One of my father’s specialties during the holidays is pichi-pichi, a grated cassava dessert cooked in milk and sugar and eaten with fresh coconut. I was delighted to find leftover shredded coconut in the fridge when I was exploring different ways to cook the Kona Kampachi sent to me by Kona Blue Water Farms.
Kona Kampachi is known as Almaco Jack in the wild and Hawaiian yellowtail in most kitchens and sushi restaurants. Kona Blue nurtures its Kona Kampachi from hatch to harvest, making it a sustainably-raised fish that has no detectable levels of mercury and is completely free of internal parasites. Kona Kampachi is also good for you–it is rich with healthy Omega-3 fish oils–and the fat content makes it one of the most flavorful fish available in the market today.
One of the most interesting recipes from Jean-Georges’ cookbook, Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges, involved halibut, but I can’t imagine how it could be any better than when I used the kampachi. The fish itself is mildly sweet–you can taste its natural flavor without any of the dressings. To dress it even seemed a waste to me because it’s good on its own, sashimi-style. But Kona Blue was extremely generous and I had a lot of fish. I wanted to try different ways of cooking it.
a knob of butter
For the salad topping:
1 cup shredded coconut
half an apple, thinly sliced
a small knob of ginger, peeled, julienned
1 shallot, thinly sliced
fresh basil leaves, thoroughly washed, patted dry, chiffonade
juice from 1 lemon
Thai chili, seeded, chopped
a knob of butter
salt, pepper, oil
1. Prepare the salad that will go on top of the fish while you preheat the oven 275Âº. Combine all the salad topping ingredients together in a small bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
2. Butter a baking sheet. Lay fillets and bake for 15 minutes.
3. When serving, top the fish with the coconut salad. Drizzle with some leftover lemon juice.