The Carpaccio Journey: Painting to Plate
Carpaccio is a traditional Italian appetizer of raw beef sliced as thin as paper and then drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice, and finished with capers and onions, and sometimes, parmesan cheese. These days, other types of meat and fish (particularly salmon and tuna) are being used as carpaccio.
Traditionally, beef of a high quality, as sirloin or tenderloin, is bought at the butcher’s, specifically asking for carpaccio, trimming all fat. The meat is then seasoned with salt and pepper, chopped fresh herbs like parsley, tarragon, or cilantro and maybe some balsamic vinegar before wrapping it with plastic and chilling it for at least 8 hours. While not to the point of frozen solid, one can proceed to slice it very, very thinly with a very sharp knife and some degree of knife skills. Serve with capers, onions, olive oil and lemon juice, along with some shaved parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley. It makes for a good appetizer.
While beef is classic, there are other variations. Seafood carpaccio is very popular. Sushi grade fish, like tuna or salmon, is often on restaurant menus. Sometimes seafood carpaccio will be accompanied with thin slices of jalapeno and a soy dipping sauce. Vegetable carpaccio can be creative – such as artichoke and fennel – sliced razor thin and prepared on a plate. Other proteins, such as lamb, veal, and venison can be used also. However, with any protein, it must be of the highest quality since it will be eaten raw.
The Japanese-style tuna carpaccio is a simple, almost exotic, light meal, though is an appetizer. Tuna must really be fresh, and fresh means it needs to be red and almost waxy-looking. A really simple, but delightfully delicious is tuna carpaccio with capers and shaved red onions, infused with olive oil.
Another is the hamachi carpaccio or yellowtail carpaccio. Like bluefin tuna, hamachi is a migratory fish sometimes called amberjack or buri. Its golden flesh is favored by Japanese sushi chefs. In Japan it is eaten both raw and cooked particularly in winter when it is fattier. When eaten raw and prepared as carpaccio, it is buttery and rich. Can be served with shaved jalapeno and garlic chips served with a light soy sauce.
Prepare your Appetite with Carpaccio in Bellevue
At FLO, before you go main course, we recommend our carpaccio – tuna or yellowtail – high quality and really fresh appetizers that will make your mouth water. Only at FLO Sushi and Sake Bar in Bellevue.