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Salmon & Passion Fruit Tiradito with Crispy Butternut Squash ‘spaghetti’ & Espelette Pepper
The world is your oyster when it comes to seasoning tiradito. Much as I love using lime as a major component for Nikkei leche de tigre (Nikkei tiger’s milk), there is a whole range of different fruits to play with. So, here I use passion fruit and aji amarillo (a Peruvian yellow chilli) to create a zingy, punchy dressing that works really well with the fatty salmon. Finish the dish with a dusting of finely ground Espelette pepper for a gentle, fruity hint of chilli.
½ butternut squash
sunflower oil, for deep-frying
a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt flakes, plus extra to garnish
200g (7oz) sushi-grade salmon fillet, skinned
a few sprigs of chervil (or coriander (cilantro)), to garnish
a sprinkle of finely ground Espelette pepper (or shichimi pepper), to garnish
For the passion fruit leche de tigre:
4 small passion fruit, juice and seeds (around 50g (1.oz) in total)
1 tsp ready-made aji Amarillo paste (available from Peruvian food shops)
juice of 1 lemon (4 tbsp)
¼ tsp salt
1 garlic clove, cut
1cm (.in) slice of root ginger
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sugar
¼ banana shallot, very finely chopped
2 tbsp very finely chopped chervil (or coriander (cilantro))
First, make the passion fruit leche de tigre. Reserve 1–2 tablespoons of passion fruit seeds and set aside. Then whizz the remaining ingredients (except the shallot and chervil) in a food processor. Next, pass the mixture through a fine sieve (strainer) and then add the finely chopped shallot and chervil. Refrigerate until needed.
Next, peel the butternut squash. Using a zester, cut fine strips of squash rather like spaghetti. Line a plate with kitchen paper (paper towels). Add the oil to a deep pan no more than one-third full (the hot oil will rise to the surface as the squash is added) and heat to 140C (275F). Deep-fry the butternut squash ‘spaghetti’ for about 2 ½ minutes until lightly browned, transfer to the lined plate. The squash strands will not be crispy at this stage but don’t worry – they will crisp up as they cool. Season with sea salt.
Remove any residual brown flesh from the salmon fillet. Cut the salmon into thin slices and arrange them in a single row over each of four serving plates. For each plate, spoon 2–3 tablespoons of the passion fruit leche de tigre over the salmon, dot the reserved passion fruit seeds around the plate, arrange a line of crispy butternut squash ‘spaghetti’ in the middle of the salmon row and scatter a few sprigs of chervil over the squash and on the plate. Sprinkle over some sea salt flakes and Espelette pepper and serve immediately.
Recipes and images extracted from Nikkei Cuisine: Japanese Food the South American Way by Luiz Hara. Photography by Lisa Linder. Published by Jacqui Small (£25).