.
Instead of serving your ceviche with chips on the side, plate it all up right on top of a fried corn tortilla as a tostada for easy snacking.
Fijian-Chinese-Indian-American chef Louis Tikaram harnesses a whole spectrum of flavors in this raw snapper dish, which he says can be shared as an appetizer or eaten over rice as a single meal.