Chef Jack Chen heads up the kitchen at Gastown's new Coquille Fine Seafood restaurant. Here, the recipe for Mackerel Crudo, one of the eatery's most popular dishes.
Yields 6 to 8 servings
For the Mackerel
12 mackerel filets
3 cups apple juice
1 ¼ cups apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp black peppercorn
1 tsp. fennel seed
5 tsp scallions (white parts only), thinly sliced
1 tsp garlic, thinly sliced
1 tsp ginger, thinly sliced
Clean mackerel off the bone (alternatively, you can purchase de-boned mackerel filets from a trusted supplier).
Line a tray with parchment paper and sprinkle a generous layer of salt.
Place mackerel filets onto tray with skin side down, and generously season the flesh of the mackerel with salt.
Allow mackerel to cure for 8 minutes.
Rinse the mackerel in cold water for 5 minutes, making sure all salt is washed off.
Dry mackerel with paper towel
Combine all the remaining ingredients in a pot and bring to boil.
Remove from stovetop and allow the liquid to cool completely.
Pour liquid over mackerel filets and marinate for 24 hours which will “cook” the ceviche.
Drain liquid from mackerel.
For the Dressing
1½ cups light soy sauce
½ cup tamari
3 ½ tbsp sugar
4 tsp bonito flakes
5 tsp dried anchovy
Soak dried anchovy with soy sauce and tamari in the fridge overnight.
Next day, bring the mixture to a boil, take off heat.
Add sugar and bonito flakes.
Cool completely and strain.
For the Garnish
1 piece scallions (green part), thinly sliced on a bias
1 Japanese cucumber, peeled. Small dice and season with a little salt and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Crisp up mackerel skin using a butane torch.
Dress the mackerel with a splash of rice wine vinegar and olive oil.
Slice the fish into bite sized pieces and arrange on a plate.
Sprinkle the mackerel with cucumber and scallions.
Sauce each piece of fish with a spoon of dressing and olive oil.
Serve and enjoy.