The thing I love about writing my blog is that it’s as much a learning experience for me as it is to talk about what I’ve learned to others. Writing expands my mind, my vocabulary and in this case…my culinary vision. Today, let’s talk about the difference between crudo, carpaccio and sashimi.
I recently had the above delicious Hiramasa Crudo at a new restaurant opening here in Oklahoma City. I was in love…and in my post I compared it to sashimi. There is, apparently, a difference.
I first learned about sashimi at a sushi class/dinner I went to.
Sashimi is a masterful art-form that occurs when one frinds the freshest fish and slices it very thinly and serves it plain. The sole point of sashimi so one can appreciate the true flavor and beauty of the raw fish. It’s very popular in Japanese cuisine.
Crudo, on the other hand, in Italian means “raw” so I guess you’d be correct in assuming Crudo is an Italian-based concept.
It is not to be confused with carpaccio (which means “skin” in Italian), or razor-thin slices of raw meat, carelfully overlapped and topped with various toppings on a flat plate or platter and dressed up with something wonderful.
But there is something special about crudo in that it is usually dressed up with a really good quality of oil, often, because of its Italian roots, really delicious olive oil that coats it and compliments the flavors of the fish along with other offerings and like sashimi, the fish needs to be cut properly. Traditionally olive oil and salt were used.
Chefs are becoming wildly inventive with crudo toppings now, even devoting entire bars to serving it like Valentino in Santa Monica. Oils are getting spiced up with things like pepper and citrus oils and the fish is topped with chiles, vegetables and fruits cut in creative ways.
The Hiramasa Crudo we had last week had yuzu, a semi-tart, citrus fruit juice mixed with soy, noodles of cucumber and sliced fresno chiles last week and oddly enough – puffed rice that was really fun. I’m not sure what oil they used, but it was fabulous.
Even though I wished for a huge platter to eat as a meal, crudo is usually served sparingly as an appetizer and it always leaves you wanting more.
So, in conclusion, I am a happy gal, because there is more than one way to eat very fresh beautiful fish.