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Preparing Raw Fish — Crudo, Tartare, And Ceviche

Preparing Raw Fish — Crudo, Tartare, And Ceviche

In this lesson, we'll explore raw fish preparations, including crudo, tartare, and ceviche.

In the Raw: Crudo, Tartare and Beyond

Crudo means "raw" in Italian. It is a stylish way to serve raw fish both in Italy and in Italian restaurants in America, perhaps as a response to the popularity of sushi, which crudo resembles.

There are a number of ways to prepare raw fish, called variously crudo, carpaccio, and tartare. These names are open to personal interpretation and, to a certain extent, may be used interchangeably. Broadly speaking, however, the different names represent different ways of cutting the fish: carpaccio refers to very thin slices, crudo to thicker pieces, and tartara to small bits, or dice. The decision about whether to serve carpaccio or tartare is also a practical one; after filleting and portioning a whole fish, for example, a chef may use good quality, leftover scraps for making a tartare because they are not large enough for a carpaccio.

All three preparations are traditionally dressed with a few quality ingredients: olive oil, an acid (lemon juice or a vinegar), and salt. The chef may embellish with whatever flavorings he or she likes, including but not limited to fresh herbs and spices.

Preparing Raw Fish

Check out the lessons to the right for more detailed instructions on preparing the perfect crudo, tartare or ceviche!

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About the Author

After receiving degrees from the University of Wisconsin and the Culinary Institute of America, Andrea Rappaport moved into a full-time career in the restaurant business. For over 12 years, she worked in various culinary jobs, including as a cook for Wolfgang Puck at Spago, and ultimately as the executive chef and partner of the highly revered San Francisco restaurant Zinzino. For the past seven years, Andrea has worked as the private chef for one family in the San Francisco area, and continues to expand her culinary portfolio by catering, teaching, and consulting.