Oba Leaf, Sashimi Mackerel, Pancetta & Yuzu Kosho Cream

Oba Leaf, Sashimi Mackerel, Pancetta & Yuzu Kosho Cream


Smoked pancetta and yuzu kosho cream

200 g (7 oz) smoked pancetta, finely diced
250 g (9 oz) ichiban dashi (see page 274)
90 g (3¼ oz) cream (35% fat content)
130 g (4? oz) quality fresh whole milk
3.5 (1/10 oz) yuzu kosho
5 g (? oz) shiro dashi
5 g (? oz) tosa soy sauce
4.5 g (1/5 oz) gellan gum

Marinated mackerel

10 cm (4 in) kombu strip
300 ml (10½ fl oz) sake
300 g (10½ oz) whole blue mackerel, filleted and pin bones removed

Tempura oba leaves

50 g (1¾ oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
75 g (2? oz/½ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
5 g (? oz) baking powder
2 litres (70 fl oz/8 cups) vegetable oil
10 oba leaves (including 2 spares)
Fine sea salt

To serve

1 tablespoon osietra caviar


Smoked pancetta and yuzu kosho cream

Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the pancetta.

Cook down slowly for 5–7 minutes to render out all the flavour of the pancetta and to give a little colour. Pour in the ichiban dashi, cream and milk, and bring to a simmer. Add the yuzu kosho and cook for 4–5 minutes, add the dashi and tosa soy, and then strain through a fine chinois into a bowl. Add the gellan and mix thoroughly using a hand-held blender.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and bring to the boil, whisking constantly. Cook for a further 30 seconds, pass through a chinois into a container, set aside to cool and then refrigerate for 3–4 hours until set.

Break up the pancetta cream with a hand-held blender, pour into a vita-prep (or high-speed blender) and blend on high speed until smooth. Pass through a fine chinois, then pour into a squeeze bottle and refrigerate until required.

Marinated mackerel

Soak the kombu in cold water for 30 minutes until hydrated.

Put the sake in a bowl, add the kombu and leave for 1 hour.

Remove the kombu from the sake and pat dry with paper towel.

Lay the mackerel fillets, skin side down on a tray and cover with the kombu. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature. Remove the kombu from around the fillets and discard. Place the fillets on paper towel and refrigerate until required.

Tempura oba leaves

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl using your hand.

Add 150 ml (5 fl oz) of iced water and mix gently, being careful not to overwork the gluten in the flour. Keep the batter cold.

Pour the vegetable oil into a deep heavy-based saucepan, no more than one-third full, then heat to 170°C (325°F). Working with 1 leaf at a time, dip the back of the oba leaf (the rougher side) into the batter to coat that side only, and then carefully
place into the oil, batter side down.

Fry until crisp but not coloured, then remove with a sieve. Place on paper towel and
season with salt. Keep warm. Repeat with the remaining leaves.

To serve

Remove the marinated mackerel from the fridge and place on a board. Using a sharp knife, cut 16 slices of the fish and set aside.

Place the tempura oba leaves on each plate, then add 2 slices of the marinated mackerel. Add a few dots of the smoked pancetta and yuzu kosho cream to each leaf.

Finish with a half teaspoon of caviar on top of the mackerel. Serve immediately.

Credits: 'Sepia; The Cuisine of Martin Benn' Published by Murdoch Books

Photo Credits: Recipes and Images from Sepia: The Cuisine of Martin Benn (Murdoch Books) RRP $75 , available now

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