Welcome summer with Gaucho’s all-new ceviche’s and light Argentinean wines.
John Newsom, Head Chef at Gaucho Hong Kong, will be taking the freshest seafood – snapper, shrimp and salmon – and creating three succulent ceviche dishes. The fish is left to ‘cure’ in citrus juices as it takes on the mild flavours of South American chilies and other aromatics.
Gaucho Hong Kong’s Head Sommelier Andrés Torres says, “When pairing wine with ceviche I always recommend a light white, in particular Torrontés. This grape is indigenous to Argentina and has a very floral nose but is dry and crisp on the palate, which compliments the acidity of the citrus in the ceviche.”
The Ecuadorian Ceviche features shrimp along with two of South America’s greatest contributions to the kitchen, tomatoes and peppers. Both are roasted to make a sauce with the added kick of onions and coriander.
The Salmon Ceviche features the Peruvian chili paste aji Amarillo, which is milder and fruitier than Asian chili varieties, yellow pepper and coriander, with mango added for a touch of sweetness.
Chef Newsom says, “My personal preference for ceviche would be to use white fish, such as red snapper or sea bass, as the flesh is lean, delicate and will take on the marinade best, leaving the meat full of flavor and with a great texture.” The new Sea Bass Ceviche is appearing on the menu next month. Chef Newsome lifts the South American fish with wasabi mayonnaise, red jalapeno, sweetcorn and grapefruit.
The typical Peruvian dish ceviche has become popular in Argentina only recently, after an influx of Peruvian migrants and following the rise of sushi and Japanese cuisines in the early 1990s. Chefs respect ceviche as a dish and stick to the traditional recipes but they also see it as a high-end restaurant dish – unlike typical Argentine street fare such as empandas and tamales. Chefs have experimented and elevated it and sometimes adapted it for local ingredients, just like other chefs around the world.
“You can see this with the dish I created above, and given where we are in the world, the addition of wasabi adds an almost eastern Asian aspect to the dish, whilst still being prepared in the traditional manner,” says Chef Newsom.
Torres can think of no better match than Familia Zuccardi ‘Serie A’ (2015) at HK$350 a bottle. The wine is aromatic, floral and high in acidity with clean, fresh elderflower and lychee notes and a pink grapefruit, citrus finish.
The Torrontés grape variety was originally thought to come from Galicia in Spain but recent studies show it to be an Argentinean cross between Muscatel de Alexandria and Criolla Chica. Connoisseurs say it achieves its best expression in the Northern province of Salta, home to the highest vineyards in the world and where much of the country’s other iconic grape, Malbec is grown.