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4 Quick and Easy Crudos Recipe

4 Quick and Easy Crudos Recipe

Arthur Bovino

Four quick and easy crudos.

Crudos are served in restaurants everywhere — why not at home, too? Appetizer or entrée, it's the perfect summer dish. All you need is fresh fish, olive oil, different accents and seasonings, and a sharp knife.

If you read my recipes, you'll notice that I'm a heat-freak, a pepperhead — well, these recipes are no different. In January, I scored some paiche (a giant Amazonian freshwater fish that has not been regularly available in the U.S., if at all) at New York's Chelsea Market. The texture has been described as somewhere between cod and Chilean sea bass. It worked as a crudo with a little olive oil, lemon, and salt — though the texture trended more toward Chilean sea bass. Even then, I had to add some heat though.

It was an outrageous combination of not-easy-to-pair ingredients: paiche and bhut jolokia (second-hottest pepper in the world at the time). Hot? A little (wink). Tasty? Yes. Ridiculous? You bet. These recipes aren't as spicy. But they are simple and delicious. Use different citrus juices, salts, and kinds of salts as you taste and match accents to see what you like.

Click here to see No-Cook Dishes for Hot Summer Nights.

Ingredients

For the scallop crudo:

  • 2-3 large scallops
  • Olive oil
  • Sicilian or Meyer lemon juice
  • Kosher or other large-flake salt
  • Freshly-cracked black pepper

For the tuna belly crudo:

  • 1 small piece tuna belly
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher or other large-flake salt
  • Freshly-cracked black pepper

For the Arctic char crudo:

  • 1 small Arctic char fillet
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 jalapeño, finely minced
  • Kosher or other large-flake salt
  • Freshly-cracked black pepper

For the King salmon crudo:

  • 1 small King salmon fillet
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 red Fresno pepper, finely minced
  • Kosher or other large-flake salt
  • Freshly-cracked black pepper

Directions

For each of these four quick recipes the process is the same. Slice your scallop or fish as thin as you like (if it's too thick, you're obviously not going to enjoy this because you're going to have to chew — not good). A drizzle of olive oil on the plate, place the scallop or fish on top. Drizzle a little oil on top (too much will mean the oil's bitterness will overwhelm the flavor of the seafood) and a drizzle of citrus juice to taste. Sprinkle the minced pepper on top if you're using it, some salt flakes, some pepper. Eat.


An Easy Seafood Starter, No Cooking Required

From deviled eggs to caprese salad bites, there are plenty of festive appetizers one can serve at a soirée, but it's hard to imagine anything quite as effortless — not to mention elegant — as a simple seafood crudo.

Crudo means "raw" in Italian, and more often than not, when you see it on upscale restaurant menus, it'll involve some form of raw fish (although the term can really apply to anything). Think of it as The Boot's answer to Japanese sashimi: instead of raw fish lightly dressed with soy sauce, the Italian version is often drizzled lightly with seasonings, acid, herbs, and oil.

With no cooking and no elaborate prep, you really can't beat this dish, which just involves three simple steps: slice, stir, and drizzle. That's it! Your diners will be blown away, and you'll pay half the price of what you would for the exact same thing at a nice restaurant. If you've never made Italian-style crudo at home before, don't be turned off by the idea of working with raw fish. The key is just to look for high-quality, ultrafresh seafood and to use the best olive oil and produce that you can.


Reviews

Incredible and incredibly easy.

I used red miso and only a few drops of low sodium soy sauce at the end. I also used a T of Honey to sweeten it up a bit and a tsp of Coleman's mint sauce since I didn't have fresh. So I reduced the sherry as well and added homemade sesame hot chili, galic, ginger oil as well as grated fresh ginger. Most of the juices are bitter so honey was a must. But it turned out great. I stuck back in the fridge in a bowl until presentation to be extra cold.

Excellent recipe! Really delicious. I followed the other reviewers suggestions and omitted the soy sauce, added a tablespoon of white miso, and just added a drop of soy at the end with the other garnishes.

Crudo in Italian = raw. We make ceviche in our house regularly, and scallops are our favorite seafood for the non-cooked approach. Fresh scallops a must.

Am I missing the part where you cook the scallops?? I do like raw seafood, but never heard of scallops done that way. Please inform? emloumar, what you're tasting is a phosphate additive designed to make the scallops absorb water. It makes them look larger, so they can sell for a higher price, but adds a bitter/metallic taste and who-knows-what health effects. There are organic shops that sell scallops without this chemical. Good on you for trusting your tastebuds.

I would give this 3.5 forks. I thought everything was great together but for some reason I got a bitter aftertaste. I couldn't figure out what was causing this but thought maybe it might be the ginger or scallops themselves. My husband did not notice this though. I did use the soy sauce in the recipe and it turned the color darker of course, but I did not mind how it looked with the soy in the sauce.

Sorry! I meant to rate the recipe 4 forks in my review below!!

Followed the suggestions of the other reviewer and used miso paste as well, with just a couple of dashes of soy sauce at the end. I made it for New Year's Eve for my family, and it was the most delicious appetizer. it is very easy to make as well.

The picture is what sold me on trying this dish, so I'm very glad someone pointed out the soy sauce issue of ruining the dressing's beautiful citrus color. I used white miso with a little dash of soy instead and it was both beautiful and delicious. Was it preferred over a seared sea scallop? Not for my husband and me, but they were buttery and bright, and it was nice to try something different. Tasty enough to make again, but not sure if I actually will. We'll see.

This recipe is elegant and delicious. Just be sure you are using scallops that are very fresh.

Absolutely delicious! I made this as an appetizer on New Years Eve for my family, who are all big foodies, and received rave reviews. I followed suggestions from other reviewers and used 1T of white miso paste and, once plated, a couple of dashes of soy sauce on each dish. Very easy to make and presents well. My husband loved it so much that he asked for it again the following night. This recipe is a definite keeper!!

Very, very tasty. After reading the previous comments regarding the actual brown color of the sauce versus the color shown in the pic I decided to try using a nicely rounded tablespoon of miso paste plus just a dash of soy sauce instead of the amount of soy called for in the recipe. The color was pretty close to the pic, and the flavor got a thumbs up all around. I had a red/white miso mix on hand, but a white miso would turn out even better I assume. Iɽ also suggest having more Thai chilis on hand if you want as much as shown in the pic. Either way, this is a great crudo concept. Try it.

Very, very tasty. After reading everyone's critique of the difference in color between the pic and the outcome of the actual recipe I decided to try using 2T of miso paste dissolved in the citrus, plus just a dash of soy sauce instead of the amount of soy sauce called for. The color was pretty close to the pic, and the flavor got a thumbs up all around. Not sure what Jean-George would say, but think you'll be happy with the color difference if you try it. I used a red/white mix miso paste, but white miso would be even better. Either way, this is a winner crudo concept.

Spectacular, spectacular! As everyone else has noted, the sauce was brown but delicious. Two people who do not like scallops were floored. The best recipe for scallops I have ever made.

I made this recipe exactly as written. It looked so beautiful that I just had to give it a try. There is no way that picture reflects the recipe with the soy sauce! The sauce comes out brown---not that beautiful yellow-orange pictured. That was very disappointing. I wouldn't make it again.

Great recipe. Agree with comment above sauce is much lighter in color. I think it's got to be an appetizer as is the scallops are savory and almost buttery like this, but a little much for me to eat more than about a scallop's worth. To serve as an entree, I used the sauce as a marinade, seared the scallops for a minute, and then put them back in the sauce. Totally different, and still as great. I used the sherry vinegar to make a vinaigrette for a salad, which went great with the scallops. Also subbed olive oil for the sunflower oil.

Made this last night and it was delicious. I had to substitute white balsamic vinegar for sherry vinegar, since it was reasonably close flavor-wise, and the dressing is much darker than the beautiful photo from the magazine because of the soy sauce (did they even use soy sauce in the version photographed?). that said, with really good fresh local scallops and fresh herbs, this is a really easy and delicious side or entree (I followed the recipe but served it for two instead of four portions). I will definitely make it again, AND the dressing is so good Iɽ try it with grilled steak for a steak salad and/or chicken


You don’t need advanced knife skills or a lot of ingredients to make crudo at home—just a bit of fresh fish and good olive oil.

Japan has sashimi, Hawaii has poke, and Peru has ceviche, but in Italy (and Sicily in particular) it’s all about pesce crudo.

I became well acquainted with pesce crudo (Italian for “raw fish,” unsurprisingly) during a recent trip to Sicily. I did my best to sample it all over the island in the name of “culinary research”—sweet and succulent red shrimp, briny and buttery sea urchin, pleasantly chewy abalone, umami-packed anchovies, and baby squid.

What became quickly apparent is that crudo is not about detailed techniques or impressive knife skills, but rather about appreciating seafood at its peak freshness. Crudo at its simplest is nothing more than raw seafood dressed with olive oil, sea salt, acid (such as lemon juice or good quality vinegar), and sometimes pepper.

Pesce crudo is light and delicate, making it a great way to start a meal. It’s also easy and quick to prepare at home. The key part is tracking down quality fish—sometimes referred to as sushi grade. Your best bet is to buy fish from a fishmonger whom you’ve done business with (better still, make friends with a fisherman). With advanced refrigeration and science on the customer’s side, finding quality fish is as easy as driving down to your local Whole Foods, or fish shop.

Once you’ve procured your seafood, there are a few pointers to keep in mind. First, be sure to use a very sharp knife when portioning, and always cut the fish against the grain. Keep the seafood refrigerated while prepping the other ingredients to ensure freshness (you can even pop your fish into the freezer for 10 minutes or so to make it easier to slice). Finally, it’s always a good idea to wait to add the lemon juice until just before serving, since too much acid too early will turn your fish into ceviche.

Since there’s no cooking involved, the quality of the complementary ingredients, particularly the oil, can really make a difference as well. Depending on the type of fish, this could be a full-bodied, fruity, herbaceous Sicilian extra-virgin olive oil or perhaps an extracted nut oil, such as pistachio oil or hazelnut oil. With a stronger-tasting fish (like Hamachi or salmon), you could use an extra-virgin olive oil with a more assertive, bolder flavor profile. With a milder-tasting fish (like white fish or scallops), consider a more subtle, nuanced oil so as not to overpower its delicate flavor. That being said, it’s all about personal preference, so don’t be afraid to experiment a bit.

Tuna Crudo With Capers

4 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces sushi-grade ahi tuna
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons capers, rinsed
  • Microgreens (such as basil) for garnish
  • Pinch of flaky sea salt

Given the freshness and buttery texture of the sushi-grade tuna I found at my local farmers’ market, it needed nothing more than a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of good-quality extra-virgin olive oil. The capers and microgreens, while not essential, lend salinity and a pop of green.

  1. Place the fish in the freezer for 10 minutes. Squeeze a little lemon juice on the serving plate. Remove the tuna from the freezer. Slice the tuna thinly with a sharp knife and lay the slices on the plate, overlapping slightly.
  2. Drizzle the tuna with olive oil. Sprinkle capers on top. Garnish with microgreens. Season with sea salt.

Whitefish Crudo With Pistachio and Mint

4 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces sushi-grade white fish (such as snapper, bream, bass, grouper, rockfish, yellowtail)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Chopped pistachios for garnish
  • Leaves from few sprigs of mint
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of flaky sea salt

You can use several kinds of whitefish in this recipe—such as snapper, bream, bass, grouper, rockfish, or yellowtail. Of course, make sure it’s super fresh. The combination of pistachios, lemon, and mint is a classic pairing that I encountered throughout Sicily.

  1. Place the fish in the freezer for 10 minutes. Slice the fish thinly with a sharp knife and lay the slices on the plate, overlapping slightly.
  2. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Garnish with pistachios, mint leaves, and lemon zest. Season with sea salt.

Scallop Crudo With Basil Oil

4 servings

Ingredients

  • Crudo
  • 6 scallops
  • Basil oil
  • 1 cucumber
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • Microgreens (such as arugula, radish)
  • Pinch of flaky sea salt
  • Basil Oil
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of flaky sea salt

When raw, scallops possess a mild and sweet flavor. In this recipe, I added a layer of summery flavor with a basil-infused olive oil.

Basil Oil

Crudo

  1. Place the scallops in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  2. Drizzle some basil oil on the bottom of a shallow serving bowl. Slice the cucumber into thin rounds and place in the bowl.
  3. Remove the scallop from the freezer. Slice the scallops thinly, in thirds horizontally, with a sharp knife and lay the slices on the plate, overlapping slightly with the cucumber. Squeeze a little lemon juice on top.
  4. Garnish with shallots and microgreens. Season with sea salt.

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Linda Schneider

Linda Schneider is a home cook who is obsessed with good food and all things local. Follow her adventures at Wild Greens and Sardines.


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