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Fish and Shellfish, Healthy Eating, Mains

Confited yellowtail with ginger-carrot puree and warmed Asian vinaigrette

Confited yellowtail with ginger-carrot puree and warmed Asian vinaigrette
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

David LeFevre wants you to know that fish can be cool. That's probably no great surprise coming from the new chef at the Water Grill, certainly one of the best seafood restaurants on the West Coast and probably in the ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes | Serves 4

Carrot puree

  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup carrot juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced pickled ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt, pepper

Step 1Place the carrots and carrot juice in a medium pot and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat until the carrots are soft, about 10 minutes.

Step 2Pour the cooked carrots and juice into a blender. Add the ginger and lemon juice and blend at high until very smooth in consistency. Slowly add the olive oil while the blender is running. (Once the oil is added the color of the mixture will lighten, and it will get very creamy.) Season with salt and pepper and reserve warm. Makes about 1 cup.

Asian vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup sesame oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup small-diced daikon
  • 2 cooked water chestnuts, diced small
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup hijiki seaweed, soaked in 1/2 cup cold water, drained and squeezed dry, roughly chopped
  • Salt, pepper

Step 1Heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the daikon and sweat briefly, about 2 minutes.

Step 2Add the water chestnuts and vinegar and cook until the vinegar is reduced by half, about 4 minutes.

Step 3Add the remaining sesame oil and the chopped hijiki, season with salt and pepper. Reserve warm. This will have a salsa-like consistency. Makes about one-half cup.

Hamachi and assembly

  • 3 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup ( 1/4 -inch-sliced) ginger
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, outer layer of leaves removed; cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1/2 bunch (about 1 ounce) cilantro, stems included
  • 4 (3-ounce) portions yellowtail
  • 12 cooked edamame, shelled (about 35 to 40 beans)

Step 1Combine the olive oil, ginger, lemon grass and cilantro in a wide-based pot. Heat the oil to 160 degrees and maintain for 20 minutes.

Step 2Cool the oil to 125 degrees and maintain at 120 degrees while poaching the fish. The oil should have the feel of a hot bath.

Step 3Add the yellowtail portions, using the ginger, lemon grass and cilantro to keep the fish from the bottom of the pan.

Step 4Cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until the fish is slightly opaque and, if pinched, starting to fall apart. It is easiest to tell if the fish is done by touch, if you slightly squeeze it and it doesn't start to flake it isn't done, but it should not feel firm; it will be very soft. The resulting texture is extremely tender and silky.

Step 5Remove from the oil, blot and season with salt and pepper. For each serving, spoon carrot puree into the bottom of a soup bowl or ridged dinner plate. Place a piece of fish in the center of the plate. Spoon the vinaigrette on top and sprinkle with the edamame.

Note: Yellowtail is also called hamachi. Hijiki seaweed is available at Asian markets.


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