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Poached Asparagus with Fines Herbes and Ham Hock, and Egg Yolk Sabayon
Chef James Syhabout of PlumpJack Café – San Francisco, CA
Adapted by
April 2007

Yield: 4 servings

Poached Asparagus with Fine Herbs, Ham Hock, and Egg Yolk Sabayon Ingredients:

  • 12 large asparagus spears, peeled

    Ham Hock:
  • 1 smoked ham hock

    Herb Puree:
  • 20 grams tarragon leaves
  • 20 grams parsley leaves
  • 20 grams chervil
  • 20 grams cornichon
  • 500 milliliters pure olive oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 5 grams Dijon mustard

    Egg Sabayon:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Salt

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 raw asparagus spear
  • Frisee lettuce or Pissenlit Blanc


For the Asparagus:
Blanche asparagus spears and allow them to cool at room temperature on a tray. Do not shock in ice water.

For the Ham Hock:
Place ham hock in a pot of cold water, and bring to a simmer, Allow ham hock to simmer for 2 hours until tender. Let ham hock cool in the water, then remove and pull the flesh and skin from the bone. Run the ham through a meat grinder set to the smallest dice.

For the Herb Puree:
Combine herbs and olive oil in a blender and puree until smooth. In a bowl, mix the egg and mustard and slowly drizzle the mixture in to the herb puree to form an emulsion. Fold the ham hock in to the emulsion and chill immediately.

For the Egg Sabayon:
Whisk the egg yolks with a pinch of salt over a water to a stable froth, transfer to an ice bath, and whisk over the ice bath until fully chilled.

To Assemble and Serve:
Toss the asparagus in extra virgin olive oil, salt, and black pepper and arrange on a flat plate. Quenelle the ham mixture and place on the asparagus spears. Shave raw asparagus with a vegetable peeler, mix with the frisee or pissenlit blanc, season with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place mixture on top of the quenelle. Spoon the sabayon around the asparagus and serve.

Wine Pairing: ZD California Chardonnay


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