I’ve been a bit silent of the blog this past week because i had to catch up on real life for a little. Now that’s taken care of i’m back to the land of delicious food and friendly people. I’m often accused of making complicated dishes. The truth is, most of what i do on this blog is really not that hard. I just make it look complicated. It’s part of my job.
Sometimes it takes very little efforts to create a great dish and that’s when it’s crucial to have quality ingredients. The sweet, fatty part of a wild salmon for example needs little adornments to turn into something truly memorable. In this case all it took was some chopped chives, olive oil, lemon zest and salt. You could stop there and have a delicious appetizer in minutes. I was lucky enough to have a (smuggled) piece of karasumi (the Japanese version of Bottarga) which i finely grated over the top with the help of a microplane grater, and what a surprise this was. Karasumi has a rich, salty flavor and a waxy bite and mouth feel that paired particularly well with the lemon zest and the fattiness of the salmon. It took my taste buds on a joy ride. I also wanted to provide a gentle heat so i used a little drizzle of mustard oil. Complicated.. i think not!
It’s always a good idea to serve a crunchy component with a salmon tartare. I went for a savory tuile sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds and another one with a mixture of dried bonito flakes, sesame and spices. I also followed the advice of @chefmark on twitter and made some with furikake. That’s some pretty incredible junk food. I could eat a bag full of them while sitting in front of the computer.
Taku River Salmon Tartare with Black & White Sesame Tuile, Karasumi and Shiso
- serves 4
Taku River Salmon Tartare:
- 1 lb wild salmon, finely diced
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- zest of 1/2 lemon, finely grated
- salt, to taste
- 2 or 3 tablespoons of XV olive oil
- pinch of furikake (optional)
- Karasumi (or Bottarga), finely grated
- Mustard oil
- Tobiko (optional)
For the Black & White Sesame Tuiles:
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, very soft
- 1 egg white
- black & white sesame seeds
- dry bonito flakes (optional)
- Combine the diced salmon, chives, lemon zest and olive oil in a medium bowl and stir gently with a spoon to combine. Season to taste with salt and furikake (if using).
- Using a pastry ring, mold the salmon on top of a shiso leave. Grate the Karasumi (or bottarga) over the top. Drizzle mustard oil around the tartare and garnish with Tobiko (if using).
- Serve with the Black & White sesame tuiles.
- Mix together the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the egg white into the flour mixture using a spoon. Stir until smooth. Whisk in the soft butter until the mixture is smooth.
- Preheat oven to 375’F. Make a 1-inch circular stencil (i use the lid of a plastic quart container). Place on a silpat and using a small offset spatula, spread about 1 teaspoon of batter over the stencil to make an even layer. Repeat to fill the space on the silpat. Sprinkle each rounds of batter with sesame seed and/or bonito flakes and bake for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
For the Taku River Salmon tartare:
For the Black & White Sesame Tuile: