Salmon Belly Crudo with Fennel and Tangerine Gastrique is an elegant appetizer. Use the very best fish you can find.
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 sprigs fresh fennel fronds (chopped)
- zest of 1 small tangerine
- juice of 1 small tangerine
- sea salt (as needed)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice (or as needed)
- ½ fennel bulb (cored)
- 2 radishes
- ½ pound Alaskan Kin Salmon belly (skinless and well-chilled)
- 1 tablespoon lightly packed whole tarragon leaves (as garnish)
In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat combine the sugar and both vinegars. Bring to a boil.
Lower the heat to medium and add the chopped fennel fronds and about half of the tangerine zest. Continue cooking until reduced to about 3/4 cup. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl and allow to cool completely. Discard solids.
Meanwhile, put the tangerine juice in a medium bowl. Add the cooled tangerine and vinegar syrup a little at a time, completely incorporating each addition until you have a gastrique that is thick and viscous but not syrupy. You might not use all the tangerine and vinegar syrup. Stir in half of the remaining zest and a small pinch of salt. Taste the gastrique, adjusting seasoning as needed. If it needs a little more acidity, add as much or as little of the lemon juice as needed. It should be bright and tart with a hint of tangerine sweetness.
Use a mandolin to slice the fennel and radish into very thin slices.
Using a very sharp knife (and a single long slicing motion per section) cut the the salmon belly into ¼‑inch slices. Trim the salmon removing any skin and cut it into bite-sized pieces.
Arrange the salmon and radish slices in an alternating pattern across a chilled serving platter. Pile the fennel slices attractively to one side and then garnish with the tarragon leaves and the remaining tangerine zest. Finish with a little sea salt, and then drizzle some of the gastrique all around the plate.