A Kampachi Crudo for Gin and Tonic Aficionados | Wine Enthusiast
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A Kampachi Crudo for Gin and Tonic Aficionados

Gin and tonic—garnished with a lemon slice—was Chef Petonito’s inspiration for this elegant appetizer. Buy the sushi-grade fish from a high-quality supplier or Japanese market; besides being safe to eat raw, fish intended for sushi or sashimi will be cut to a uniform shape with all tiny bones removed.

“Gin and Tonic” Kampachi Crudo

Courtesy Chef Kat Petonito, The Duck & The Peach, Washington, D.C.; Instagram @duckandpeach_dc


½ cup kosher salt
½ cup granulated sugar
Zest of one lime
Zest of one lemon
8 juniper berries, crushed
6 ounces sushi-grade kampachi (sometimes sold as yellowtail or amberjack)
(To finish) 1 ½ tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon gin
1 Persian cucumber, sliced thin
2 Easter egg or breakfast radishes, sliced thin
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Maldon sea salt


Mix kosher salt, sugar, citrus zest and juniper berries on a plate using your hands. Add kampachi and cover with the mixture on all sides. Refrigerate for at least one hour and up to four.

When ready to serve, rinse fish in cold water to remove salt mixture, pat dry and slice into 12 equal slices. Mix lemon juice and gin in a small bowl. Layer fish in a “shingle” arrangement with one slice of radish and cucumber between each piece of fish. Drizzle with the lemon-gin mixture, then the olive oil, and sprinkle with a little Maldon salt. Serves 2 to 4 as an appetizer.

Pair With

Kendall-Jackson 2021 Avant Unoaked Chardonnay (California)

You might be tempted to pair this with a wine with pine or rosemary notes that suggest juniper (like Verdejo or Sauvignon Blanc), but instead look for a crisp wine that will round out the edgy flavors here of tart lemon and peppery radish. This unoaked Chardonnay, cold-fermented in steel tanks, is all refreshing fruit flavors of green apple, tangelo and passion fruit.

This article originally appeared in the April 2023 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!

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