Saturday, January 08, 2011

Trevally Crudo

For this week's Weekend Herb Blogging I'm turning to Chile for inspiration and it takes the form of a spice mix called Merken.

merken spice© by Haalo

I spied this recently at Casa Iberica and as is usually the case, it ended up in my shopping basket. Merken is a mix of dried and smoked Aji Cacho de Cabra chillies, toasted coriander seeds, cumin and salt and the resulting blend is a gorgeous russet colour.

merken spice© by Haalo

As you can imagine it has a lovely smoked, spicy flavour - it is hot but not overwhelmingly so. The best way of describing it would be to say that it's almost like a combination of cayenne pepper and smoked paprika.

I've been using it quite a lot in the last few weeks as a replacement for ground pepper - it's excellent sprinkled over steaks just before you grill them.

The dish I've made for WHB is a variation of this recipe for Blue Eye Crudo by Andy Harris. I've altered the flavourings slightly and used Trevally

trevally fillet© by haalo

but I'd imagine you could substitute it for any firm white fleshed fish. The fish isn't cooked as such, it's cured in a mix of lemon and lime juice that has been spiced with Merken - red salad onions, parsley and mint further flavour the dish, giving it a lovely fresh feel. It's the perfect dish for summer.

trevally crudo© by Haalo

Trevally Crudo

1 fillet Trevally, skinned
1 lemon, juiced
1 lime, juiced
150mls olive oil
1 teaspoon Merken
parsley leaves, large handful, chopped
mint leaves, large handful chopped
1 small red salad onion, sliced finely
extra mint and parsley leaves, for serving
extra Merken, for serving

Cut the trevally into roughly half-inch thick slices - place the sliced fish in a non-reactive bowl and pour over the lemon and lime juice. Stir briefly and then cover and place in the fridge for half an hour.

Once the time has passed, remove from the fridge, give it another stir - the fish should be well on its way to looking white at this stage. Add the Merken, followed by the olive oil, stir again to mix it through and then place back in the fridge for another 15 minutes.

Finally, remove it from the fridge and add in the onion, mint and parsley - give it another stir, cover and place it back in the fridge to rest overnight.

When it comes to serving, I like to add in extra mint and parsley leaves - this just freshens the flavour. Turn it out into a serving bowl and finish with a extra sprinkling of Merken.

trevally crudo© by Haalo

Serve it with good crusty bread and the jar of Merken at the side - so your guests can make it as spicy as they like.

If you'd like to join in with Weekend Herb Blogging you still have time.

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with WHB#265 in the subject line and the following details:
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Entries should be submitted by the following times:
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  1. Mmmm that fish looks great and the Merken and lemon would only enhance the flavours. I am still yet to try a dish like this. Maybe I should put it on my 2011 must cook list.

  2. That loos delicious! I do wish the hubs was more willling to try new fish dishes... and I wish I could find such interesting spices!

  3. Thanks for letting us know about this interesting spice. I love your photos: the colors in this dish just sparkle.
    On a different subject: I found Viking potatoes at the farmers' market yesterday. I was so excited. I will certainly try to make gnocchi with them.

  4. That spice sounds exquisite! Wonder if I could try and approximate it at home...

  5. Mark, you definitely should try some kind of crudo dish, especially in the warmer weather

    Thanks Anna!

    Thanks Katie - it never ceases to amaze me how many different things are out there

    Thanks Simona - i'll keep a look out for your gnocchi!

    Thanks Marisa - you could possibly approximate it by playing around with cayenne and smoked paprika and then adding a little coriander and cumin.


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