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Real Good Fish | Recipe | | Opah Pastrami | Chef Ben Leonard | Ingredients 1 Opah Cheek - For the Brine 1kg (about 4 ¼ cups) water 73g brown sugar 38g kosher salt 6g 1 coriander...
Real Good Fish
Real Good Fish
Real Good Fish
Real Good Fish
Opah Pastrami | Chef Ben Leonard

Chef Ben Leonard knew that the meaty texture and rich flavor of opah cheeks would be perfect in a pastrami-style preparation. To really show off this amazing fish and the beautiful oceans it comes from, his version uses black lime and Icelandic kelp in the final spice rub for an extra boost of umami. Now you can try this preparation at home and enjoy the delicious flavors of Opah Pastrami.



1 Opah Cheek 

For the Brine

1kg (about 4 ¼ cups) water

73g brown sugar

38g kosher salt 

6g 1 coriander seeds

2g mustard seeds

9g black peppercorns

2g Aleppo pepper 

2g cardamom pods

1 bay leaf

Whisk to dissolve the brown sugar and salt in the water and cool to below 40F. Add in the coriander seeds, mustard seed, black peppercorns, Aleppo pepper, cardamom pods, and 1 bay leaf.  Whisk to combine. Add in your opah cheek, (and make sure it's submerged fully), cover tightly with plastic, and place in the refrigerator for 48 hours. Turn/move after 24 hours to make sure it's brined equally on all sides.  

Spice Rub Crust

9g fresh cracked black pepper (best cracked in mortar and pestle or spice grinder) 

3g Aleppo pepper

6g black lime

4g dried kelp

5g kosher salt

4g honey

Remove opah cheek from brine and pat completely dry. Brush with honey. Combine remaining ingredients for spice rub in a bowl, then evenly coat honey brushed opah cheek with the rub. Place on a sheet tray with a wire rack and cook 2.5-3 hours at 145F.  

If using wood chips or a smoking gun, etc. in your home kitchen—add smoke after the first 2.5-3 hours and cook another hour. If using an outdoor smoker just cook in the smoker for 3-4 hours.

Let the opah cheek rest for 1 hour before slicing to enjoy or putting into the refrigerator for later.   




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