King’s Fish House, the popular Southern California seafood chain that opened its first Bay Area location last year at San Jose’s Valley Fair, is known for its incredibly fresh seafood, thanks in part to having its own seafood distribution company. Among those dishes: the famous Louie beloved by crustacean fans everywhere — including the restaurant’s French-born culinary director, Fabrice Poigin, who is sharing his creative, deconstructed version of the classic.
“As far as the Louie salad, we all know it made its debut sometime around the early 1900s in San Francisco,” he says. “Normally served with crab meat, (but) we feature it with both shrimp and/or crab. We had a guest a few weeks ago order a Louie with a pound of crab!”
Thousand Island is the classic dressing, but you can use any dressing you wish. (Pro tip: This made-from-scratch version is leagues better than the bottled stuff.)
“While many guests like their salads tossed, we created this salad for guests to eat while picking and mixing the ingredients in the dressing in whatever order they like. It is indeed a deconstructed salad, very much how a Nicoise salad is. The purpose of presenting it this way is to attest to the freshness of the ingredients presented, Pablo Picasso style.”
A work of art, carefully plated like so:
2.5 ounces Bibb lettuce (medium sized leaves)
6 large shrimp, cooked
2 slices bacon, cooked
1 hard boiled egg, cooked for 9 minutes, then peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
1 inch-thick slice heirloom tomato
Maldon salt, optional
2.5 ounces rainbow carrot, shaved into ribbons
2.5 ounces cucumber, shaved into ribbons
2.5 ounces pickled red onion
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ avocado, diced
3 ounces 1000 Island Dressing (recipe below)
Think of your 10- or 12-inch serving plate like the face of a clock: Place the leaves of lettuce stacked to form a cup at 3 o’clock. Delicately display the shrimp inside the lettuce cup in a small mound.
Shingle the 2 slices of bacon at 6 o’clock, topped with the hard boiled egg halves. Place the tomato slice to the left of the bacon and sprinkle with Maldon salt.
In a small mixing bowl, mix the vegetable shavings and pickled onion, season with salt, pepper and a splash of pickled onion juice or vinegar. Place them to the left of the tomato, creating a colorful salad garnish.
Display the avocado to the left of the salad with a few specks of Maldon salt on top.
Place the dressing in a ramekin or small bowl at 12 o’clock on the plate or in the center to complete the salad.
Makes 16 ounces
8 ounces mayonnaise
6 ounces ketchup
2 ounces heavy cream
2 ounces yellow onion, chopped
½ ounce capers
½ ounce minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch cayenne pepper
Combine all the ingredients in the pitcher of a blender or food processor and mix until smooth. Adjust the seasoning to taste as needed. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use, up to five days.
— Fabrice Poigin, culinary director, King’s Fish House
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