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Old 19-08-2005, 06:24 AM
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This dish is a perfect example of Villaran=8Eovoandina ("New Andean")
style of cooking. Ingredients native to Peru, such as escolar, aji, and
tropical fruit, are combined in whimsical, creative ways. The
presentation is very contemporary, yet the bright, satisfying contrast
of crisp fish, sweet fruit, and spicy sauce is true to Peruvian

To marinate fish
1/2 cup aji panca paste
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 (6-oz) steaks escolar or swordfish, each steak quartered
For shrimp
1 1/2 quarts water
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to season after boiling
1 onion, quartered
1 inch fresh ginger, sliced into thick coins
16 large shrimp, in shells

For passion fruit-aji sauce
1 cup passion fruit juice
2 fresh rocoto chile peppers, seeded and sliced
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup aji panca paste

For salsa marina
2 cups fish stock (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper

For mango ravioli
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons ground turmeric
1 cup passion fruit juice
1/4 cup agar agar powder (available at health food stores and Asian
2 firm-ripe mangoes
1/2 cup sugar

To cook fish and assemble dish
About 2 quarts vegetable oil
3 carrots (optional, for garnish)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1-2 tablespoons passion fruit juice
Sea salt (for garnish)
Fresh chives (for garnish)

Special equipment: a deep-fat thermometer

Marinate fish:
Whisk together aji panca paste, soy sauce, mirin, ginger, and garlic in
a medium bowl. Add pieces of fish and toss to coat. Cover and
refrigerate 2 hours.
Make shrimp:
Combine water, salt, onion, and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a
boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes to make a quick broth. Add
shrimp and boil 1 minute, then drain immediately. When shrimp are cool
enough to handle, remove shells. Season shrimp with salt.

Make passion fruit-aji sauce:
Combine passion fruit juice, rocoto pepper strips, ginger, and sugar in
a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat and
simmer until mixture is the consistency of honey, about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat.

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saut=E9
until opaque, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add aji panca paste and continue to
cook, stirring, for an additional 3 minutes.

Stir aji panca mixture into passion fruit mixture.

Make salsa marina:
Boil fish stock over moderately high heat until reduced by half, about
10 minutes. Add cream, reduce heat, and simmer for an additional 5
minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make mango ravioli:
Preheat broiler.

Put cream cheese and turmeric in a large bowl. Warm passion fruit juice
in a saucepan over moderately low heat, then whisk in agar agar until
dissolved. Pour passion fruit juice over cream cheese and whisk until

Peel one flat side of one mango. Cut 8 pasta-thin slices using a
mandoline or sharp knife. Peel and slice other side. Repeat with second
mango, for a total of 32 slices. Cut a round from each slice with a
3-inch cutter.

Lay 16 mango rounds on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar,
about 1/2 tablespoon per slice. Broil until sugar melts and browns,
about 6 to 7 minutes.

Divide other 16 mango rounds among 4 plates, lining up 4 rounds on one
side of each plate. Spread 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture on each
mango slice. Lay 1 cooked shrimp on top of each. Top each ravioli with
1 caramelized mango slice, sugar side up.

Cook fish and assemble dish:
Heat 2 to 3 inches oil in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until
thermometer registers 375 If using carrots, slice lengthwise with a
mandoline into 16 flexible strips. Roll strips into coils and secure
with toothpicks. Fry coils in oil until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer
to paper towels to drain.

Remove fish from refrigerator. Pour flour into a large bowl. Using a
fork, transfer pieces of fish to flour and toss to coat. Fry fish in
oil until crisp and brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to

Re-warm passion fruit-aji sauce over low heat. Stir in passion fruit
juice, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, until sauce is thin enough to drizzle.

Re-warm salsa marina over low heat.

Place 4 fish pieces in a vertical line on each plate, each piece
opposite a mango ravioli. Spoon a little salsa marina over each piece
of fish. Drizzle 4 horizontal lines of passion fruit-aji sauce across
each plate, one line across each row of fish and ravioli. Remove
toothpicks from carrot spirals. Arrange 4 spirals in a vertical line
down the center of each plate, between fish and ravioli. Sprinkle
plates with sea salt and chives, and serve.

Chef Villaran Shares His Tips with Epicurious:
=B7 Escolar is a firm, rich South American fish that=8E3ometimes
available in the U.S. Swordfish makes a fine substitute in this recipe.
=B7 The rich flavor of aji panca, a mild, sweet Peruvian chile pepper,
is essential to this dish. The paste is available online at
=B7 Rocotos are Peruvian chiles that resemble red bell peppers but,
until mellowed by cooking, pack a much hotter punch. Whole rocoto
peppers are sold frozen in bags at markets that specialize in Peruvian
ingredients. For this recipe, you can also substitute the brined
version, sold in jars at, or 4 ounces of seeded red
bell pepper plus 1/2 teaspoon any minced hot chile.
=B7 Look for pure passion fruit juice at natural food stores.
=B7 If you don'(ave homemade fish stock, Villaran recommends the
high-quality frozen stock sold at many fish markets and upscale grocery
stores. In a pinch, you can also use reconstituted fish bouillon cubes.

Serves 4.

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