Diana Chan - Charred Squid
with Cucumber, Peas and Mint
½ bunch mint, leaves picked
3g bonito flakes
10g dried shiitake mushrooms
100ml soy sauce
25g unsalted butter
1 continental cucumber, halved lengthways
4 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced on mandolin
½ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup sugar
Prawn Head Oil
10 prawns heads
200ml olive oil
6 baby roma tomatoes
1 green chilli, chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 French shallot, sliced
Sugar Snap Peas
12 sugar snap peas, sliced in half lengthways
Pea Juice and Buttered Peas
500g frozen peas
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 kg squid, cleaned or 350g cleaned squid tube
Olive oil, for frying
Salt flakes, to season
Red vein sorrel
- Prepare coals for a hibachi grill or pre-heat BBQ. Preheat the oven to 70C.
- For the Mint Dust, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Add mint leaves and blanch then refresh immediately in iced water. Remove from the cold water, drain on paper towel and set aside until needed. Keep water on the boil.
- Line a flat baking tray with baking paper. Lay the blanched mint leaves on the tray, without overlapping. Place in the oven and dehydrate for 1 hour.
- Once dry, remove from oven, place the mint leaves into the bowl of a large mortar and pestle and grind to a fine powder. Sift the mint powder through a fine sieve to remove any larger pieces. Place the Mint dust in a small bowl and set aside until ready to serve.
- Increase oven to 180C.
- For the Dashi Glaze, place all ingredients, along with 500ml of water, in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer and reduce to about 250ml.
- Once liquid has reduced, strain through a fine sieve and transfer to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce for 10-12 minutes. Once reduced, whisk in the butter until fully incorporated, transfer to a small bowl and set aside until needed.
- For the Charred Cucumber, place cucumbers on hot hibachi grill or BBQ and cook until blackened all over, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and slice each cucumber half into 3 x 10cm in lengths. Set aside until ready to serve.
- For the Pickled Radishes, place radishes into a small bowl and set aside until needed.
- Place the remaining ingredients, along with ½ cup water, into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and set aside to cool. Once cool, pour the pickling liquid over the radishes and allow to infuse for 20 minutes. Once infused, strain the radishes through a fine sieve and set aside until ready to plate.
- For the Prawn Head Oil, heat a large, ovenproof frypan over high heat. One hot, add all the ingredients, along with 20ml of the olive oil and fry until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pan to the pre-heated oven and roast until aromatic and deep golden, about 20 minutes.
- Once roasted, transfer the prawns heads and all pan ingredients and juices to a blender. Add the remaining olive oil and salt and process on high speed until a course purée. Strain the mixture through a sieve lined with muslin cloth. Gather up the edges of the muslin, twist loosely and squeeze gently to extract all the oil. Transfer the Prawn Head Oil into a squeeze bottle and set aside until ready to serve.
- For the Sugar Snap Peas, cook in boiling water, then strain and refresh in iced water. Set aside until ready to serve.
- For the Pea Juice, bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add peas and cook for 1 minute. Strain and refresh in iced water. Reserve 1 cup of blanched peas for garnish.
- Place remaining peas in a blender, along with ½ cup water, and blend on high speed until a smooth, thin purée. Strain the purée through a fine sieve, discarding the solids. Set the Pea Juice aside in a small bowl until ready to serve .
- For the Buttered Peas, melt butter in a small frypan, add peas and toss to coat in butter. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside, keeping wrm, until needed to serve.
- For the Charred Squid, score the squid and cut into rectangular pieces, approximately 10cm x 15cm in size. Place the squid pieces into a tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt to taste.
- Cook squid on hot BBQ or hibachi grill on one side until charred, about 45 seconds. Turn and cook until lightly charred and just opaque, about a further 45 seconds. Remove Charred Squid from heat and slice into 3mm x 10cm pieces. Set aside, keeping warm, until ready to serve
- To serve, place 2 tablespoons Pea Juice in the base of each serving plate. Add 4 pieces of squid and 2 pieces of cucumber on top of the juice on each plate. Top with a tablespoon of buttered peas. Add 3 pieces of Pickled Radishes and 3 pieces of Sugar Snap Peas to each plate. Arrange some nasturtium, sorrel and mint leaves around each dish. Sprinkle one side of each plate with some Mint Dust. Add a few drops of prawn oil around each plate.