ew York’s well-heeled gastronomes continue to willingly suffer long
lines to get into David Chang’s
unrivaled restaurants. Chang opened his
Noodle Bar––in 2003 after cutting his teeth with
super-chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Tom Colicchio and Daniel Boulud;
his own mini-empire now totals five hotspots around Manhattan. For adventurous home cooks, Chang devised the following haute-yet-rogue dishes that put ocean delicacies center stage.
(Note: These recipes are guidelines—Chang has an improvisational approach—and require ultra-fresh fish and some rare ingredients found at specialty fish mongers and Korean or Japanese markets.)
All recipes are for one serving Conch with Napa Cabbage
- One piece of fresh conch
- 1.5 cups of kimchi consommé or juice
- Half a cup of charred napa cabbage
- One carrot
- Fleur de sel to season
Slice the fresh conch into ribbons with a sharp knife. Quarter a half of a cup of cabbage (I prefer napa), separate the smaller leaves and blanch them in a pan of salted boiling water, then char leaves over a grill. Pre-buy (or pre-make, if you’re ambitious) kimchi, drain the juice with a sieve and add a quarter of a cup of water to dilute––make sure the liquid is spicy and salty. Alternatively, you can just purée kimchi in a blender and use as a base for the dish. With a peeler, shave ribbons of carrot and place in an ice bath until they curl, then set aside. Place the napa cabbage in a small bowl and pour the kimchi juice around it. Drape ribbons of conch on top of the cabbage. Garnish with fleur de sel and carrot shavings.
Abalone (sea snails) with Pea Leaves and Nori
- Three shelled abalone
- Half a cup of honey
- 2 sheets of konbu (kelp)
- 2 sheets of iwa nori, sliced (unpressed nori)
- Small bunch of pea leaves
- 1/2 cup of cooked Israeli couscous
- yuzu kosho (spicy sauce), for seasoning
Remove the abalone from the shell, clean the meat in cold water and place in a vacuum cooker with honey and konbu. Cook in a vacuum cooker or via Chang’s “ghetto sous-vide” method* at 82C for three hours. Chill and remove from bag. Freeze until abalone is solid (overnight is best) and place bottom of abalone towards a slicer, or use a sharp knife. Shave or cut thin sheets and set aside. Cook couscous in any type of stock. Mix in butter and soy sauce to taste. Then mix in yuzu kosho to make it spicy. Place sliced abalone irregularly on a large plate and fill in negative space with pea leaves and nori. Place a quenelle of couscous on the far side of the plate.
*Place abalone, honey and konbu in a high-quality Ziploc freezer bag. Force as much air as possible out of the bag. Cook the bag in a large pot of hot water kept at 82C for three hours. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the water. After three hours, take the bag out and throw it in an ice bath to chill.
Uni (sea urchin) with Yuba and Horseradish Oil
- A few pieces of uni
- Fresh yuba (tofu skin; can also be bought pre-packaged)
- A few kasha (buckwheat kernels)
- A few teaspoons of soy sauce
- A few teaspoons of homemade horseradish oil
- A few chives
Bring 1 liter of soy milk to 60C, or just below a simmer, and remove the skin that forms on top of soy––this is yuba. Repeat until you have several piles of yuba that can be laid on a plate and set aside. Yuba can be stored rolled up in the refrigerator, but is best if served immediately. Deep-fry a few buckwheat kernels (found at gourmet or health-food stores) in canola oil until they puff up, set aside on paper towels and season with salt. Using a blender, purée fresh horseradish––about one knob––with 500ml of grapeseed oil. (If you can, make it a week ahead and let sit for maximum flavor.) Remove pieces of uni from package (if not fresh from fish monger). Cut chives into batons. Arrange yuba in a shallow bowl and judiciously drizzle horseradish oil over each piece. Place a few pieces of uni on top. Drizzle soy on the uni and garnish with chives and kasha.Ghetto Sous Vide excerpted from
Momofuku by David Chang and Peter Meehan. Copyright © 2009. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.