Hawaiian Kanpachi Collar Brandade 

With Chef Vitaly Paley

This is my take on a Provençal classic called Brandade De Morue. Think of this dish as hot crab dip, but only as a frame of reference. Many cultures around the Mediterranean have a version of this tasty dip, but they make it using salt cod. Instead, I like to use the fatty and delicious, flaky, and unctuous meat I pry away from poached Kanpachi collars. Hawaiian Kanpachi is raised here on the Big Island and is the perfect versatile fish for this dish.

For me, mining for the meaty gold nuggets is both satisfying and meditative. Sometimes the bones give up the flesh reluctantly though normally with ease. When I pick the smaller, closer to the bone pieces, I simply eat them and shamelessly admit that licking the fingers is an essential part of the experience I look forward to the most.

Serve this Brandade hot out of the oven with crusty bread or good potato chips or both. You may choose to add a nice smattering of raw vegetables transforming the dish into a festive dip for crudité. Whichever way you choose to serve it, grab a glass of rosé and try not to miss that sunset while this Hawaiian Kanpachi Brandade is bubbling away, aspiring to be consumed.


Hawaiian Kanpachi Court Bouillon

1 cup white wine

8 cups water

1 tablespoon black peppercorns.

1 rib celery washed and sliced thick.

1 shallot peeled and sliced thick.

4 sprigs thyme

½ bunch parsley, washed and dried


Hawaiian Kanpachi Collar Brandade (9-inch round casserole, feeds 5-6 people)

2 pounds of Kanpachi collars, defrosted (Sub 1 1/4 lb Kanpachi filet)

3 tablespoons Kosher salt, plus more if needed

2 medium size gold Yukon potatoes

4 large garlic cloves - peeled and finely chopped

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for finishing

Freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup crème fraiche


In an 8-quart soup pot, assemble the white wine, water, black peppercorns, sliced celery, shallots, and herbs. Over high heat, bring it to a boil then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.

While court bullion is simmering, season Kanpachi collars with salt on all sides. Transfer the collars into the bouillon all at once and cook till they are done and meat pulls easily away from the bone, about 10 minutes.

When cooked, using a slotted spoon, take the collars out and spread them on a prepared sheet pan to cool. While collars are cooling, place potatoes into the simmering bouillon, turn the heat to high and cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. When done, take the potatoes out to cool and discard the bouillon or save it for another use. When collars are cool enough to handle, pick the meat off the collars into a large mixing bowl. Discard the skin and the bones.

When potatoes are cooled down, peel them and transfer into the bowl with picked collar meat. Add chopped garlic and olive oil into a bowl and using a potato masher, mash it all together until the mixture is pureed, but not too fine. Season the mixture with several generous grinds of black pepper then mix some more and taste for seasoning. The mix may need more salt, but you decide. If serving brandade right after its prepared, preheat the oven to 350F. If not, transfer the collar and potato mix into a container, cover, and refrigerate. It will hold for a couple days.

When ready, transfer then level the mixture in a casserole, top it with crème fraiche, spreading it as evenly as possibly over the entire top of brandade. Place the brandade into the oven and cook until hot and lightly browned all over, about 30 minutes. Serve it right away.



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