Uri Buri is Israel's regnant king of the sea, and along with ultra-fresh fish cooked to perfection, he's known for perfecting dipping sauces to serve alongside. Here's how to make his creamy, herby green remoulade.
Uri Buri may be internationally known, but the bearded chef of Akko, apropos of Israeli personal geography, also happens to be a hometown buddy of my dad's. They both grew up in Nahariya, a little town edged by Eucalyptus trees just a few kilometers down the coast from Lebanon. Nahariya had its heyday in the sixties as a resort town for a teenaged Israel, and has been slipping dustily into the future ever since. Nahariya is not just hot, like Tel Aviv, it is smotheringly hot, like Texas. With a few random claims to fame, like its beloved Penguin Cafe, one of Israel's oldest restaurants, and its time as the headquarters of Strauss (the Nestle of Israel), Nahariya is today a conglomorate of garishly tiled sidewalks, gusts of air conditioning punctuating the unfathomable humidity, and more grit than could possibly be contained by one little seaside town. To me, Nahariya is quintessential Israel: my grandma hanging laundry out in the breezeless hair, the smell of Hawaii shampoo after a long afternoon at the beach. In short, one of the placest on this earth dearest to my heart.
All of that is to say, before he moved his operation to Akko (Acre), a bit down the coast from Nahariya, Uri Buri had a resaurant on the boardwalk in Nahariya. (His name is actually Uri Jeremias—pronounced Yirmias in Hebrew—buri being the name of a kind of fish.) It was at the little Nahariya restaurant that Uri Buri fondly served us personally, not even bothering to ask us what we wanted, just bringing all the goodies out to us. I'm pretty sure the fish was deep fried (whole!) and it couldn't have been caught more than few hours earlier. It remains the best fish I've ever tasted. But what I remember most was an herby green sauce, one of many dipping sauces he brought us, and its perfect melding with the fish.
I'm not 100% certain, but having pored over Uri Buri's eponymous cookbook—and by pored I mean read cover to cover, photographed intensively, and begged my mom to release into my custody—I've come to the conclusion that that sauce must have been the green remoulade from the book. French rémoulade is usually mayonnaise based, but Uri Buri's uses yogurt for the creaminess, along with hard-boiled eggs. Shallots, fresh green herbs, and of course lemon juice round out the flavors. It's like an Israeli farm-to-table version of tartar sauce! Perfect for fish.
Uri Buri's Green Remoulade (dairy)
- Pulse in a food processor until combined