Stories / Guides and Tips, Events

Beard House Highlight: Whitefish Crudo with Citrus, Mango, Purslane, Pickled Fresno Chiles, and Chile Oil

Hilary Deutsch

Hilary Deutsch

September 21, 2015


Whitefish Crudo with Citrus, Mango, Purslane, Pickled Fresno Chiles, and Chile Oil / Phoenix Chowdown

Usually, when I hear that a dish contains whitefish, I immediately think of the creamy, smoky, fishy salad that my grandmother and mother love to schmear on a bagel—a spread that I've never embraced and have actively tried to avoid. But at Upward Projects's Beard House dinner last month, all thoughts of the intensely pungent Jewish staple of my childhood have been all but erased. Chris Newstrom, the talented chef at the helm of this Phoenix-based restaurant group, opened my eyes and my palate to the wonderful world of whitefish—this time reimagined as a late-summer crudo. Incredibly fresh and light, the gorgeous dish bared little similarity (if any) to the traditional appetizing mainstay. The fish was bright and tender, tasting purely of the sea and highlighted by fruity olive oil and cubes of sweet mango. Pickled Fresno chiles and chile oil added enough heat to balance the sweeter notes of the dish, and delicate purslane leaves lent pleasing bitter and peppery notes. Thanks to this crudo, I just might give whitefish salad another go, much to my family's relief!

Want to give this dish a whirl at home? Get the recipe here.


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Hilary Deutsch is editorial assistant at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Instagram.