Escolar is a fish that has a lot of controversy and stigma attached to it. Some countries have even outlawed the fish saying that it is too toxic to eat. I don't want to go into the debate of the fish or its relative the "oil"fish whether it is healthy to eat or not. I can tell you that I have served this fish and eaten it many times and never have had any side effects. Escolar cannot digest the wax-ester (fatty acid and/or fatty alcohol) which retains the oil in the fish and this is why escolar has almost 25% oil content. Here is a
of the tail of the escolar and this one looks exactly like what I have used. It was brownish/white and had scales. I have read and seen as the fish gets older it turns almost black on the outside. Here is a link to the
which has pictures and more information on the fish.
Again I have served this fish and eaten it for the last 8 years or so and never have had a problem with side effects like diarrhea. I have also read if you don't eat more than 6oz of the fish you will be fine. I don't know if I have eaten more than 6 or 7 oz at one time but I don't think anyone needs to eat more than that of any protein. Sushi houses sell this fish a lot of times as "super white tuna", which they serve raw. Because of the oil content it practically melts in your mouth. You can find loads of online debates and reviews about people that have eaten it and had bad experiences and vise versa. If you do decide to eat this fish hopefully you won't have any side effects associated with it.
On to the recipe.
6 1 oz pieces of escolar
4 pc of sashimi sliced escolar
3 tbsp of ground sumac
8 oz of shitake mushroom caps roasted
2 sweet potatoes sliced thin and fried for chips
1 pineapple 1/2 juiced (foam) and 1/2 cut into julienne strips (caramelized)
1 small daikon radish peeled and shaved paper thin and rolled up into a "tube"
2 tbsp of butter
4 tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper
350 g pineapple juice
150 g water
2 g of lecithin
pinch of salt and sugar
1/4 cup of ponzu sauce
1 lemon juiced
1 lime juiced
1 orange juiced
1/4 cup of sushi vinegar
3 tbsp of tamari soy sauce
1 slice of ginger
1 garlic clove crushed
1 sprig of cilantro
1 tbsp of sesame oil
1 tbsp of sambal chile paste
Red Pepper Romesco
1 jar roasted red bell pepper or 3 large roasted
1/3 cup roasted almonds (marcona) or any other nut
3 garlic cloves
1 Fresno chili (jalapeño or Serrano for heat)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese or manchego
1 1/2 cup olive oil
3 tbsp of fried garlic
1/2 cup of miso mayo sauce
Preheat Oven to 400 degrees
For the shitake mushroom, simply take the caps and drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and place in the oven and roast until become really nutty and tender (approximately 20-25 minutes). Take out and set aside until ready to use.
For the romesco sauce,
Put garlic, roasted red peppers, fresno chile and almond in the blender. Pulse a few times to get everything blended and then turn on high and Drizzle olive oil in until a smooth purée. Finish with cheese and salt. Puree until smooth adjust seasoning if needed and set aside until ready to use.
For the ponzu,
Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and let the flavors blend together for at least 30 minutes before using.
For the pineapple,
Take the julienned pieces of pineapple and place in a medium hot saute pan with a tbsp of butter. Caramelize the pineapple on each side of the pineapple until it has a golden crust. Drain onto a paper towel and set aside until ready to use.
For the foam place all the ingredients except for the lecithin into a tall container. With a hand blender mix the ingredients and pour in the lecithin. After mixed well try to tilt the container and just blend the top layer of the mixture. This should incorporate the air which should create the foam. Then you can spoon off the top layer of the foam when ready to plate.
For the Escolar,
Season escolar with salt and sumac on the fillet side. In a medium hot pan add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil and place the escolar fillet side down in the pan. Now you can season the bottom side of the fish fillet because it should be facing you. You don't want the pan too hot because it could burn the sumac so be careful not to have the heat to hot. Cook for 2-3 minutes on that side and because the fish is cut so small flip it over and it should only take another minute or two to finish cooking. Take out and let the fish rest while you plate
Place three spoonfuls of romesco sauce down on the plate. Place the seared escolar pieces down next to the sauce. Then place two pieces of sashimi escolar down on the plate. Spoon ponzu over those two pieces. Finish those with fried garlic. Add a few squirts of miso mayo and place the rolled up daikon radish next to the seared pieces. Add the caramelized pineapple next to the sashimi and add the pineapple foam on top of that. Finish with sweet potato chips, shitake mushrooms and arugula. After all that work serve and enjoy!