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The lingcod fishery off the coast continues to show good catches heading into autumn from charter boats out of Westport, and anglers will be inspired to finding ways on how to prepare their catch.

This week, chef and partner Ken Sharp of AQUA by El Gaucho in Seattle, shares a pleasing, easy-to-prepare deep-fried lingcod and house-made tartar sauce.

Sharp at an early age found his passion for cooking with his beginning at Seattle’s Olympic Hotel while still in high school. Encouraged by the chef at the Olympic, Sharp attended the Washington State Chef’s Apprentice Program at Seattle Central Community College, earning a culinary arts degree.

Chef and Partner Ken Sharp of AQUA by El Gaucho in Seattle offers a tasty take on a deep-fried lingcod recipe. Photo courtesy of El Gaucho restaurants.
Chef and Partner Ken Sharp of AQUA by El Gaucho in Seattle offers a tasty take on a deep-fried lingcod recipe. Photo courtesy of El Gaucho restaurants.

Sharp worked at Mirabeau Restaurant and Red Lion Inn, and five years as the chef at the Seafirst Bank Executive Dining Room.

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In 1984, Sharp had the opportunity to join executive chef Earl Owens at the Metropolitan Grill. He went to work with general manager Paul Mackay to make the “Met” a well-known steakhouse. He also worked on projects such as Union Square Grill and Pescatore until 1996. In 1996, Mackay recruited Sharp to join him for a new venture, a revamped Gaucho in Belltown.

Sharp’s culinary expertise in cooking and the preparation of specialty beef made him a natural choice to head the kitchen at El Gaucho.

As the current corporate executive chef, Sharp brings his ability and expertise to each of the El Gaucho Restaurants, and he oversees all of the sourcing for Mackay’s seafood restaurant, AQUA by El Gaucho.

His recipes have graced our past Seafood Recipes of the Week along with executive chef Jesus Boites of El Gaucho in Tacoma, executive chef Sarah Scott of El Gaucho in Bellevue, executive chef Wesley Hood of AQUA by El Gaucho along with other chefs from El Gaucho and The Inn at El Gaucho.

A lingcod sits on the deck of the boat Sensei with Island Guide Services.
A lingcod sits on the deck of the boat Sensei with Island Guide Services.

Word on lingcod fishery

The lingcod fishing off the coast at Westport, Ilwaco, La Push and Neah Bay hasn’t let up since last spring and continues to generate excellent catch. Most are using flounder for bait to catch lingcod.

Lingcod fishing is open through Oct. 15 at Ilwaco, Westport, La Push ane Neah Bay through Oct. 15.

The daily limit is two lingcod with a 22-inch minimum size limit. Anglers can also add black rockfish to their white-fish fillet take on coastal fishing trips with a 10-fish daily limit in the ocean.

Johnny Zelepuza, deckhand on the Slammer, hoists a 30-pound lingcod caught off Westport.
Johnny Zelepuza, deckhand on the Slammer, hoists a 30-pound lingcod caught off Westport.

Deep-fried Lingcod with home-made Tartar Sauce

INGREDIENTS FOR LINGCOD

3 pounds of fresh lingcod fillets

2 cups of all-purpose flour

2 eggs beaten

4 cups of panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon of minced chives

2 teaspoons of minced flat leaf parsley

1 teaspoon of minced basil

2 teaspoons of El Gaucho Steak seasoning (available on www.amazon.com and in each restaurant location)

Lemon wedges

Photo of a yummy plate of deep-fried lingcod courtesy of El Gaucho restaurants.
Photo of a yummy plate of deep-fried lingcod courtesy of El Gaucho restaurants.

INGREDIENTS FOR TARTAR SAUCE

8 ounces of Best Foods mayonnaise

3 ounces of dill pickle relish (drained)

½ ounce of capers

½ hard-boiled egg (cooled and chopped)

1 pinch of ground white pepper

2 tablespoons of sour cream

DIRECTIONS

If using a deep-fryer, preheat at 350 degrees. The recipe can also be prepared by heating oil in a skillet and pan frying.

Cut the pin bones out of the lingcod fillet, cut on the bias, 2 to 3 ounce portions, season fillet portions with El Gaucho steak seasoning.

Mix minced herbs with panko in a stainless 2 quart mixing bowl. Then, place beaten eggs in another 2 quart mixing bowl, and flour in a third mixing bowl. The trick to breading is dredge fish portions (three to four at one time) with right hand into flour, then in the second bowl with beaten eggs, using left hand place fillet portions into the herb panko mixture, coat thoroughly. Using the right hand, place fillets on a sheet pan. Repeat the breading procedure until complete.

Fry fillets in a preheated fryer for 4 to 6 minutes until golden brown. If pan frying, toss a few panko crumbs in the oil and if it sizzles, begin frying the fish.

To insure it’s done inside, partially break open one fillet to test one fillet to (should look opaque if ready). Place finished ling cod on a platter, squeeze lemons over fish, and enjoy.

For the tartar sauce, combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and chill until ready to serve.

Photo of deep-fried lingcod courtesy of El Gaucho restaurants.
Photo of deep-fried lingcod courtesy of El Gaucho restaurants.

(Recipe serves four to six people)

Coming up

This season, esteemed local chefs will share recipes and advice on how to cook a wide variety of local seafood weekly through October.

This year’s Pacific Northwest all-star lineup of chefs include chef Shota Nakajima, owner of Naka; Megan Coombes chef and general manager of Altstadt in Seattle’s Pioneer Square; chef Maximillian Petty owner of Eden Hill on Queen Anne; chef Tom Douglas owner of Dahlia Lounge, Palace Kitchen and many more; chef Pat Donahue of Anthony’s Restaurants; executive chef Paul Duncan with Ray’s Boathouse & Cafe; Taylor Hoang, chef and owner of Pho Cyclo Cafes and Rickshaw Chef in Seattle; Jason Wilson, executive chef/partner of Miller’s Guild at the Hotel Max and executive chef of Coffee Flour in Seattle; chef Taichi Kitamura, owner of Sushi Kappo Tamura on Eastlake in Seattle; chefs Jun Takai and Yasuhiro “Yasu” Kusano at Shiro’s Sushi in Seattle’s Belltown; and executive chef Jason Brzozowy for Tilth owned by Maria Hines.

Recipes will be posted every Wednesday and/or Thursday through Nov. 2. Also, if you have a recipe you’d like to reel-in my way, please let me know and I will post them, and will even test it out with my family and friends.