New Zealand's Salmon Gem - Saikou Mt Cook Alpine!
Hiro Sone welcomed me through the doors of Terra in St Helena to prepare for a photo shoot. "Have you tried this Saikou Salmon from New Zealand?", he beamed. "I'm using it a lot now as you don't have to freeze it for sashimi and it's really silky!"
He wondered why I burst out laughing! I had thought I was just about to tell him about something new I had found, but, once again, he'd beaten me to the punch!
Only days before I had sampled this magnificent fish from the pristine air environment and glacier waters high up on New Zealand's Mt Cook. It has a lower fat level, but really high Omega 3's and the flavor is rich but with a really clean pure taste. Here's a few creations of mine to play with, but better still, hop down to Terra and enjoy it "Hiro"-style, sure to be a wonderful all round experience! http://www.terrarestaurant.com/
Pikelets with Cured Saikou Salmon and Truffles
Makes about 24 of each.
For the pikelets (like blini or mini pancakes), sift 1 cup self-raising flour, 1 teaspoon Murrumbooee Bush Pepper and Salt mix and ¼ teaspoon baking soda into a bowl. Combine 1 egg, ½ cup milk, 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar and 2 teaspoons Brookfarm Macadamia oil and pour into center of flour. Beat to a thick pouring consistency. Heat more macadamia oil or butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat, add tablespoons of mix and cook until golden and bubbles appear on top, flip and cook a minute further, then transfer to paper towel lined tray
Crème Fraiche mixed with truffle mustard, cured salmon (recipe follows), black Australian truffles.
Murrumbooee Bush Tomato or Chili Jam. Crème Fraiche, Heirloom Tomato and Truffle Concasse
To cure the salmon, place 1 fillet of salmon (bones removed) on a tray lined with enough plastic wrap to cover all fish. Gently warm ¼ cup truffle honey, and brush over the fish. Combine ¼ cup sugar with ¼ cup truffle or sea salt, 2 tablespoons dill and 1 tablespoon peppercorns. Wrap completely in plastic and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, up to 2 days. Wipe or rinse off cure, pat fish dry and slice as desired. Keeps wrapped tightly for up to 5 days.
Chefs Notes: The featured products in these recipes are:
The Wine and Truffle Company in Australia are proud to be supplying the world’s finest restaurants with fresh black truffles. Its’ marvelous for chefs in America to be able to enjoy fresh truffles with summer produce. They also produce the mustard, honey and salt used in these recipes. For stockists contact firstname.lastname@example.org,
Brookfarm Premium Grade Macadamia oil, available from William Sonoma, is wonderfully healthy oil with a very high monounsaturated oil content and a high smoke point too!
Murrumbooee Bush Pepper and Salt Mix, Bush Tomato Chutney and Chili Jam also at William Sonoma, bring you the native tastes of Australia.
Saikou Alpine Mt Cook King Salmon: high in Omega 3 and naturally free of parasites, chemicals, mercury and other heavy metals this fish is eco-Sustainably farmed in pristine glacial water from the Southern Alps of New Zealand.
A most succulent Pinot Gris produced at Spy Valley Vineyards in New Zealand’s coveted, Marlborough region, this wine has something for all palates! Light, crisp and refreshing with a touch of complexity and soft honey from 6 month on German oak, it is wonderful with so many dishes, even those hard to match Asian flavors. I found it the perfect companion for my salmon dish, the honey picking up my honey glaze, the crispness finishing the rich silky salmon and aromatic truffle and it’s slight residual sweet bringing the tea broth some real life!
Caramelized Saikou Salmon, Tomato Tea Consommé with Truffled Peach
1 pound Saikou Mt Cook Alpine Salmon filet (see note)
4 tablespoons Tasmanian Leatherwood honey
6 ounces Soba Noodles or Angel Hair Pasta
Olive or grape seed oil, for cooking
3 Assam tea bags
5 ripe tomatoes, finely diced
4 small shitake mushrooms, sliced
Pinch salt and sugar
1 slightly under-ripe peach, cut into julienne strips
1/2 teaspoon truffle oil, or
Shaved winter Perigord Truffles from the Wine and Truffle Company, optional
4 basil leaves, chiffonade
To make the consommé, pour 2 cups boiling water over the tea bags and allow to brew for 10 minutes. Pour into a saucepan and add the tomatoes and mushrooms. If tomatoes are lacking flavor, add a pinch of salt and sugar. Cook over a low heat until liquid comes to a low simmer but not boiling. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 10-20 minutes. Just before serving, strain mixture through fine mesh or muslin. Set aside a little of the tomato and mushrooms, return the liquid to the pan.
To make the truffled peaches, toss the peaches with the oil and allow flavors to develop for at least 10 minutes. Just before serving, add the basil.
Cook the noodles or pasta according to directions.
While the pasta is cooking, remove the bones from the salmon and cut into 4 fillets. Warm the honey slightly to soften and brush generously over the flesh side.
Heat a thin layer of oil in a non-stick pan and add the salmon, skin side down. Cook until skin is crisp, turn and immediately turn off heat. Leave in pan to caramelized the honey Fish will be rare. If you prefer to cook further, keep in heated pan longer,
Toss the noodles with the reserved tomato and mushrooms. Place a small high mound in the center of shallow flat based bowls. Top with the fish, and pour consommé around outside. Top with a mound of the truffled peaches and serve straight away.
Chef’s note: Saikou Salmon is my latest find, with a gorgeous silky smooth texture and clean flavor coming from the pure glacier waters the fish swim against in the pristine heights of Mt Cook in New Zealand. Perfect for sashimi, cured or any other preparation, for that matter!