Chef James Wayman's Monkfish Cured Like Gravlax

Photos by Sara Kayeum

Photos by Sara Kayeum

This recipe from Oyster Club Executive Chef James Wayman, is a perfectly light and satisfying appetizer for the summer months. Variations of this dish, such as using scallops in place of the Monkfish, can often be found on the Oyster Club menu. 

Chef James Wayman's Recipe for Monkfish Cured like Gravlax with Pickled Mustard Seeds, Crispy Potato Chips and Early Summer Vegetables
Recipe: Chef James Wayman's Monkfish Cured like Gravlax with Pickled Mustard Seeds, Crispy Potato Chips and Early Summer Vegetables

Ingredients

For the Monkfish

14 oz monkfish cleaned
3 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
Zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tbsp good quality brandy or cognac
2 tbsp chopped dill
1/2 tsp crushed black pepper

For the Vegetables

You can use a number of different vegetables with this. Summer squash, radishes, peas, turnips, green beans. kale etc
Salt
Sugar

For the Pickled Mustard Seeds

1 cup good quality white wine or champagne vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 shallot cut in half
1 cup yellow mustard seeds

For the Potato Chips

1 Idaho potato
1 quart of canola oil or other oil with a high smoking point
Salt
 

Instructions

For the Monkfish

At least 24 hours before serving, mix together all ingredients except Monkfish in a bowl and whisk until salt and sugar melt. Then, put the fish in a flat non reactive container, coating evenly with the cure mixture. Cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, and weigh it down with something flat and heavy. (I use a full box of kosher salt which you may want to also wrap in plastic to avoid getting wet.) Optionally, you could put the fish in a ziploc bag and then weigh that down in the same way. Then refrigerate. Turn the fish over redistributing the cure at least once during this process after about twelve hours.

For the Pickled Mustard Seeds

Bring all ingredients except seeds to a boil in a small, non-reactive pot. Then add the seeds and take off the heat. Put in the refrigerator to cool and they will be ready once chilled. These will keep for up to a month.

For the Vegetables

Slice vegetables thinly and season lightly with a mixture of two parts kosher salt and one part sugar. 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar should be more than adequate.

For the Potato Chips

Slice the potato paper thin using a mandolin. Heat 1 quart of canola oil (or any oil with a high smoking point) in a tall pot to 300 degrees. Then fry in small batches until the chips are golden brown. Cool the chips on an absorbent towel to suck up the extra grease. Finally, season to taste with a fine sea salt while the chips are still hot.

To Serve

To serve, rinse the fish of the extra cure and pat dry. Then cut into a 1/4 inch dice. Place the diced fish in a small pile on a cold plate. Scatter pickled mustard seeds over the fish, and then garnish with potato chips and cured summer vegetables. To finish, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.