Cafe 5: Hamachi Crudo Recipe With Sepia, Proxi Chef Andrew Zimmerman

Andrew Zimmerman, executive chef of Sepia and Proxi, stopped by Cafe 5 to showcase his Hamachi Crudo recipe with grapefruit, coconut, red curry rice and green chili.

Zimmerman is set to participate in Chicago Gourmet's Grand Cru, which offers exclusive tastings of some of the finest wines in the world. 

Chicago Gourmet takes place from Sept. 25-29. Tickets are available here.

Hamachi Crudo with Grapefruit, Coconut, Red Curry Rice and Green Chili

Serves 4


8 oz Sashimi Grade Hamachi (aka Yellowtail), diced into ½” cubes

¼ cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced into ¼ “ cubes

¼ cup young coconut flesh cut into ¼ “ pieces

¼ cup mango cut into ¼” pieces

¼ cup avocado, cut into ¼ “ pieces

¼ cup grapefruit supremes, cut into ¼ “ pieces

¼ cup shredded coconut toasted in a 350 degree oven until light brown

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup chopped fresh Thai basil

¼ cup fried shallots (recipe below)

¼ cup Red Curry Fried Rice (recipe Below)

½ cup Sweet and Sour Green Chili Dressing (recipe Below)


Combine everything up to the dressing in a bowl. Add dressing to taste and toss as you would a salad. Season with a touch of salt if needed and serve in four bowls.

Sweet and Sour Green Chili Dressing:

2 medium cloves of garlic, minced

1 medium shallot, peeled and minced

1.5 tbsp finely minced ginger

3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

½-1 medium jalapeno, minced

3-4 tbsp palm sugar (or light brown sugar)

2 tbsp fish sauce

¼ cup plus one Tbsp (if you like) white vinegar

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Heat a small sauce pan with 2 T oil and add all chopped veg, cook 5 min. Add palm sugar and allow to caramelize for another 5 min. Add fish sauce and white vinegar and let cool.

Fried Shallots:

2 cups very thinly sliced shallots

2 cups vegetable oil

Heat the oil up to 275 degrees on a deep fry thermometer. Add the shallots and cook until lightly golden, about 8 minutes. Strain out the shallots and increase the temperature of the oil to 350. Add the shallots and fry about another 3-5 seconds to crisp them and finish the browning. Immediately drain the shallots and spread them out on a paper towel to stop the cooking. Save the oil. It is delicious and can be used to sauté or build a vinaigrette.

Crispy Red Curry Rice:

2 cups cooked rice

2 tbsp Thai red curry paste

6 cups oil


First thing to do is spread the cooked rice out on a cookie sheet and let it air dry in the refrigerator overnight. Then rub the curry paste all over the rice and put it back on the cookie sheet overnight. The next day heat the oil to 350 degrees on a deep fry thermometer and fry the rice in small batches about 2-3 minutes or until slightly puffed and golden and crispy. Strain out the rice and drain it on paper towel. Season with salt. Continue with the remaining rice. It is a good idea to do very small batches at a time to make sure it is cooking evenly and safely. It will spit and sputter so a splatter guard is a good idea. It sounds like a bunch of trouble but it does come out delicious.

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