Last week, I went to lunch with a friend to a frenetic lunch-counter type restautant / fish monger called Da Claudio Pescheria in downtown Milan. They specialize in raw fish assortments. You don't choose your fish, you simply choose the size of your order and you get the freshest recently sliced and/or chopped seafood on a bed of slivered lettuce and radicchio, dressed with salt, pepper and olive oil. Elbow up to the bar (standing room only here, no chairs at all, just cocktail-bar style high tables) and do what you can to get the carpaccio barista to notice you among the hoards of downtown office lunchers. Then head to a table set up with bread rolls, grissini, lemon slices, soy sauce, and Tabasco. Dress your carpaccio/tartar plate as you like and dig in. When we went, one of the roving bread replenishers handed us a small dish of raw shrimp marinated in an orange juice vinaigrette on the house. All in all it was a delicious lunch great if you're short on time and money. You're easily in and out in 30 minutes and a small order (plenty for me) sets you back only 7 euros. After one Da Claudio experience I can now unequivocally confirm that men's blue, pinstriped suits are in inner than in (or required uniformwear, couldn't be sure, really) for the office crowd.
So I've been thinking about this for the past few days and I just had to make something similar tonight. Here's what I made as a generous appetizer for 2:
1 small-medium salmon steak (My raw salmon is, of course, Moonie-free! Nya-nya to all of you living Stateside!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tsp grated ginger
3 tsps minced chives
1/2 c finely minced cucumber
salt and pepper to taste
lemon wedges to squeeze
Start by skinning, de-boning and finely dicing the salmon. **If you're smarter than I am, you'll get a salmon fillet. The bones are easier to get out the way. Music to bone salmon by: Post-Punk GODS, The Pixies' "Palace of the Brine" (album: Trompe le Monde", an undeservedly maligned effort.) Place in a bowl with all the other ingredients except salt and lemon. If left for half an hour, the salt would draw out the liquid from the cucumber and give you a soggy consistency and the lemon would "cook" the salmon. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Salt just before serving with a lemon wedge on the side.
This dish really lends itself to interpretation. Add any fresh green herb you think would go well, slivered chilis, soy sauce, wasabe and pickled ginger, finely minced lemongrass and keffir lime leaves, you name it.