After Paul Qui won the Top Chef Season 9 title, F&W decided to throw him one more challenge: Create a dish based on four ingredients, including salmon and pork rinds. Turns out, Qui loves pork rinds. “My grandmother cooked everything in pork fat,” he says. “If I was lucky, I got to snack on the rinds she made.” The Top Chef winner used them to make a brilliant crumble for salmon carpaccio (raw fish is a specialty at Uchiko, the Japanese-accented Austin restaurant where he is executive chef). To finish the dish, Qui made a lemon aioli and served it with broccoli rabe.
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1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1/2 pound sushi-grade, skinless salmon fillet, preferably wild, thinly sliced at a slight angle
How to Make It
In a small bowl, toss the crushed pork rinds with the toasted bread crumbs and season with salt.
In a blender, combine the egg yolks with the garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of the lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and puree until smooth. With the blender on, drizzle in the canola oil and puree until thickened. Scrape the aioli into a bowl and stir in the chopped dill; season with salt.
In a medium pot of boiling salted water, cook the broccoli rabe until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli rabe to a bowl of ice water to chill. Drain well, pat dry and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer the broccoli rabe to a bowl and toss with the 1 teaspoon of olive oil and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest and 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice. Season with salt.
Spread a little lemon aioli on each of 4 plates and top with the broccoli rabe. Arrange the sliced salmon over the broccoli rabe and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle each serving with some of the pork rind crumble. Serve right away, passing the remaining lemon aioli and pork rind crumble alongside.
Citrusy, medium-bodied white.
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