Radishes with raw silver trevally and sweet sesame
Radishes have a great capacity to work across several applications, from accompanying raw fish dishes to being used in salads to being roasted with meat cuts. But the aspect I like best is the mustard element that runs through them all.
Japanese radish varieties such as daikon are becoming more common in many cuisines and French breakfast radishes are often dipped in soft butter to serve as an appetiser. One of my favourite ways to enjoy them, however, is to finely shred as many varieties as you can get your hands on as the base of a salad. This dish is probably closest to a Japanese preparation so I love to fold through thin slices of fish.
The fish I prefer to use for these types of salad are silver trevally or snapper, depending on season and quality. These species are also both among the more accessible caught by recreational anglers. Silver trevally tends to turn faster than snapper, so always be wary of this when purchasing and storing.
As always with seafood, limit the amount of fresh water used to wash them when filleting, and store them in a mostly dry and static environment.
- 300g mixed radishes (look for such varieties as black, French breakfast, daikon, icicle and cherry belle)
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 80ml rice wine vinegar
- 100ml mirin
- 120ml grapeseed oil
- 20ml sesame oil
- 30ml light soy sauce
- 1 small shallot
- 200g white sashimi fish (cleaned weight)
- 1 small stick of horseradish
- Shred all the radishes as finely as possible then wash them quickly through iced water and reserve.
- Toast the sesame seeds briefly in the oven until they turn a light tan (180ºC for two minutes).
- Using a mortar and pestle, gently bruise the sesame seeds. Add the rice wine vinegar, mirin, both oils and the soy sauce.
- Dice the shallot finely then add to the dressing. Adjust for seasoning.
- Slice the fish across the sinew lines into two-millimetre slices. Season lightly and set aside.
- Place the fish into a bowl and dress liberally with the dressing before gently folding the radish through once before serving across two plates. Don’t overmix as the radish will lose its crunch very quickly once dressed. Grate horseradish with a microplane over each plate to finish.
This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on October 6, 2018 as "Packing a crunch".
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