Hawaiian Kanpachi Le Grec

        WITH CHEF PALEY                 SERVES 4                  TIME: 25 MINUTES

Heart Healthy and Fullfilling!




Part: Hawaiian Kanpachi- Filet


Don’t be intimidated by fancy words like Le Grec, Chermoula or Sauce Blanche. They are just words from another language that describe a preparation. If you scan over the ingredients, chances are you might have some of them in your pantry and fridge. If you don’t, I bet you know exactly where to go in the supermarket to get them.

Armed with this put-you-at-ease knowledge, here is a little background.

Le Grec is a popular street cart sandwich in the south of France. Gyro and Shawarma are it’s more familiar cousins. Except, Le Grec does not need to be made with pita bread and it should always involve a potato component like fries or chips.

Chermoula hails from North African cooking and is both a marinade and a condiment for fish, vegetables, or meat. I think of it as a Moroccan pesto. After making this recipe you might have some chermoula leftover so feel free to try it on grilled chicken or steak.

Sauce Blanche is an all-purpose street cart sauce usually made with a combination of yogurt and mayo. Sometimes, it is enhanced with a spoonful of tahini, chopped garlic and lemon juice to make it extra tasty. This sauce is particularly good as a condiment for a fish sandwich.

And finally let’s not forget the real star of the show, Hawaiian Kanpachi. With its unique ability to adopt to these exotic surroundings, it makes this sandwich a standout, destined to become a new street food classic, here and abroad.


(Serves 4)

1/3 cup Italian parsley leaves, washed and dried

1/3 cup tightly packed mint leaves washed and dried

1/3 cup cilantro leaves washed and dried

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground fennel

5 large cloves of peeled garlic, finely chopped

Juice of 1 ½ lemon

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 skinless Hawaiian Kanpachi filet, 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup plain whole milk yogurt

1 tablespoon tahini

4 burger buns

1 large tomato, washed, dried, cored and thinly sliced

Several lettuce leaves washed and dried.

Good quality potato chips



Take about a third of all the herbs, mix them together and set them aside for finishing the sandwiches. Assemble the rest of the herbs in a bowl of a food processor. Add the spices, ¾ of chopped garlic, ¾ of lemon juice and all the olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Puree till smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust with more salt and pepper. Remember you are not seasoning the fish with anything other than this marinade, so it needs to be assertive. Transfer chermoula into a small bowl and set aside till ready to use.  

LeGrec004Place the Kanpachi filet on a cutting board. With a sharp knife cut lengthwise along the spine to remove the bones. This will remove some of the flesh around the bones and separate the filet into two sections, belly and the top loin. Trim of the very tip of the tail end of both sections and cut away some of the blood line form the underside of the filets. Discard the spine with bones, tail trim and blood line or save for another use. Cut the filet sections into 4 equal pieces. Use the size of the bun as your guide on how long the cut fish pieces need to be. You don’t want the cooked fish to hang outside the buns.

LeGrec003To make the sauce blanche, assemble the mayo, yogurt, tahini, the rest of lemon juice and the rest of chopped garlic in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper and whisk it all together. Set aside.

When ready to cook the fish, preheat the broiler. Place an oven rack just below the upper rack. Arrange portioned kanpachi slightly separated from each other on an aluminum lined baking sheet. Spoon about a tablespoon of chermoula over each of the pieces. Turn the fish over and repeat the process. Place the tray with fish under the broiler and cook for 5 minutes. Carefully, using an oven mitt, remove the baking sheet and turn the fish pieces over. Spoon a little more of chermoula over the fish pieces.


LeGrec002Place it back under the broiler and cook until the fish has browned and crisped on the edges, another 3 to 5 minutes. While the fish is cooking, place the burger buns on the bottom rack of the oven to warm up, about 3 minutes.

When the fish is done, carefully, using an oven mitt, remove the baking sheet out of the oven. Spoon some more chermoula over the fish and keep it warm. Remove the buns as well.

To assemble the sandwiches, slice the buns in half and spread a generous amount of sauce blanche on both sides of each of the buns. Place a piece of fish on top of each one. Top with sliced tomatoes, lettuce leaves and reserved herbs. Crush few potato chips over the top of the herbs. Carefully place the top slice of the bun over the potato chips and serve right away.

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