To make this dish you’ll need a few pieces of professional equipment such as a dehydrator, liquid nitrogen and a sous vide machine. Food Safari Water
Cucumber and nori powder
- 1 kg Lebanese cucumbers
- 10 g aonori (dried green seaweed flakes)
- 1 x 10 cm piece kombu
- 800 g thinly sliced jamon
- 60 g katsuobushi (dried shaved bonito flakes)
- 30 ml teraoka shiro shoyu (white soy sauce)
- 30 ml Iwate soy sauce infused with bonito flakes (or dark or Tosa soy)
Tiger prawn skin
- 8 tiger prawns, 45- 55 g each (25-30 g each peeled weight)
- 8 vacuum bags (18 cm x 22 cm)
- 100 g kinome leaves (Japanese Sancho pepper leaves)
- 200 g grapeseed oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Drying time: 36 hours
For the cucumber and nori powder, peel the cucumbers and blanch the peel in boiling salted water for about 20 seconds. Refresh the peel in iced water, then drain again and pat dry well. Place into the dehydrator for 36 hours or until fully dehydrated.
Toast the aonori in a dry frying pan. Place the toasted aonori and dried cucumber peel into a spice grinder and blend until into a fine powder. Pass through a fine sieve and store in an airtight container until required.
For the jamon dashi, place the kombu and 3 litres water in a large bowl and stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Pour the water and kombu in a large heavy-based saucepan and bring to 60 - 62˚C. Hold at that temperature for 30 minutes, adjusting the heat when necessary. Remove the kombu, then add the sliced jamon. Bring the temperature to around 90˚C and let the stock cook gently for around 2 hours or until reduced by two thirds. As soon as the stock begins to simmer, it’s important to remove any fat or impurities that come to the surface to keep the stock as clear as possible. Remove from the heat and gently ladle the stock through a fine sieve lined with muslin or a coffee filter. Return the hot strained stock to a clean pan, add the bonito flakes and when they sink to the bottom of the pan, add the soy sauces. Carefully strain again, then cool in a bowl over iced water and refrigerate until required.
For the tiger prawn skin, peel the prawns and keep the shells for another use. Working one at a time, place a prawn, leg-side up onto a chopping board and use a sharp knife to cut down the belly of the prawn from head to tail until you get to the intestinal tract. Pick out the intestinal tract- the prawn should look like it has been butterflied open. Finely score the prawn meat, then place into a vacuum bag. Seal on a full vacuum. Using a meat tenderiser or a rolling pin, gently bash out the prawn on the flesh side only until very thin. Do not bash out the skin side otherwise, it will break the tiger prawn pattern that the prawn naturally gives. Once the prawn is very thin, use a rolling pin to roll all the prawn meat into the whole of the bag. This is very important otherwise the sheet will not be thin enough. Repeat with the remaining prawns. Place the prawn sheets into sous vide machine set at 70˚C for 3 minutes. Refresh the prawn sheets in iced water then place into the refrigerator until required.
For the kinome oil, reserve a few kinome leaves for serving, then freeze the remaining leaves in liquid nitrogen until brittle. Drain, then place in a blender and blend slowly to break up. With the motor on low speed, gradually pour in the oil until combined. Pour into a fine sieve lined with muslin or a paper filter and stand to drain into a bowl. Do not force the oil through. When fully drained, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
To serve, warm 800 ml of the jamon stock in a saucepan to around 90˚C. Gently warm the prawns in the sous vide machine set at low. Add a few pinches of cucumber and nori powder over the base of 8 warm serving bowls. Once the prawn skins are warmed through, peel away the top sheet of plastic and place one skin into each bowl.
Pour the hot jamon dashi over the prawn sheets and around finish with a few drops of the kinome oil and the reserved kinome leaves. Serve immediately.