Spanish Mackerel Carpaccio With Caramelized Figs 4.000

Daniel Layla

Aug 29, 2012

Chef Sharon Cohen is known for his seafood dishes at Sheila in Tel Aviv. This appetizer is a triumph of texture and creamy flavors.

The directions call for the figs to be caramelized under the broiler, but a culinary (kitchen) torch can be used instead.

Servings: 4
  • 8 fresh figs, 4 of which are cut horizontally into 5 slices each, and 4 of which are cut open at the top like an "X," for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons natural light brown sugar
  • 10 1/2 ounces skinless Spanish mackerel fillet, pin bones removed, cut on the diagonal into 20 very thin slices (may substitute black grouper or amberjack/kanpachi)
  • Sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped, or small thyme sprigs
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon (2 tablespoons)
  • 6 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plain whole or low-fat yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • Raw sunflower seeds, toasted, for garnish (see NOTE)


Position an oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the (top) broiler element. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Arrange the sliced figs and 4 cut-open figs on the lined baking sheet. Sprinkle them with the brown sugar. Broil for a few minutes until the sugar caramelizes. Let cool.

Arrange 5 slices of the fish on each plate. Sprinkle with the salt (to taste), the thyme, lemon juice and oil.

Top each piece of fish with 1 of the caramelized fig slices. Drizzle with the yogurt and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with the toasted sunflower seeds. Garnish each plate with 1 of the cut-open figs.

NOTE: Toast the raw seeds in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, shaking them to make sure they don't burn, until they are fragrant and lightly browned. Let cool before using.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from Cohen, chef of Sheila restaurant in Tel Aviv.

Tested by Shulie Madnick.

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