Archives for category: Seafood

We spotted fresh mackerels at the wet market and had to pick them up for dinner. They were 6 kuai, or a dollar a piece. Pick fish with clear eyes, bright red gills and smell of the ocean. Ask your fish monger to clean out the fish cavities.
Note: mackerel is strong-flavored and oily, but when cooked right it’s very tasty. We cooked the fish whole to keep it moist and tender. If you follow the recipe, you won’t be disappointed.

2 whole Chinese mackerel, about 14″ head to tail
2 cups shelled edamame (soy beans)
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 bunch cilantro
16 cherry tomatoes
5 red chilies
2 green chilies
3 limes
3 tablespoons milk
Hawaiian Alaea salt (but you can use any coarse salt)
Freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 400° F / 200° C.

Wash the fish and pat dry. Stuff fish cavities with roughly chopped onion and cilantro. Drizzle olive oil and squeeze lime over and inside the fish. Salt and pepper the fish.

Place the fish belly down on a prepared tin foil. Crunch the tin foil around the fish and form like a boat. Place 8 tomatoes, chopped chili peppers and lime wedges around each fish.

Place the boats on a baking sheet, roast in oven for 25 minutes. Squeeze the lime over the fish about three times during the roast.

In the mean time, boil edamame in a small pot of water until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain, then pour in a blender with butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil, milk, a small bunch of cilantro, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.

Pull out the stuffed aromatics and debone the fish. Plate with roasted tomatoes, chili peppers, edamame mash and lime wedges. Spoon liquid from the tin foil boat over the fish, squeeze with more lime and serve immediately.


Jesse makes all different types and variations of tartare. This recipe was inspired after shopping at an upscale Japanese supermarket in Xintiandi. To get the best-quality salmon, go to GL Japan Plaza in Xintiandi or City Super at IFC in Pudong . 1/2 pound sushi grade salmon, tobiko (flying fish roe), a nice tasty soy sauce, touch of super-finely chopped ginger (try to pull out fibrous parts), chopped scallions and wasabiiiii!

You really can use any of the parts of the good sushi grade salmon to make this dish. What Jesse usually does is take the left over cuts from the prime cuts and uses a spoon to peel the meat from any unwanted parts (skin and tendon). If you flip over the spoon and scratch away the flesh from the skin and any other non-palatable parts you will be left with grade “A” tartare meat. If there are any pieces which are not consistent in size, chop all the salmon together to get uniform consistency.

1/2 pound sushi grade salmon
2 tablespoons tobiko, or flying fish roe
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon good olive oil
1 scallion, finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 cucumber, sliced and cut in long strips
1/2 teaspoon black sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon white sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon prepared wasabi
3 teaspoons soy sauce
A touch of finely chopped ginger

Chop the salmon into uniform size. In a medium bowl, mix the salmon, sesame oil, olive oil, chopped scallion, onion, sesame seeds, wasabi, ginger, soy sauce and lemon juice. Cover and chill until cold, about 30 minutes.

Thinly slice half of the cucumber at a diagonal, then cut the rest into long strips. Arrange the cucumber on a plate and top with salmon tartare. Garnish with flying fish roe, scallion and serve.

We saw these beautiful live blue prawns at the wet market one early morning and had to pick them up! Blue prawns have a crisp, sweet and buttery taste. So we thought the best way to prepare them was simply poaching. Served with crusty bread, sweet butter and Jesse’s cocktail sauce.

Jesse’s Cocktail Sauce

1 cup ketchup
4 teaspoons horseradish (we add more)
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/2 juice of a lemon
Splash of Worcestershire
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, stir all ingredients together. Chill until ready to serve.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the water. Add prawns and poach until their blue shells turn bright orange, about 4-5 minutes. Remove prawns from the poaching liquid and immediately immerse in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain on paper towel and serve.

You can add anything you like in your sushi rolls. Spicy tuna, avocados, yellowtail, eel, tobiko, salmon skin, carrots, gobo (burdock root), eel sauce, shrimp tempura and etc…

1/2 pound sushi grade salmon, cut into strips
4 cups prepared sushi rice
1 package nori (seaweed) sheets
5 leaves red leaf lettuce
6 scallions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 cucumber, cut into strips
5 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Sriracha or Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 small bowl water
Gari (pickled ginger)
Soy sauce

Prepare your sushi making station: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and water. This solution is used to wet your hands while spreading sushi rice on nori. Wrap the entire bamboo mat with a plastic saran wrap. Mix the Sriracha with mayonnaise and set aside.

Heat the nori over gas stove or in an oven at 350°F / 175°C for 2 minutes. Place the nori on the bamboo mat, spread sushi rice over the entire surface of the nori, leaving about an inch of nori on the top edge. Press the rice down firmly, wet your hands with the vinegar solution to help from sticking.

Spread a layer of mayonnaise mixture across the center of the rice from end to end. Add strips of salmon, cucumber, lettuce, sesame seeds and scallions. Begin rolling the edge from bottom to top, using the bamboo mat to press down on the sushi as you roll up, gently and tightly. Use a few rice grains to seal the top edge of the roll. Press the roll in the bamboo mat for about 30 seconds to hold shape.

Dip your knife in the vinegar solution and cut the roll into 8 even slices. Arrange the rolls cut side up on a platter, garnish with wasabi, lettuce and pickled ginger.

How to make the best sushi rice:

2 cups sushi rice
2 cups water
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
Kombo kelp, 2″ strip

Wash the rice in a strainer until the water coming from the rice is clear. Let drain in the strainer for 45 minutes. While rice is draining, mix together vinegar, mirin, sugar, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Add rice, 2 cups water and kelp to an electric rice cooker and cook until ready, about 30 minutes.

If you don’t have a rice cooker. Add rice to a medium pot with 2 cups water and kelp. Bring to a boil then immediately reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let rice rest for 10 minutes. Do not remove the cover as the rice needs the steam to finish cooking at this point.

Turn the rice out into a large wooden bowl. Using a wooden spatula, mix the vinegar mixture to the rice in a cross hatching / slashing motion. This is so you don’t break the rice and making it mushy. Be careful not to over mix.

1 pound pasta *spaghetti, linguini or cappellini
1 pound clams
1 pound mussels
1 pound shrimp
2 pounds ripe tomatoes
5 cloves garlic
7 tablespoons good olive oil
2 red chili pepper
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped to yield 1/4 cup
1 lemon
Parmigiano Reggiano
Sea salt (coarse grey salt)
Freshly ground black pepper

Soak the clams and mussels in water for 30 minutes, this helps to rid sand. Scrub the shells, pull out any beard from the mussels, and throw out any opened shells (dead clams).

Rinse the shrimp clean and de-shell. Take a toothpick, insert one end through the middle back of the shrimp to pick out the digestive track. Butterfly the shrimp and reserve.

In a medium saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil, add the onions and garlic and saute until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, season with salt & pepper, add wine to deglaze and cover. Simmer the sauce for 15 minutes.

Boil water in a large pot, salt the water and cook pasta to just before al dente. Reserve one cup of pasta water.

In the mean while, heat a large saute pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add clams, cover and cook for 3 minutes or until clams just open. Dish the clams out into a bowl and reserve.

In the same saute pan, heat 1 tablespoons olive oil.  Add the mussels, cover and cook for 3 minutes or until the mussels just open.  Dish the mussels out into the same bowl with the clams.

In the same saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add the garlic and saute fragrant.  Add the shrimp, salt & pepper and saute until they are slightly underdone, pinkish in color, parts are somewhat translucent, and just starting to curl, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and put into a bowl.

For 2 servings: in the same large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat, ladle in about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of tomato sauce, add in half of the cooked pasta, half of the shellfish and shrimp, toss vigorously with tongs to coat. Add 1/4 cup reserved pasta water and cook until sauce coats pasta. Remove from heat, season with salt & freshly ground black pepper, sprinkle with parsley, freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and serve.

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