When I got home, I noticed the thin belly-flap. Some fish-mongers may trim this section away because it’s fattier than the center portion. And it has the added challenge of cooking properly – it cooks through so quickly that it would be grossly overcooked before the rest of the fillet is even medium rare.
Knowing that the grade of fish was suitable for eating raw, I opted to slice it off and turn it into a small appetizer. With thin slices of cucumber from the garden, I seasoned it with kaffir lime, chilies and scallions. I drizzled a sweet and sour glaze on top and garnished it with fried shallots.
This turned out to be a refreshingly light way to start off a summer meal.
Salmon and Cucumber Carpaccio
½ cup white vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 salmon belly
1 kaffir lime, thinly sliced
1 small red chili, thinly sliced
1 scallion thinly sliced
1 tbs. fried shallots
1. In a small stainless steel pot, combine the vinegar and sugar. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Add the chili and fish sauce and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
2. With a sharp knife, thinly slice the salmon across the grain. Lay the slices on a serving plate. Thinly slice the cucumber and layer it along the salmon.
3. Season the salmon with the kaffir, scallions and sea salt. Drizzle the vinegar reduction on top. Garnish with fried shallots.
From the Garden: Cucumbers, Chili, Scallions
Salmon Filet Photo Credit: SFT Japan