Nobu’s Daikon Faux/Foie Gras

Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –

* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/nobu-seared-chilean-sea-bass-with-truffle-mirin-and-soy
* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/nobus-vegetarian-cookbook
* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/a-firstlook-at-nobus-vegetarian-cookbook

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was intrigued by Nobu’s concept of “daikon foie gras” in his book Nobu’s Vegetarian Cookbook, p. 58 .  Matsuhisa-sama does comment that the dish was inspired by the chinese pan fried ‘daikon cake’ (aka “luo bo gao”).  Unfortunately, it’s not clear from the recipe how much grated daikon to use – and therein lies the challenge.  The only thing that’s mentioned in recipe is that the slice of daikon involved is 2″ thick – but what’s the diameter of that slice?  The sauce itself is pretty straightfoward – it echoes the sauce from the Fresh Water Eel And Foie Gras dish in Nobu: The Cookbook. The sauce is 1 tablespoon+2 teaspoons of soy, 6 tablespoons of  sake, 3 tablespoons of mirin and a little truffle oil (compare that to the 1:3 ratio of soy to mirin used the Eel/Foie Gras dish).  The recipe calls for 30g of potato flour, which should come out to about 3 tablespoons of potato flour.

So since the original Fresh Water Eel And Foie Gras dish contained a daikon component – I thought – why not merge the daikon and foie gras component and create a varaint, Chilean Seabass And Daikon Faux Gras With Truffle Mirin Soy?  To make the faux gras, I went ahead and cut a 2″ thick

About 2″ slice of daikon with a diameter of 2 1/2″

slice of daikon that had a 2 1/2″ diameter and that weighed in at about 6 1/2 oz.

The weigh in of the daikon slice (~6.5 oz)

As instructed, I grated the peeled daikon slice and squeezed out the liquid in a fine mesh strainer.

Daikon slice hand grated; 30g=~2 oz=~4 tablespoons of potato flour

Straining out the water from the grated daikon

The grated daikon was seasoned with about 2 3-fingered pinches of 4:1 salt/pepper and then had ~30 g of potato flour (that came to about 4 tablespoons) added to it.  It was all mixed/kneaded together

Grated daikon, salt/pepper, potato flour all mixed in

and formed into 2 equal patties.  Both patties had to be steam-cooked in a heatproof dish, uncovered in

Forming the daikon/potato flour patties

Above: truffle oil and the ‘teriyaki sauce’ mix; Below: daikon patties ready to be steamed

a steamer for about 7-8 minutes (presumably high heat).

Daikon patties after steaming

At this point, I got  out my small frying pan, got it good and hot and added some Lucini extra virgin olive oil and got the heat down to about 75% max power.  I added the daikon patties to sear them as

Searing/Crisping the daikon patties (aka luo bo gao)

you would luo bo gao and cooked them for about 2-2 1/2 minutes a side, checking to make sure they

daikon patties nicely golden brown and crisp

seared properly.  Once that was done I transferred them out the pan, wiped out the pan so that it was

Reducing the daikon sauce for glazing the daikon faux gras patties

nice and clean and poured in the daikon sauce to reduce.  When the reduction thickened, I added

Coating the daikon faux gras patties with the reduction glaze

the  daikon faux gras patties in to the sauce to coat with the glaze.  One comment should be made here:  The original recipe from Nobu’s book calls for adding in the truffle oil at this point.  But since I was going to use the daikon faux gras in place of the real foie gras for the chilean seabass variant of Fresh Water Eel And Foie Gras, I held off – the sauce for the Eel/Foie dish also called for the truffle oil.

So while the I was doing the daikon faux gras, I prepared and seasoned some chilean seabass and popped that into a 475 degree F oven for about 10 minutes.  Once the fish was done, I placed the fish onto serving plates and placed the daikon faux gras on top.  I reduced a sauce of 2 tablespoons of soy and 6 tablespoons of mirin, added a little truffle oil and then spooned that sauce over the faux gras and fish.  While the main sauce was reducing, I broiled two split anaheim peppers just until they blistered and garnished the plates with the pepper halves.

Chilean Seabass And Daikon Faux Gras With Truffle Mirin Soy

In trying the dish, I started by getting into the daikon faux/foie gras.  It was sort of like the luo bo

…tasting the dish, and in particular, a view of the daikon faux/gras interior

gao I was expecting; biting into it reminded me a little of a very soft (still a touch chewy) mochi in texture.  Both my wife and I enjoyed the dish.  I was still sort of expecting the fatty softness as when you bite into real foie (which I didn’t quite get).  I think that when I do the daikon faux gras again, I might either (1) increase the amount of grated daikon or (2) lower the amount of potato flour.  Perhaps that way, I’ll get that textured ‘pop!’ when I bite into the faux gras (like well seared foie gras), followed by the expectant softness inside.  All in all, I thought this was a fun dish to do and I fully expect to do it again in the near future.

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