Recipe: Watermelon “Sushi”

This past Labor Day weekend, I hosted my second rooftop party. It was very much delayed from the previous rooftop party because the first one was back in 2014!! I should have multiple rooftop parties throughout each summer! There was a total of 14 people, which honestly was more than I had planned for but I don’t regret it because it turned out to be such a blast!

I made four different canapés and I just love, love, love the watermelon “sushi” that I came up with when I used to work at Degustation. It was one of my favorite amuse bouche that I put on the tasting menu – here and here.

I had fish troubles for this one because the fluke that I had bought at the fish market turned bad two days later, which meant that I couldn’t use it, even after I cured it, it was still bad… So I had to rush to my favorite trustworthy Japanese supermarket the day of, which killed one hour of my prep time! I’ve always used some kind of flat fish like sole or fluke but Katagiri didn’t have sashimi grade flat fish so I bought some salmon and yellowtail.

It’s best to use cold, refrigerated watermelon. Cut the watermelon into bite-sized rectangles. To cure the fish, cover the fish in equal parts of salt and sugar and place in refrigerator for 45 minutes. The fish pieces that I had were no more than 5 mm thick.

I always like to have my reduced sherry vinegar on hand at home because I use it to season a lot of random things. I buy a 16-year aged Pedro Ximénez sweet sherry vinegar from Despaña and reduce it with herbs and spices until it becomes syrupy. Once you’re done assembling the watermelon and sliced cuts of fish, drizzle some sherry reduction and grate some fresh lime zest over the top. This is always a big crowd pleasure and is perfect for summer!

Watermelon “Sushi”

My first post was Watermelon “Sushi” – an amuse bouche that I came up with in early spring of 2017. This photo was from mid-summer of 2017 – I have perfected it and its presentation.

Here are three pieces of Sweet Summer Watermelon, topped with Cured Dover Sole, Aged Apple Vinegar, and Lime Zest! One bite of satisfying goodness!

Click here for the recipe.

Melon Salad with Smoked Speck

Five years ago, when I first started working at Degustation, I had a different variation of this salad from my mentor. I thought it was such an amazing salad and a clever play on Prosciutto e Melone.

What really caught my interest was how my mentor made the melon vinaigrette. You take the juice and the pulp from the seeds and use that in the vinaigrette! How cool is that?!

I put this on the tasting menu and it ended up on our new a la carte menu for late spring/summer.

So here is my Melon Salad with Cantaloupe, Honeydew, and Yellow Watermelon; Smoked Italian Speck, Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese, Black Olive Crumble; Dragon Mizuna and Malabar Spinach dressed in a Melon Vinaigrette.

*Click here to see this salad as an amuse bouche.

Watermelon “Sushi”

This was featured on yesterday’s tasting menu as the amuse bouche. It is a piece of Sweet Watermelon, topped with Cured Dover Sole, Aged Apple Vinegar, and Lime Zest!

*EDIT*

A few months later, I have perfected this little bite! Click here.

Click here for the recipe.