Chef/owner, 3660 On The Rise, Kaimuki
Olive Oil Poached ‘Opakapaka
Russell Siu is a celebrated
chef and restaurateur, often seen working the line in 3660, his Kaimukï bistro,
and keeping his hands on the workings of his Kaka'ako Kitchen at Ward Centre and
Kaka'ako Kitchen Express at the airport.
"I like to keep things simple
and I like to use the freshest products I can get," says Siu of his Euro-Asian
style of cooking. "I don't like to mask the natural flavors of the protein. I
do like working with seafood, because there are more combinations and possibilities
than with beef."
tongs to remove bag from water |
For his recipe, Siu
chose poached 'öpakapaka, an Island fish that marries well with herbs, tomatoes
and fennel. "Poaching is probably the cleanest, healthiest cooking method," Siu
explains. But instead of immersing the fish in a seasoned liquid, Siu poached
his fish in a plastic bag filled with aromatics, with a little olive oil to seal
in flavors. This also allowed the chef to sear the fish in a very hot pan with
olive oil, adding color and caramelization for flavor. The sealed bag is dropped
into a pot of boiling water and simmered for several minutes. Out comes a ready-to-eat,
flavorful dish that is complemented by a ragout of tomato and fennel.
preparation reflects the way the trim and fit Siu eats. "I don't eat a lot of
rich foods. I like to eat a big lunch around 1 p.m. and a bowl of soup or salad
for dinner. If I eat late at night, I gain weight." For Siu, light and healthy
is his mantra; with these dishes, you can add tasty, too.
Oil Poached 'Opakapaka
'o-pakapaka, about 6 ounces each (1 1/2 pounds total)
Kosher salt and black
pepper to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons shallots,
cut into julienne
1 sprig thyme
6 basil leaves
1/2 clove garlic, sliced
cup extra virgin olive oil
the fish with salt and pepper on one side. Heat sauté pan over high heat. When
the pan is hot, add three tablespoons olive oil. Place fish in the pan, seasoned
side down. Season other side with salt and pepper. Sear each side for about one
minute, just to brown. Remove from pan and cool. Do not wash pan.
and flavorings are all in the bag.
fish is cooling, bring a large pot of water to a boil. When fish is cool, place
in a gallon-size, freezer-weight plastic sealable bag. Add shallots, thyme, basil
and garlic. Pour in olive oil and seal bag. Drop bag into water and turn heat
down to medium low so that water is simmering. Poach fish for about nine minutes
(less for thinner cuts, more for thicker cuts). Carefully remove the bag from
the water and transfer fish to serving plate. Drizzle the cooking liquid around
the fish. Top with tomato and fennel ragout and serve immediately.
and Fennel Ragout
tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bulb fennel, diced
1/2 onion, diced
tablespoon shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 whole vine-ripened
tomatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
1 tablespoon basil, cut into fine
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon parsley, chopped fine
the same pan in which the fish was seared and add the olive oil. Add fennel, onion
and shallots and sauté for two minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook for another
minute. Add tomatoes and basil and gently mix together. Continue to cook over
high heat until most of the liquid is reduced. Season with salt and pepper, then
sprinkle with parsley.
place of 'o-pakapaka, use Chilean sea bass, uhu (parrot fish), mahimahi or other
firm, fatty fish.
the fish on one side with salt and pepper and place that side down in the pan.
Then season the second side. This way you don't lose any salt and pepper as you
handle the fish.
peel tomatoes easily, remove the core and cut an X at the other end of the tomato.
Drop tomato into a pot of boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon,
cool and peel.
cut basil into fine julienne, stack the leaves on top of each other, roll up and
cut into fine shreds.
bags-not plastic wrap-are a great way to cook foods and heat up leftovers in a
pot of water. (Avoid using them in a microwave.)
make this even more calorie-light, use white wine or a combination of stock (fish
or chicken) and white wine in place of the oil in the bag.
is a great make-ahead dish: Prepare pouches of seasoned fish ahead of time and
leave them in the refrigerator. Drop them into a pot of boiling water just before
change the flavorings in the pouch for a nice flavor twist. For example, use a
little sesame oil, soy sauce, cilantro, green onions and ginger for a Chinese-style
dish. Use this method for poaching chicken breasts, too.