Poached Hamachi with Pickled Melon and Nori Salt
Chef Josh DeChellis of Sumile – New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs.com
Yield: 4 Servings
1 ripe cantaloupe
2 ounces Muscat de Beaume de Venise
1 ounce yuzu juice
1/2 ounce elderflower syrup
1 ounce rice wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon yuzu kosho
8 1¼-ounce slices of hamachi
1 ripe avocado
2 sheets nori
1 Tablespoon kosher or maldon salt
Sansho pepper for dusting
1 quart grapeseed oil for poaching
One day before serving this dish, peel and seed cantaloupe and reserve all the juices from the seed sacks. Carve the flesh into 1 ½- inch strips and then slice each strip crosswise to make ¼-inch thick slices. Make 20 slices and reserve.
Boil Muscat de Beaume de Venise and let cool 20 minutes.
Take remaining melon and place in a Vita-Prep® blender with the yuzu juice, elderflower syrup, rice vinegar, yuzu kosho, boiled Muscat, and any juice collected from the cantaloupe seed sacks. Puree in a Vita-Prep® blender and adjust seasoning to make a nice sweet and sour balance with a spicy aroma. Place in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer for 1 minute.
Once simmered for one minute, strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth over a bowl. Add a pinch of salt to the clarified juice, bring down to room temperature and pour over the sliced melon. Leave mixture in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator until the next day.
The next day, place grapeseed oil in a shallow sauce pan and bring to 110° F. Season hamachi fillets with a light dusting of sansho pepper and place in oil. Pull sauce pan off direct heat to avoid "cooking" the bottom side of the hamachi.
Peel avocado and cut in half; then cut into 1/3-inch slices and dress slices in melon liquid.
Lightly toast nori sheets over a flame without scalding them, and then grind in a spice grinder until broken down into little pieces the size of Maldon salt.
Remove 2 teaspoons of toasted nori and mix with Maldon salt. Grind the remaining nori pieces into a fine powder and reserve.
Once warmed through, remove hamachi fillets and blot with paper towel. Season with nori salt. Mix 2 Tablespoons of melon liquid with nori powder until the consistency is that of a light syrup and check seasoning.
To Assemble and Serve:
Arrange hamachi, avocado and melon slices on a plate and then drizzle sauce with melon-nori jus.