Trying To Recreate A Top Chef Dish From Chef Ripert

Near the end of Top Chef Season 5, I was intrigued by a featured dish in the Le Bernadin episode. The item was mahi mahi with lemon miso broth.  This dish apparently has had various incarnations at the restaurant based on a survey of some web pages. Some incarnations have used turbot, lobster, and grouper.  Near as I can tell, I suspected these were all poached.  I was very intrigued on Chef Ripert’s approach with these ingredients. I wondered if I could make something like this, here at home.

The first important question was how to make the lemon miso broth? Well, after much research,  I happened across:

http://www.culinarytrends.net/Cod%20Steamed%20with%20Mushrooms%20and%20Broth.html

This recipe appears to be have been published after the airing of the Le Bernadin episode (episode 11) of Top Chef (season 5). So I thought Chef Vongerichten’s recipe might give some good guidance on what to do. It’s pretty clear the broth is a basic dashi broth (about 3 cups with 5 (!) tablespoons of miso mixed in as well as 2 tablespoons of yuzu (swap in lemon, here) juice.

Yamajirushi miso and lemon juice

Given how tough it is the get matsutake at the  moment, I thought I’d decide to go ahead and try something else like maitake (see http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/le-bernardin-new-york?select=Cf8q1zS9-R2xSBrMzZq4XQ#Cf8q1zS9-R2xSBrMzZq4XQ ) broken into 6 pieces (less the chili, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme and parsley) given some of the pictures of the Le Bernadin dish.

The only question now was how to poach the fish.  Turbot is hard to find around here, so I thought I’d substitute halibut.  Fortunately, I discovered a video of Chef Ripert poaching halibut here:

http://www.wholeliving.com/183124/poached-halibut-eric-ripert-2

(ignore the advertising, see time indices: 1:25-1:28)

(That source recipe can be found here: http://www.marthastewart.com/332785/erics-poached-halibut-in-warm-herb-vinai )

He simmers his halibut steaks (8oz each) in the court boullion for about 3-4 minutes.  So I thought I would do the same with the lemon miso broth (reserving 8 tablespoons [4 tablespoons/person]).

So I began by making a pot of dashi (usually about 7 cups, of which I would save about 3 1/2).  And when I

Dashi for the miso broth

Dashi for the miso broth

would make the miso soup/broth, I would make about 3 1/2 cups with the 5 tablespoons of miso (filtered in)

Filtering in the 5 tablespoons of miso

Filtering in the 5 tablespoons of miso…

Adding an ounce of lemon juice

Adding an ounce of lemon juice

and reserve 1/2 cup for plating (as ‘sauce’).  Once I reserved the 1/2 cup, I placed the halibut fillets into the

lemon miso poaching with 1/2 cup in reserve

lemon miso poaching with 1/2 cup in reserve

seasoning the halibut fillets before poaching

each halibut fillet seasoned with 2 3 pinches of 4:1 salt/pepper before poaching

simmering broth (50% max heat) as instructed by Chef Ripert for about 6 minutes.

...and into the poaching liquid are they submerged

…and into the poaching liquid are they submerged

In the meantime, I started blanching 24 asparagus pieces.

poaching a couple of asparagus stalks cut into 1" pieces

poaching a couple of asparagus stalks cut into 1″ pieces

Resting the poached halibut

Resting the poached halibut

Just after placing the halibut on plates, I sauteed the maitake (cut up into 6 pieces) on high heat using rice

sautee'ing the maitake pieces

sautee’ing the maitake pieces

oil for about 3 minutes on high heat and then placed them around the fish as well as placing the asparagus in a ring around the plate.

Plating

Plating

Getting the shiso Getting the shiso chiffonade ready (removing the woody central leaf stem)

Getting the shiso chiffonade ready (removing the woody central leaf stem)

a chiffonade of shiso to top the halibut

a chiffonade of shiso to top the halibut

To finish, I would top with a small chiffonade of fresh shiso.

Halibut, Maitake, asparagus, shiso with lemon miso broth

Poached halibut, maitake, asparagus, shiso with lemon miso broth

On tasting the dish, both my wife and I noticed that pieces of the halibut needed to be broken off and swished in the lemon miso broth and eaten with a bit of the shiso (the halibut being quite mild, though seasoned with the salt/pepper).  The halibut was just cooked enough and nicely moist (I was concerned that I might have overcooked the halibut, but 6 minutes in the poaching liquid appeared to do the trick).  The asparagus and ‘pan roasted’ maitake provided a nice flavor contrast the lemon miso/halibut/shiso combination.  It was a real pleasure to do this dish. Now that I’ve done this dish, I’m excited to try doing this with lobster tail!

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