Tuesday, 13 May 2014

' 53 deg . C . PINK LING in ICHIBAN DASHI .'

53 degree C. sous vide cooked Pink Ling fillet in Ichiban Dashi with Aubergine & wakame miso dumplings, Wakame seaweed and lemon zest.

           This was a little Japanese influenced dish, that uses the dashi and miso dumplings to accompany an otherwise delicately flavoured fillet of fish. Ichiban dashi or 'first sea stock' is the stock collected from two ingredients Kombu, which is a type of kelp and Katsuobushi, dried bonito fish flakes. Once the stock is made a second stock can be made using the same ingredients called 'Niban dashi'. Dashi is economical and extremely easy and quick to make in comparison to other stocks where you have to boil carcasses or roast bones or fry prawn heads, dashi takes just about 30 minutes to make and is highly nutritious. The element of umami, considered one of the five basic favours in Japanese cuisine, is present in dashi by the use of Katsuobushi which contains high levels of sodium inosinate which has been identified as a source of umami.                                                                                                          
         To make this dish I started with roasting a whole eggplant in a 220 degree C. oven for about 20-25 minutes until the skin were roasted and separated from the pulp which was soft. I removed the eggplant from the oven and allowed to cool a little before peeling off the skin. I removed the seeds from the pulp and placed into the blender with some wakame miso and a little water and blended to form a runny puree. This was added to a mix of wheat and buckwheat flour to form a dough. Next I made the dashi by placing three strips of dried kombu kelp with 4 cups of water in a saucepan to soak for 15 minutes. I then place the saucepan on the stove and brought the water and kelp up to just before boiling point before removing from the heat and adding half a cup of bonito flakes scattering over the top. After about 3-4 minutes the katsuobushi had sunk to the bottom, I then strained the stock through a cheese cloth lined strainer and set aside for serving. While the eggplant was roasting a set the sous vide machine to 53 deg. C. and placed a fillet of pink ling with a little crushed ginger and some butter into vacuum sealed plastic pouch and cooked the fish at 53 degree C. for 30 minutes. To serve a placed the spent ingredients from the dashi back into the saucepan with 4 cups of water and brought the water to the boil, simmering for around 10 minutes to form a second sea stock called the Niban dashi. While the dashi was simmering I formed little rounded balls with the dough and once the dashi was ready and strained. The dashi was returned to the simmer and the dumplings were cooked in the dashi for about 2-3 minutes.
      To serve I reheated the ichiban dashi , pouring the dashi into a flat bottom bowl. I then placed the Pink Ling fillet in the centre of the bowl, arranging some seaweed and the dumplings around the fish. I then topped the fish with a little lemon zest.


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