This elegant, flavour packed hamachi crudo, paired with finger lime, chilli and coriander makes for a light appetizer, perfect for entertaining on special occasions.
Yellowtail hamachi is my go-to fish for raw preparations like in this crudo. The sweet, buttery flavour of the hamachi prepared with a hint of spice and citrusy finger lime give this dish a restaurant style taste and look.
The recipe however works with other sashimi grade fish too. While for this recipe, I kept the flavours simple, you can always add my mirin-soy dressing for a tangy Asian punch or add my avocado wasabi sauce for a kick of spice!
The elements of this dish can be prepared ahead and assembled in minutes which makes hamachi crudo ideal for entertaining.
What is crudo?
Even so sashimi is the most well known preparation for raw fish, crudo has become more popular around the world. Crudo meaning raw in Italian, is a simple yet elegant way of serving high quality fish with minimal additions, sometimes just olive oil and lemon.
What is hamachi
Hamachi is the hero of the dish and has to be of high quality. It is called the pacific yellowtail fish and gets it's name from the bright yellow rear fin. In Australia, the fish is called Hiramasa Kingfish.
The flavour of hamachi is buttery, dense, oily, rich and sweet.
What you need
Besides a sashimi quality hamachi fish fillet, you need a few more ingredients.
Finger lime is a small citrus fruit that has small caviar like pearls as pulp. They are common in Australia but can be replaced with lime juice.
Avocado choose avocados that are not too ripe as you want to cut them into dices.
Chilli I used red cayenne chillies and removed the seeds, medium spice is good.
Coriander for freshness and to make coriander oil.
Shallots have a delicate and sweet flavour that makes them ideal for the crudo. They can replaced with red onions.
Olive oil and sea salt for seasoning and the coriander oil.
Preparing the crudo
Just like in a professional kitchen, all parts of the dish can be prepared ahead and mixed when you are ready to plate up the dish.
the finger lime
The finger lime comes in different colours, this time it's green. For my oyster recipe I had pink finger lime, the taste however is mostly the same. Cut the finger lime in half and squeeze out the pearls by pressing from the end, towards the cut side.
Remove any seeds and set aside.
The shallots need to be cut into 'brunoise', a French term meaning tiny dices. Make sure you use a sharp knife for this.
If you are still not sure how to cut tiny dices, here is a great post on how to cut shallots.
For the chilli, I removed the seeds as I find them too hot for a delicate fish like hamachi. It also makes it easier to cut the chilli into small dices without the seeds.
The avocado is diced into cubes, saying that, I know it is difficult to cut avocado precisely into cubes due to it's shape, so don't worry too much about getting them perfect as long as they are fairly even😉
Coriander oil makes the dressing for the crudo. To make coriander oil, combine the coriander leaves (keep some for the chopped coriander) and olive oil and mix in a blender for about 2 minutes.
If you see smoke coming from the oil, that is perfectly fine, heat makes the oil greener. Strain the oil through a sieve and let it cool down.
Preparing the hamachi fish
Hamachi is such a beautiful, firm fish you will have no difficulty cutting it. As a rule - make sure you take out the fish from the fridge, only when you are ready to cut it.
If you have purchased the fillet with skin and bones still attached, you will have to first remove them. And only then cut the fillet into cubes of about 1½ cm (½ inch) and keep chilled until you are ready to mix the hamachi.
How to make Hamachi Crudo?
Now it's time for you to be the Chef because we are ready to assemble the dish! If you are entertaining, this is the moment to show off. Mixing the hamachi in front of your audience, can definitely be a show stopper so watch how it's done!
Use a large bowl and add the hamachi to it.
Add the shallots, finger lime and chilli.
Now the chopped coriander goes in.
A few table spoons of olive oil and sea salt for taste.
Mix it gently with a spoon and have a taste yourself. Does it need more salt? Do you like more acidity? Make it perfect!
How to plate up
For the plate up, I suggest lining out all the plates and then placing the fish cubes. I like using tweezers but you can use a fork too.
Place the avocados in between the fish and then spoon the coriander oil in between as well.
Avoid pouring it over the fish as it will discolour the pink hamachi flesh.
Finally garnish with coriander leaves and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Serve the dish straightaway to your guests.
What to serve hamachi with
Hamachi crudo with chilli and coriander is a light appetizer and should be served as such. Crispy sourdough croutons or lavash bread are all you need.
For a fancy garnish, you can make potato blinis or even cut the hamachi smaller and place it on the blinis as pass around canapes.
Buy your fish from a trusted fishmonger. If you ask him for "sashimi grade" fillets or explain that the fish will be eaten raw, he should point you to the freshest fish he can offer.
Yes you can but for a raw preparation like crudo I recommend to remove that part as it has an unpleasant flavour. If you cook the fish you can leave it on.
You can use salmon, tuna or red snapper as a substitute. Try to avoid fish like swordfish or cod.
Try other seafood preparations
If entertaining with seafood, here are some of our favourite gourmet seafood appetizers, that are a must at your next gathering.
- Salmon Tartare
- Scallops with Garlic Herb Butter
- Crab and Lime Salad with Watermelon Gazpacho
- Creamy Mussel and Saffron Soup
- Classic Prawn Cocktail
We all have some simple, go-to seafood recipes we rely on, but special occasions are the perfect time to try something new! Even though hamachi crudo is an incredibly easy dish to prepare, it is something truly special and restaurant-worthy - perfect for any special occasion!
You can play around with the flavours, almost anything goes with raw fish, I tried this yuzu curd with the dish and actually loved it.
When you make this recipe, I'd love to know how it turned out! So remember to leave me a review below.
Until then, Happy cooking!
Hamachi Crudo with Chilli and Coriander
- mixing bowl
- food blender
- 360 gram hamachi fillet
- 1 avocado
- 2 finger lime
- 1 large red chilli
- 1 large shallot peeled
- ½ bunch coriander
- 120 millilitre light olive oil
- sea salt
preparing all ingredients
- If you have purchased the fillet with skin and bones still attached you will have to first remove them. Then cut into cubes of about 1½ cm (½ inch) and keep chilled until you are ready to mix the hamachi.
- Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed. Scoop out the flesh and cut into small dices (as evenly as possible)
- Cut the finger lime in half and squeeze out the pearls by pressing from the end, towards the cut side. Remove any seeds and set aside the finger lime.
- Cut the shallots into small dices (brunoise).
- Cut the chilli lengthwise in half and remove the seeds. Then cut it into small dices and set aside.
- Pick the coriander leaves from the stems. Chop some of the coriander for the hamachi mix and keep the rest for the garnish (you need about 1 tablespoon chopped).
- Combine the remaining coriander and olive oil (leave 2 tablespoon for the hamachi mix) and mix in a blender for about 2minutes on high speed. Strain through a sieve and let it cool.
for plating up
- In a bowl add the hamachi dices. Add the finger lime, shallots, chilli, chopped coriander, 2 tablespoon olive oil and sea salt.
- Mix carefully and adjust seasoning if required.
- In a bowl or plate place the hamachi using tweezers or a fork, evenly spread out. Next place the avocado dices between the hamachi. Drizzle the coriander oil in between the hamachi and avocado. Finish with some coriander leaves as garnish.
- Serve immediately