Warm Spring-Style Salad of Fresh Bamboo Shoot, Japanese Water Eggplant, Pickled Ramps and Azuki Hata (Japanese Grouper)
Chef Makoto Okuwa of Morimoto – New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs.com

Yield: 2 Servings

Spring Style Salad with Bamboo Shoots, Eggplant, Pickled Ramps and Grouper on StarChefs.comIngredients:

    Pickled Ramps:
  • 1/3 pound ramps, cleaned and coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ chili pepper, seeds removed, minced

  • 3 ounces fresh bamboo shoots in water, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons rice bran
  • 1/3 cup Japanese eggplant, sliced paper-thin on a mandolin
  • 3 Tablespoons Pickled Ramps
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 3½ ounces sudachi juice*
  • 5 ounces dashi soy sauce*
  • 1 ounce mirin*
  • ½ teaspoon corn starch

  • 2 (2-ounce) Japanese grouper fillets
  • 2 cups olive oil

*Sudachi is a small green citrus fruit that is relatively unknown except in Japan. The majority of these fruits are cultivated in the prefecture of Tokushima. The fruit has a zestier flavor and aroma than lemons and limes.
*Dashi soy is the classic Japanese stock combined with soy sauce.
*Mirin is a sweet rice wine used only in cooking.

For Pickled Ramps:
In a bowl add ramps and sprinkle with salt. In a small saucepan, simmer sugar, water, vinegar and chili until sugar is dissolved. Let cool slightly then pour over the ramps. Let this sit for at least one hour.

For Salad:
In a heavy pot with lid, braise bamboo shoots in water with pepper flakes and rice bran until soft, about 30 minutes. Strain out the shoots into a bowl. Add eggplant, and pickled ramps. Toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper.

For Dressing:
In a bowl, whisk together sudachi juice, dashi soy, and mirin. Whisk in corn starch, making sure there are no lumps, then gently heat, continuing to whisk, over simmering water to thicken. Set aside.

For Grouper:
Heat oven to 170°F. In a heavy pot, add the grouper and pour in enough olive oil to almost cover the fillets. Braise in oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.

To Assemble and Serve:
Mound the salad in the center of the serving plate. Drizzle dressing over salad. Place fish on top. Serve immediately.

Sake Pairing:
Daiginjo-grade sake, chilled


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   Published: May 2006