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Asian flavors influence Italian style at Riva. Chef Jason Travi's sushi cut tuna, striped bass with pink peppercorns and ...
Panko breaded scallops are dressed up with a classic Italian touches, harmonizing the flavors of both cuisines in each bite.
Tags:Raw Fish Recipes,Behind the Burner,Chef Jason Travi,Panko breaded scallops,seafood recipe,striped bass
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Divya: Hi, I’m Divya Gugnani, and we’re here at Riva nestled in the Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica, California. The title is quite fitting for this restaurant as Riva means “shoreline” in Italian. I’m ready for some shore bites so let’s go Behind the Burner and meet the chef.
Hi, I’m here with Chef Partner Jason Travi. Jason, I see some beautiful ingredients here. What are we making?
Jason: We are going to make a trio of raw fish. So, the first raw fish is going to be tuna. This is Ahi tuna, it’s sushi grade. Whenever you’re buying fish at a supermarket or whole foods or if you can actually go to the fish market, that’s even better, specifically ask for sushi grade. It’s very, very important. What we’re going to do first is we’re going to make the sauce which is going to be a tonnato sauce which is a very traditional sauce from Italy that they serve with room temperature veal.
So, we mix it up a little bit and serve it with tuna. It’s basically mayonnaise with tuna in it. So, chopped peppers, we’re going to take a little bit of garlic.
Divya: So, with our garlic, we’re getting it nice and fine.
Jason: So that way, you don’t have to use your knife. It works really fast and it’s the perfect size for something like this. Chopped parsley and then a little bit of lemon juice, a preserved tuna belly. We make this here. We take the fat off the tuna and cooked it in olive oil, but you can just buy the canned tuna belly. That’s stuff is great.
So, you just want to mix it. So everything is incorporated, and that you want to leave the tuna in big chunks. A little bit of sauce down there and the fish is pretty dry. You need something to lubricate the knife so it slices through nice and smooth. Fleur de sel which is like a really large grind salt that’s from the sea. It’s just a little bit of sea salt on top. That one is ready to roll.
Next, this is striped bass. And whenever you’re dealing with whole fish and you’re buying whole fish, the most important thing is to look at the eyes and look at the gills. The gills need to be nice and red and the eyes need to be clear like your eyes.
With the knife, cut it on a bias down like that, two slices like sixth of an inch thick, a little bit of sea salt. And what we do with this is we just finish it with a little bit of lemon oil. We garnish salads with it. It’s amazing for fish. And then, we finish it with pink peppercorns, crush them up a little bit. It gives you some nice color. It gives nice texture and then the fruity, spicy flavor is really nice with the fish.
And lastly, we’re going to be using Nantucket bay scallops. These are the sweetest food you’ll put in your mouth that contains no sugar. So, sea salt, a little bit of Sicilian olive oil, put them on the plate and then we’re going to take blood orange. We segment the blood oranges and then chop up the segments into little pieces. We’ve done this with Meyer lemons. We’ve also used regular oranges and they worked just as well. You just take pieces of the blood orange and garnish the scallops like that. A little bit of mint and then crispy bread crumbs on top. This is just Panko which are Japanese bread crumbs that have been deep fried.
Divya: I am ready to go taste this.
Jason: Beautiful, I can't wait. Here, we have the tuna tonnato, the wild striped bass with pink pepper corns and lemon oil. The last is Nantucket bay scallops with blood oranges and crispy bread crumbs.
Divya: There’s some great crunchiness in that one from the Panko. It kind of has the softness and sweetness of the scallop and the crunchiness.
Jason: Well, textures are important.
Divya: Wow! The pink pepper corn. That’s a fiery, fiery flavor.
Jason: So, there’s a lot is going on. There’s a lot of different flavors out there.
Divya: Well, cheers. Thank you so much for having us, Jason.
Jason: My pleasure.
Stay tuned to Behind the Burner where we give you the tips, tricks and techniques that are lighting the culinary world on fire.