Author Notes: This recipe has its basis in a recipe for Portuguese marinated scallops from an article called "Provincetown's Yankee-Portuguese Flavor" published in Gourmet magazine way back in the '80s. It is one of my favorite appetizers, although I always make it with cubed cod; it also recalls a ceviche appetizer we enjoyed at Mike's Bistro in New York; I seem to remember the addition of carrots and leafy sprouts of some kind for color and flavor. The shoyu and Asiatic flavors are, as far as I recall, my own addition. If you are concerned about the safety of raw fish, you can wrap the uncut cod filet tightly in foil rubbed with a little oil, and cook in in the oven at 350 until done, then allow to cool before adding the rest of the ingredients. It will not have as desirable a texture but then you won't have to marinate it overnight. - creamtea
Serves 4-6 as an appetizer; 10-15 as hors d'oeuvres
For the Marinated Fish
- 1/2 cup plus 1-2 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lime juice (about 2 1/2 - 3 limes according to taste)
- 1 tablespoon good-quality shoyu (Japanese soy) sauce, such as San-J
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Aleppo pepper
- 1-1/2 tablespoon organic sugar
- 1 3/4 teaspoon freshly-grated peeled gingerroot
- 2 small-to medium cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- 6 tablespoons safflower or canola oil
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1-1/3 pound fresh fillets of codfish, pin bones removed, cut in large dice (about 1" x 1-1/2"
For Garnish and Serving
- 1/3 cup daikon radish, cut into thin sheets with a mandolin or vegetable peeler, for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Butter lettuce leaves, washed and torn (for hors d'oeuvres, use smallest inner lettuce leaves)
- watercress leaves, washed and coarse stems removed
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into tiny dice about 1/4 x 1"
- 1/2 green or yellow bell pepper cut into tiny dice about 1/4" x 1"
- 2 scallions, very thinly sliced, soaked briefly in cool water to remove harshness, drained in a tea strainer or small colander and patted dry
- 1/3 cup shreds or julienne of carrot (I used a sharp vegetable peeler to get 3/4 x 3" paper-thin shreds; a mandoline would work well for this)
- 1 small handful pea shoots (trim the ends of any that seem excessively long--you don't want your guests to resemble rabbits)
- in a large, nonreactive bowl, whisk lime juice, shoyu, ginger, Aleppo pepper, sugar, ginger and garlic.
- Whisk oils (order does not matter) into shoyu mixture until incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings for a good balance of tart/salty/sweet and spice.
- Add diced cod and stir gently so that marinade coats all surfaces of fish. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir once more before you turn in for the night.
- Just before serving, in a small bowl, sprinkle salt over daikon shreds. Mix gently (your hands are the best tool) and set aside for about 10 minutes. Rinse with cool water, squeeze, rinse again, and drain in a tea strainer, pressing down to extract water. Taste and rinse again if too salty. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Combine fish with pepper and scallions. Toss gently to combine.
- In a serving dish or individual plates, arrange butter lettuce and cress. Drain fish mixture and spoon over lettuces. Garnish with pea shoots, carrot and daikon and serve. Or arrange in individual shot glasses as hors d'oeuvres with using smallest inner lettuce leaves and remaining ingredients, ending with fish and garnishing with pea shoots.