Wassup, Momofuku? More Messing Around with David Chang’s Cookbook

So it has been an eventful few weeks around Stately Prick Manor and with the Three Little Pricks here for the better part of a month there has not been a lot of time for eating out, much less writing about it. Plenty of time for cooking, though, especially with the Prick consulting from home these days, so why not whip out the Momofuku cookbook and try out a couple of things with the boys on a school night?

First up, a little cured hamachi, or kingfish, with a horseradish and edamame puree. Without issuing a spoiler warning, it came out pretty damn good. And If this site were better at writing cloying click-baitey headlines, this post would probably be titled something like “The one picture of fish you need to see now” or “This blogger served hamachi  to his family. You’ll never believe the response he got.”

But this ain’t no Upworthy, so here we are. And here’s the dish:

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“Kingfish? Cured? I didn’t even know he was sick!”

Looks alright, eh? Also, surprisingly simple: A hunk of sashimi-grade kingfish gets wrapped up with a cure of Szechuan pepper and coriander (ground coarsely) as well as a couple of tablespoons each of sea salt and sugar for two or three hours. Any longer, it’ll turn into an Asian gravlax, which may or may not be pleasant, but is certainly not what we are after here. If curing early, simply rinse off the cure and re-wrap: you want a bit of the flavour from the rub and some firmness to the flesh, nothing more.

The fish is served with a puree of edamame – about 100gs worth blanched and refreshed in ice (reserve a few for garnish; get a sack from the freezer of any Asian market), thrown in the blender with a bit of water (start with about 75mls worth and add more only if you really need it), a teaspoon of light soy sauce, a half-teaspoon of sugar and sea salt, and a good whack of horseradish. Due to a fresh horseradish shortage – there is such a thing, and it’s dire, according to the Pricks’ new best friends at Gourmet Life – we had to use prepared stuff from a jar.

And we lived.

The key with the puree is to really blend the holy hell out of it: Put it on high and leave it there. Walk the dog. Go for a smoke.  You want this thing smoother than Barry White on a good day. Because otherwise the thing will be all clumpy, and your highbrow spoon-drag will come out looking like a less-pleasant sort of smear. (“Wow, very cheffy, Dad!”, said young Nick With a Fork, angling for a raise in his allowance.) Slice the fish carefully with the sharpest knife in the drawer, plate up, add a bit of furikake, or Japanese rice seasoning, and you’re away.  

In any case, the dish was a big hit around the table, receiving a firm “make again” rating and five – or would that be ten? – thumbs up. 

What else was there? Well, there were some short ribs, cooked for 48 hours or so at 60C in the sous-vide, again, as per Chang’s directions, with some soy sauce, mirin, apple juice, sesame oil, sugar, and water in the bag (and yes, the Prick managed to seal this all up with only a poxy little vacuum sealer to hand):

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Sacked out

Chang serves his with a dashi-braised daikon, but previous experiments in the Stately Prick Manor test kitchens have never proven satisfactory. Instead, wasabi-infused potatoes, and a blanched and grilled spring onion:

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Not the greatest photo, but hey, the Prick’s no Martha Stewart

Good, but still needs tweaking. The sauce could use some work, and there probably should have been a little pickle of something like carrot to cut through the richness on the plate.

Next time.

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2 Responses to Wassup, Momofuku? More Messing Around with David Chang’s Cookbook

  1. TimT says:

    I don’t get minimalist dishes that in large part consist of the arranging of herbs and a small portion of meat or fish or whatever on the plate. Partly my absolutely appalling presentation skills (or lack of anything approaching presentation generally). But, um, do you use a formula or something for artfully spacing out the herbs so that they look graceful in one another’s presence and show one another off?

    PS The trick to the Upworthy (cack, hate that site) headlines I believe is to to sprinkle with meaningless but sensational adjectives: “This blogger served hamachi to his family. You’ll be astounded by the response!” Though I suppose what really reels the suckers in: “You’ll drool when you see this succulent picture of fish – and save the planet while doing so!” Meaningless sensation plus vacuous feel-goodism. Yup, that’s an Upworthy headline all right.

  2. timt says:

    Wrote this post in a linkbait attempt myself, to try and get in all the weirdo Jane Austen obsessives, with completely disappointing results. (Sixty six views so far, not much more than most of my posts get). What’s going on, weirdo Jane Austen obsessives? (Maybe they all read my blog already?)

    Because said post is food/beverage related I feel *completely* justified in linking it here. Top o’ the mornin’ to ye, Sir PWAF. 😉

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