Midday Fix: Madai snapper crudo

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Bill Montagne, Chef de Cuisine of Nico Osteria

“Mexico Meets the Mediterranean Dinner” with acclaimed New York restaurant Gloria

Sunday, March 4th from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Nico Osteria, 1015 Rush Street, Chicago, IL

Reservations can be made at by calling the restaurant at (312) 994-7100 or on OpenTable –  https://www.opentable.com/r/nico-osteria-reservations-chicago?restref=115525




Crudo Build-

-2 oz madai fish (per person)

– Sea salt

– 1 lime

– Salsa macha drizzle –(recipe below)

– Lime zest

– 1 avocado, thinly sliced

– Sesame seeds (half teaspoon per person)

– 1 radish, thinly sliced

– 1 red bell pepper, diced

– Extra virgin olive oil  (1 tablespoon per serving)

– Fresh mint, julienned


Slice fish in thin 2 inch, by 1 inch rectangles, season to taste with sea salt and fresh lime juice. Drizzle on Salsa Macha sauce. Garnish with thinly sliced avocado, bell pepper and radish. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and fresh lime zest and mint.

Salsa Macha

Yield – 1.5 cups


3/4 c   olive oil

3ea      dried pasilla peppers

2ea      dried guajillo peppers

½ ea    dried arbol chile

7 ea    marcona almonds

5ea     garlic cloves

1 T     white sesame seeds

TT      apple cider vinegar (to taste)

TT      lemon juice (to taste)

TT      honey (to taste)

TT      salt (to taste)


Put oil into small sauce pot and heat till hot but not smoking. Add pasilla peppers to oil and cook them for 30 seconds or so. They will puff up and start to color, make sure not to burn. Remove peppers from oil and transfer to a blender. Use the same technique for the other chiles. Put garlic in oil and cook till it starts to pick up a nice light brownish color, transfer the blender. Toast almonds in oil then transfer to blender. Toast sesame seed in oil and then transfer to blender. Let the oil cool a bit, then add to blender and blend. It doesn’t have to be super smooth. Season with acid and salt. Add honey to taste, making sure it doesn’t get too sweet.


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