Flying Fish's Keff Rocks a Lotus Root Salad

chris keff3.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Chris Keff and Jeff Schellenbarger in the new Flying Fish kitchen.
When Chris Keff opened Flying Fish in Belltown 15 years ago, she rode a delicious new wave, adding Asian influences in unexpected places. That trend is long gone, but those flavors have become mainstays on many menus, including the new Fish. Why? Because we like them. Read more about how one of Seattle's most respected chefs is now spending a lot more time in the front of the house in part one and part two of this week's Grillaxin.

Shrimp and Lotus Root Salad

1 pound medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 qt. water

1/2 c. white wine

1/4 c. rice vinegar

1 t. salt

1 stalk lemongrass

2-inch piece of ginger

2 cloves garlic

1/2 small onion, chopped

Crush the garlic, slice the onion, finely slice the lemongrass and ginger on the bias. Place all ingredients in a soup pot and simmer for five to ten minutes. Add the shrimp, remove from the heat, stir gently. Remove from the poaching liquid after 3 minutes. Cover with ice and let cool.


3/4 c. coconut milk

1/4 c. lime juice

1/2 c. fish sauce (Vietnamese)

1 ounce rice vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

2-4 Thai chilies

1 clove garlic

Finely cut the Thai chilies, chop the garlic and mix with the remaining ingredients. Set aside.

For the salad

1 c. lotus stems (available from Asian specialty stores, usually in brine)

1 bunch Vietnamese mint

1 bunch Thai Basil

1 red bell pepper

1 bunch cilantro

1 small package of shrimp crackers

Cut the ends off the red bell pepper then cut the pepper in half and carefully cut any white membrane from the inside. Slice (julienne) the pepper into fine strips. Pick the leaves from the herbs.

Rinse the brine from lotus stems and cut them into 2" pieces on a slight bias.

Toss the herb leaves and red pepper with the shrimp, using just enough dressing to coat. Divide and arrange the salad on the center of the plate piled up high. Garnish with the shrimp crackers. Use the rest of the dressing to drizzle on the plate.

Serves 4-6 as an appetizer.

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