Nishino Wasabi Cream

Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –

* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2016/07/03/thinking-about-a-scallop-appetizer-from-yoshihiro-murata/

I’ve been looking at Tatsu Nishino’s scallop appetizer from his Autumn Omakase e-book for quite some time now. I’d been wanting to try it but figured I really needed to get my hands on REAL wasabi in order to do it justice.  Additionally, I’d been thinking of coming up with a dish I’d like to call “Past/Present/Future” based on the earlier scallop appetizer dish.  A seared scallop with bottarga (Murata), a seared scallop with jalapeno salsa (Matsuhisa) and now a seared scallop with wasabi cream (Nishino) garnished with peeled sauteed brussel sprouts.  During a recent Labor Day trip to visit my mother’s home, I came across real wasabi at Edgewater Mitsuwa and realized I now had the chance to do the dish.  So I got to bring back three wasabi roots to play with!

Fresh REAL wasabi from Mitsuwa, Edgewater, NJ

Fresh REAL wasabi from Mitsuwa, Edgewater, NJ

So while the recipe from Nishino’s Autumn Omakase: A Tasting Menu From Tatsu Nishino Of Nishino was for his Scallop Tartare With Wasabi Cream (pgs 23,24,28), I was interested in making the wasabi cream for a cooked scallop version of the dish.  It should of interest to note that there are instances of the wasabi cream sauce being used for shrimp at his restaurant (images on the web).

Creme Fraiche instead of sour cream for the sauce

Creme Fraiche instead of sour cream for the sauce

The recipe for the sauce is quite simple: 2 T sour cream and 1/2 t of fresh grated wasabi mixed in for 1 nice large scallop.  The dish is garnished with 1/4 t of caviar.

American Sturgeon Caviar (ok, ok, I know it's not osetra)

American Sturgeon Caviar (ok, ok, I know it’s not osetra)

I thought I’d kick up the recipe by substituting in 4 T of creme fraiche and then mixing in 1 t fresh grated wasabi at the very last moment before serving.  I’ve learned that the kick of the fresh real wasabi only lasts about 15 – 30 minutes.

portioning out 4 tablespoons

portioning out 4 tablespoons

After portioning out the creme fraiche (so all I would need to do would be to mix in the freshly grated wasabi), I turned my attention to preparing the scallops for cooking.

Prepping the scallops with several3 fingered pinches of 4:1 salt/pepper mix

Prepping the scallops with several 3 fingered pinches of 4:1 salt/pepper mix

I then set aside the scallops and prepared a pre-heated hot pan to which I added a little grapeseed oil and then lowered the heat to 50% max power.

cooking the scallops at 50% max power for 4 minutes a side

cooking the scallops at 50% max power for 4 minutes a side

Into the pan, I placed both scallops and then let them cook about 4 minutes a side so they would get a nice crust.

Preparing the fresh wasabi root for grating while the scallops cook

Preparing the fresh wasabi root for grating while the scallops cook

While the scallops were cooking, I grated a full teaspoon a fresh wasabi.

Grating about 1 tsp of wasabi

Grating about 1 tsp of wasabi

Once I got enough freshly grated wasabi, I quickly got it into the creme fraiche and blended it as best I could.

Grated wasabi mixed into the creme fraiche

Grated wasabi mixed into the creme fraiche

I flipped the scallops in the pan and began plating the wasabi creme fraiche into small appetizer plates.

plated Seared Scallop With Wasabi Creme Fraiche and Caviar a la Nishino

Plated Seared Scallop With Wasabi Creme Fraiche and Caviar a la Nishino

Once the scallops were done, I transferred them carefully into the middle of the wasabi creme fraiche and them topped them with 1/4 teaspoon of caviar.  My wife loved the dish; though she commented that we really didn’t need that much sauce on the plate. She thought that perhaps 1 or 2 tablespoons of the sauce would have been plenty.  Perhaps a tablespoon of sauce and then schmearing it across the plate would work, along with a small toss of garlic sauteed peeled brussel sprout leaves to garnish.  I could imagine doing this as an appetizer offering during the holiday season.  Thank you Chef Nishino for sharing the original dish recipe!

Resources

Fresh wasabi – Mitsuwa, Edgewater, NJ

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