Surprisingly simple yet big on flavour, Andrew McConnell’s Raw Sea Bream, White Soy and Ginger comes from the pages of his latest cookbook: Supernormal.
The chef has a long history with Asian cuisine, having scored his first head chef job in Hong Kong, where he worked for three years before moving to Shanghai for two years. The influences of these places and experiences, plus strong ties to his home town of Melbourne, can be spotted in all that Andrew cooks.
Raw food, particularly raw fish, is one of my favourite things to eat, and this dish has been a staple on the menu at Supernormal for some time now. It’s quite delicate in its arrangement, however it does not compromise on big, bright flavours.
This particular recipe calls for sea bream, but kingfish is also a worthy substitute. I have developed this dish as an arrangement of sashimi and like to serve the raw fish this way, pre-dressed as opposed to plating it alongside a small dish of soy for dipping. I like the way each piece of fish is evenly seasoned with the sauce. The accompanying shredded radish is useful for soaking up the excess dressing too!
Ingredients (Serves 4 as a starter)
- 15cm piece daikon (white radish), peeled
- 200g skinless sea bream or porgy fillets
- ½ tsp sea salt flakes
- 1 Tbsp thinly sliced chives
- 1 sheet sesame laver (edible seaweed sheet)
For the sweet ginger dressing
- 2 tsp sweet ginger vinegar (available at Simon Johnson)
- 2 tsp pickled ginger liquid
- 1 Tbsp white soy sauce
- ¾ tsp rice vinegar
- 60ml grapeseed oil
For the sweet ginger dressing, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Take a mandoline and slice the daikon very thinly. Use a knife to cut the slices into fine julienne. Arrange the daikon on a chilled plate (the daikon can be stored in cold water if you are not using it immediately).
Slice the sea bream fillets on a 45° angle into 2mm-thick slices and lay them over the daikon.
Dress the fish with the sweet ginger dressing, a sprinkling of sea salt flakes and the thinly sliced chives.
Just before serving, wave the sheet of laver over a naked flame to crisp it up (or place in a preheated 150°C oven for a moment). Crush the toasted laver in your hands and sprinkle it over the whole dish.