Sweet, buttery texture, mild flavor of salty ocean, all qualities I feel should be considered when choosing a preparation method. Few cultures appreciate seafood like the Japanese. Their ability to approach the inherent qualities of an ingredient, with a delicate nature, and an artful eye have really left a mark on my cooking philosophy as a whole. I try to always expand that philosophy to include new experiences and flavors but at the core remains the ability we have, through food to tell stories.
Tiradito is a cousin to ceviche, crudo, and carpaccio. Although the dish is Peruvian in origin, it reflects the Japanese influence on the local cuisine. A raw dish with components to contrast and complement its centerpiece without overwhelming, where the whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts. Tiradito is less recipe and more technique, allowing room for personal expression as well as infinite variety.
The flavors and textures in this preperation are subtle yet dynamic. The numbing effect of the sichuan peppercorn with the heat of the chile, meets the cooling citrus and smooth rich sesame oil. The nori and sesame seed round out the overall picture with umami and crunch.
Serving Size: 1-2 for amuse bouche, appetizer, or other short course
Time to make: 10 minutes
Special Equipment: nori sheets, sichuan peppercorn
Also works with: most saltwater fish
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8 bay scallops lightly frozen
1 tsp mandarin orange zest
1Tbsp mandarin juice
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 small dried hot chile (thai or similar)
1 tsp sichuan peppercorn
1 tsp black sesame seed
1 tsp white sesame seed
1 tsp finishing salt (I used Sriracha)
How to make it
- Place scallops on a plate. Then place the plate, untouched, in the freezer until firm to the touch but not frozen through (this will vary greatly based upon the freezer).
- Zest and juice citrus, set aside.
- Crush Sichuan peppercorn, dry chili pepper separately.
- Mix citrus juice, sesame oil, reserving 1t of each. Add crushed chili and peppercorn reserving a small amount for garnish and allow to sit.
- Remove scallops from the freezer, slice thinly in discs, then spread on a plate like a deck of cards. Pour remaining liquids over slices. Garnish with the remaining crushed chili and peppercorn, both sesame seeds, and the finishing salt.
- Serve with small pieces of nori to scoop and dip