Grilled Hamo with Fig and Jamon
Serves 4 as appetizer
1 lb piece fresh hamo (conger pike), boned, filleted, skin on
2 fresh figs, peeled and quartered
8 slices Jamon Iberico
1/4 cup of tarragon mayonnaise (see below)
1/4 cup Japanese sake sauce (see below)
watercress and edible flowers for garnish
olive oil for plate
4 oz plain mayonnaise
2 oz ketchup
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon minced tarragon scented/infused capers in vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1.5 tablespoons dry vermouth
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For Japanese sake sauce:
5 cups sake
1 tablespoon mirin
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup yuzu juice (or lemon)
5 tablespoons arrowroot
For parsley sauce:
2 oz minced fresh parsely
2 oz minced onion
1 table minced tarragon infused capers
2 oz Japanese sake sauce, more if needed
nam pla fish sauce, to taste
1. In a large bowl, add the mayonnaise, ketchup, onion, capers ,lemon juice and vermouth. Whisk all ingredients together. Adjust seasoning with salt, as necessary. Cover and refigerate.
2. In a medium sauce pan, add the sake and mirin. Cook over medium-high heat to cook off the alcohol and slightly reduce, 3-4 minutes.
3. Combine the soy sauce and yuzu juice in a bowl. Using a whisk, slowly add the arrowroot powder until it is completely blended together.
4. Using a whisk, slowly add the arrowroot mixture to the pan with the sake. Bring mixture to a boil, constantly stirring.
5. When sauce has thickened to a good nape, remove from heat. Strain sauce through a chinoise/fine mesh strainer into a bowl over ice to cool. Set aside.
6. In a small bowl, combine the parsley, onion, capers and sake sauce. Stir to combine. Adjust seasoning with fish sauce, as necessary.
7. Using a sharp knife, make 1/4 inch wide slices into the flesh of the fish, being sure to cut to the skin BUT NOT through the skin. Insert 2 skewers (one for each side of the center line) into the fillet lengthwise.
8. Using a blow torch, first sear the skin side of the fillet until it coils and is slightly crisp. Switch then to the flesh side and only lightly char the meat, leaving it mostly uncooked. Remove fillet from skewers and cut into 1" cubes.
9. To plate, build each piece. Start with fig quarters. Build up with a dollop of mayonnaise, a piece of hamo and then a piece of jamon. Spoon the parsely sauce on top. Drizzle the plate with the remaining sake sauce and some olive oil. Garnish with watercress leaves and edible flowers.