Appetizers,  Recipes

Kampachi Crudo with Citrus and Watermelon Radish

Kampachi Crudo with Citrus and Watermelon Radish
Kampachi Crudo with Citrus and Watermelon Radish

A few days ago I saw an article come through my news feed called “If Cinderella were a Vegetable, She’d be a Watermelon Radish“. Never mind that the Kitchn is recycling 5 year old posts (what’s up with that?), it got me thinking…hey, I have a recipe that uses watermelon radishes!

Last year I posted a recipe for Ahi Tuna Crudo with Sweet Soy, Wasabi and Cucumber and somehow forgot to post the follow-up recipe of this gorgeous Kampachi Crudo with Citrus and Watermelon Radish which pairs tangy lime and orange segments (called supremes) with crisp and peppery watermelon radish. The watermelon radish is a relative of the daikon radish, but instead of being long, like a carrot in shape, it’s round like a golf ball. It’s the pretty pink interior that gives the radish its name.

As a refresher, here are some tips about crudos:

  • Crudo means “raw” in both Spanish and Italian and technically the fish is not cured, but rather, simply served raw and often embellished with other ingredients to enhance the flavor.
  • It’s easy to think crudos and sashimi are both one in the same. Both are raw, but while sashimi is raw fish at its purist and plain with not much more than a dab of wasabi, crudo is defined by the quality of the ingredients which are there to complement and enhance the simple raw fish.
  • Typically there is some sort of oil and an acid (citrus or vinegar) used to dress it which helps to bring out the flavor of the fish
  • It’s all about the quality of the fish, when eating fish raw always select the highest quality, freshest fish you can find.
  • Use the highest quality ingredients you can find; look for the best extra virgin olive oil and the freshest vegetables and herbs.
  • Prepare all your cut ingredients in advance and keep the fish in the refrigerator until you are ready to cut and serve it immediately.
Kampachi Crudo with Citrus and Watermelon Radish
Kampachi Crudo with Citrus and Watermelon Radish

Kampachi Crudo with Citrus

Kampachi Crudo with Citrus and Watermelon Radish
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: crudo, Fish
Servings: 2 servings


  • 6 ounces kampachi*
  • 1 each orange cut into supremes
  • 1 each lime cut into supremes
  • ½ each jalapeno sliced into paper thin rounds
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ each watermelon radish sliced thin
  • micro greens or sprouts


  • Cut the peel and all the white pith off the orange and lime. Holding the fruit over a bowl, cut the segments of orange and lime from between the membranes. Reserve the juice and segments of citrus in the bowl.
  • Slice half the jalapeno into very thin rounds with a sharp knife or mandolin slicer. Add the sliced jalapeno to the bowl with the citrus. Add the extra virgin olive oil to the bowl and combine gently with a spoon.
  • Slice the watermelon radish into paper thin rounds and place a single layer on each of two plates.
  • Cut the kampachi into ¼” slices and lay atop the watermelon radish. Spoon the spicy citrus mixture over the kampachi and garnish with micro greens.


Kampachi is a member of the amberjack family of finfish (also called an Almaco Jack) and often used in sushi restaurants. If you cannot find it you can substitute yellowtail, mahi mahi or halibut.
As always, take care with eating raw fish. Always get from a reliable source and consult your doctor if you have a compromised immune system.


Kampachi Crudo with Citrus and Watermelon Radish
Kampachi Crudo with Citrus and Watermelon Radish



  • Susan

    I thought I had all the seeds I was going to need for my garden this year, but noooooooooooooooooooooooo! Now I have to find these gorgeous radishes, I MUST have them!

  • Pam Valente

    The watermelon radish is beautiful. I live on the edge of the outback and so do not have access to such exotic foods but I think I can come up with some kind of substitute that will be equal in beauty and taste – any suggestions? Looking forward to trying this along with the vodka sauce. As a matter of fact these two dishes would pair nicely with the fish as a starter, followed by the pasta with vodka sauce. Wow, I’m a wanna be chef 😉

    • formerchef

      Do you ever see daikon radish where you live? It’s common in Asian markets here in the US. That or any other radish (even the small ones, thinly sliced) would be good. Maybe apple, sliced on a mandoline? For the color though, I don’t know what else compares, except real watermelon, which might in fact, also make a good substitute, if you could get it thin enough. Or maybe another melon like cantaloupe?

  • Pam Valente

    I’m the person who said I live in the back and beyond and could not buy anything as exotic as watermelon radishes. Just wanted to let you know that I ordered watermelon radish seeds from Park Seeds. Can’t wait to get them planted.

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