Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –
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!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Into the pan, I placed both scallops and then let them cook about 4 minutes a side so they would get a nice crust.
While the scallops were cooking, I grated a full teaspoon a fresh wasabi.
Once I got enough freshly grated wasabi, I quickly got it into the creme fraiche and blended it as best I could.
I flipped the scallops in the pan and began plating the wasabi creme fraiche into small appetizer plates.
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!
Fresh wasabi – Mitsuwa, Edgewater, NJ