We fry the fillets on the skin until crispy. The base of the sauce is made from fish meat and bones and is rich in flavour. It is whipped with lots of butter, and the rich-flavoured sauce, served in a separate small copper dish, is topped with prawns, sautéed shimeji mushrooms, fresh dill, dill oil and shallot onion. In keeping with tradition, parsley potatoes sautéed in butter are the side dish. Dill and parsley greens are added to the crunchy, succulent fish as a refreshing accompaniment.
The history of the preparation of Kárpáti tartare most probably dates back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This is evidenced by the fact that János Gundel's menu still refers to it as 'Balaton pike perch Archduke István style'. The main flavours were the same as today's recipe, but the ‘Kárpáti’ casserole was elaborated by Károly Gundel.
We definitely wanted to include a fish dish from Gundel's gastronomic heritage, because in Hungarian gastronomy, freshwater fish are not as popular as their marine counterparts. And yet, pike perch is the best-tasting Hungarian river fish. It's a shame to make fish soup from the pike perch, because it tastes fantastic when fried. Frying is delicate and timing is very important to keep it crumbly. However, the dish is a great pleasure for the consumer, both in terms of smell and taste.
The shimeji mushroom has not long since gained a place in Hungarian cuisine. The buttery, nutty flavour that results from the light roasting is a perfect match for the thick buttery sauce. Its natural, high umami content makes any dish tastier.