This is my modern take on ceviche - fish that has been cured with lime juice.
- 1 litre (4 cups) coconut milk
- 250 ml (1 cup) lime juice, to taste
- 150 g icing sugar, to taste
- ½ small ripe seedless watermelon
- 45 ml mezcal (see Note)
- 250 g seedless watermelon flesh, roughly chopped
- 7 red jalapeños (or long red chili), roughly chopped
- 100 ml lime juice, or to taste
Guajillo chilli powder
- 3 guajillo chillies (see Note)
- 400 g hiramasa kingfish fillet, pin-boned, bloodline removed
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced into rings
- 1 radish, thinly sliced into rings
- coconut shavings, toasted
- 1 red habanero chili, thinly sliced into rings
- ½ bunch coriander, leaves picked
- pink salt flakes
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time: 3 hours
For the coconut granita, whisk the coconut milk, lime juice and icing sugar together in a bowl, adjusting to your taste. Pour into a shallow tray and freeze until firm, checking every 30 minutes or so and scraping with a fork to form large crystals. (Makes more granita than you need.)
For the mezcal watermelon, cut off the rind and cut the flesh into 3 cm cubes. Place in a large ziplock bag, add the mezcal, press out all of the air and seal. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight (see Note).
For the aguachile, combine the watermelon, chilli and lime juice in a blender and blend until smooth, then pass through fine sieve. Chill until required.
For the guajillo chili powder, roast the guajillos in a preheated 150ºC for 6 minutes until lightly roasted, then process to a fine.
To plate, thinly slice the kingfish, place in a bowl and squeeze over lime juice to slightly cure.
Scrape the granita with a fork to create snow-like crystals. Return to the freezer until required.
Arrange 7 cubes of watermelon on each plate, drape over the fish slices. Arrange the radish, onion, coconut and habanero on top.
Spoon a generous amoung of aguachile over, garnish with coriander leaves and season with the guajillo chilli powder and salt flakes.
Add the granita just before serving.
• At el Público, to “compress” the mezcal watermelon by placing the ingredients in a vacuum-sealable bag and vacuum-seal it. We prefer to use Mezcal Alipus San Baltazar.
Tommy Payne is the head chef of el Público. This recipe is from The Chefs' Line - a brand new series airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Can the passion of a home cook beat the skills of a professional chef? Missed all the action? Catch-up online and get all the recipes #TheChefsLine.
This recipe has been edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the series.