Paiche with Pickled Watermelon Salad


The best way to describe this dish is simply, “sunshine in your mouth.” Bright, fresh and easy-breezy, this is probably one of my top 10 favorite things to make. The fish is crisp and salty, yet delicate, and the watermelon salad is sweet, spicy, juicy and acidic. They all marry together to create a perfect bite. I just want to bathe in those juices.

To learn a little more about this beautifully versatile white fish, Paiche, click here.

1 lb Paiche or other white fish (cut into ¼ lb filets)

2 C watermelon, cubed

1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced (or ½ a pepper depending on desired heat level)

2 watermelon radishes, thinly sliced

1 tsp black sesame seeds

¼ C red wine vinegar

½ C grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)

3 Tbl grapeseed oil, for cooking


Let fish rest on the counter to come to room temp, about 45 minutes.  Meanwhile, prepare the salad. Add watermelon, radishes, serrano, oil and vinegar to a bowl and let marinate in the fridge. 

Add oil to pan and place over medium-high heat.  Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Once the oil is shimmering and pan is almost screaming hot, carefully add the fish to the pan.  Pan fry for 4-5 minutes on each side.

Plate watermelon salad on each plate and lay fish over the top.  Finish with a bit of the juice from the marinade and top with a touch of black sesame seeds and sea salt.