Carpaccio of East Coast Cod with Shallot, Ginger and Soy Vinaigrette
Portion/Yield:Serves 4 as a starter or light lunch
Living by the coast has some magnificent advantages, such as the regular availability of fresh fish. Fresh cod is very special – the skin has an almost transparent green tint and the flesh is opaque with the essence and smell of freshly squeezed lime.
Large, thick fillets are the best for this carpaccio recipe, but I would only recommend eating fish raw in this way if it’s super fresh. If the fish is a few days old then it’s best to be cooked and used for another recipe. The vinaigrette in this recipe is also one of my favourites that has been with me for many years, although, as with many of my recipes, it has evolved slightly from the original. It’s easy to make and is another one of those ‘shake-it-altogether-in-a-jar’ recipes that I’m fond of – simply measure all the ingredients into a jar, seal the lid, shake, use, then seal and keep any leftovers for the next day. Brilliant! For the cod carpaccio, I normally serve 60–80g raw cod per portion for a starter.
Ingredients & Method
For the shallot and soy vinaigrette
- 3 banana shallots, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 20g fresh root ginger, peeled and finely minced
- 50ml soy sauce
- 100ml toasted sesame oil
- 100ml groundnut oil or sunflower oil
- 50ml sherry vinegar
- juice of 1 lemon
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the cod carpaccio
- 320g skinless cod fillet (make sure the fish is super fresh)
- 1 tablespoon groundnut oil or sunflower oil
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- a sprinkling of ground sumac (optional)
- fresh mustard cress
First, make the vinaigrette. Select a clean jar with a tight-fitting screw-top lid. Place all the vinaigrette ingredients in the jar, except the salt and pepper (remember that soy sauce is salty), shake the jar vigorously, then taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before using to let the vinaigrette flavours infuse (see Cook’s Note).
To prepare the cod carpaccio, first place 4 serving plates in the fridge to chill. Slice the raw cod into wafer thin slices using a sharp knife. Arrange the cod slices on the chilled plates, dividing evenly and leaving 2–4mm spaces between each slice for the marinade. Carefully brush the groundnut oil over the fish and season with salt. Shake the vinaigrette and use a teaspoon to spoon some vinaigrette around the cod on the plates.
Garnish the cod with a scattering of lemon zest, a sprinkle of sumac, if you like, and a scattering of mustard cress. Serve immediately with freshly baked rye or sourdough bread.
The vinaigrette is at its best after a day or two, as the flavours will infuse and develop in this time. It will keep in a screw-top jar in the fridge for up to 1 week. The leftover vinaigrette also makes a delicious stir-fry sauce, so try stirring it into a beef stir-fry with udon noodles, for a tasty supper.