This dish is from Gala in Santa Barbara, which opened on Anacapa Street in early 2023. The couple behind this American-Spanish fusion restaurant, Chilean-born Chef Jaime Riesco and Santa Barbara native Tara Penke, recently returned from Barcelona where they ran a breakfast and brunch spot, Picnic. (The time change actually allows them, along with some amazing employees, to keep running it from Santa Barbara!) Eating at Gala is like a trip to Spain, but fulfilled with local produce and seafood from our own American Riviera.
This local crudo of Halibut is fresh and flavorful. The Peruvian-style Leche de Tigre adds a superb flavor layer. (This traditional marinade/sauce was developed along with the birth of ceviche, and is often served as a small drink/appetizer.)
Halibut Crudo with Leche de Tigre
- 1/2 cup lime juice freshly squeezed
- 1/2 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 2 tsp cilantro leaves and stems
- 1 shallot
- 1/2 jalapeno
- 1/3 lb Halibut
- beets pickled
- chives chopped
- pea shoots, edible flowers for garnish
- Combine lime and lemon juice, cilantro, jalapeño (or other or spicy chile) and shallot in a blender.
- Blend until smooth, then strain it and add salt to taste. Store it in the refrigerator.
- Put the Halibut Crudo in the freezer for a short time until almost frozen, so that you are able to cut it into very thin slices.
- Take the Halibut out and press parchment paper onto the fish slices to absorb the water. Once it’s totally thawed (should only take a few minutes), slice the fish into thin slices.
- Lay the slices out on a plate, sprinkle with flaky sea salt and extra virgin olive oil, then cover with a thin layer of Leche de Tigre.
- Top with diced pickled red and golden beets, edible flowers, spring pea shoots and chopped chives.