I have eaten this Albacore Tuna Crudo at Dave's restaurant, Esca, hundreds of times and never tire of it. Some people get nervous at the thought of making a raw fish preparation at home. Captain Dave says, "Don't be. Obviously it's imperative to use very fresh fish. If you're not a fisherperson yourself, you need to develop a relationship with a local fishmonger who will steer you to the freshest fish he's got. Once your fishmonger selects your fish for you, ask him or her to cut it into crudo-size pieces, 2 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick."
Albacore Crudo with Caperberries
- Yield:Serves 4
- 3 lemons, halved
- 1 pound albacore fillet
- Fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- High-quality extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 16 Sicilian caperberries
Put a small puddle of lemon juice—about 1 tablespoon each—in the center of six serving plates then drizzle the lemon juice around the sides of the plates. The lemon juice is put under the fish so that it will not discolor it.
Cut each fillet into four strips from nose to tail, first in half along where the spine would be, then the belly and top halves. Cut away the tip ends so that the strips are fairly rectangular, and of equal thickness. Then cut each rectangle into crudo slices about 2 inches wide and 1/4-inch thick. Cut the strips on the bias using a very sharp straight blade. Move your fingers back, slice by slice, making a clean, sure cut. There should be at least 16 slices, though the size and shape of the fillets may allow for more or less. Arrange the slices on the serving plates atop the puddle of lemon juice.
Sprinkle a few crunchy grains of sea salt on each slice of fish. Follow with a light grinding of black pepper on each piece and then a light drizzle of high-quality olive oil over the top. Add 4 caperberries to each plate and serve immediately.