Conch Tiradito, Nobu Style
Makes 18 thin slices
Tough and chewy raw conch meat becomes quite palatable when sliced ultra-thin with a well-honed sashimi knife. My tiraditos always change. incorporating a variety of different local seasonal ingredients, but the presentation maintains a basically Japanese aesthetic: foods are arranged on the plate artistically, with sincerity and kokoro. Here we use a Himalayan pink salt block for our canvas and lay down thin "brushstrokes" of cucumber, then sprinkle flakes of Himalayan black salt over conch slices...and behold, a tiradito worthy of a painting!
- About 1-1/3 oz. (40 g) fresh conch
- 18 cilantro leaves
- 1 tsp. Aji Rocoto Vidrio (recipe follows)
- 2 tbsp. yuzu juice
- 1/2 tsp. Himalayan black salt (see note)
- 1 Japanese cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise (optional)
1. Using the heel of a knife or mallet, pound the conch flesh on both sides to tenderize. Cut into 18 paper-thin slices.
2. If using, lay the cucumber slices on a platter. Arrange the conch slices on top. Place a cilantro leaf on each, and dot the Aji Rocoto Vidrio on the cilantro. Sprinkle with yuzu juice and Himalayan black salt.
A chilled Himalayan pink salt block makes a perfect underlay for sashimi, letting just the right hint of saltiness slowly pass up and naturally cure the fish. Conversely, you can roast the salt sizzling hot, then lay it over the tiradito ingredients to sear them right before your guests' eyes, much like toban yaki cookery. Either way, this salt block directly confirms my conviction that cold dishes should be served cold and hot dishes piping hot. Also, varying your serving dishes can really add to the fun of party food.
Aji Rocoto Vidrio
Makes 1-1/2 cups (360 ml)
- 8 oz. (240 g) aji rocoto (fresh, frozen or paste)
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 4 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
Place all ingredients in a blender except the oil. Mix to a purée. (If using chili paste, skip this process.) Add the oil little by little while mixing, to form an emulsion.
Aji rocoto A plump, small red Peruvian pepper cultivated for at least 5000 years, Capsicum pubescens, meaty and very hot.
Aji rocoto vidrio see vidrio.
Conch A mollusk with a single, large, spiral shell, pronounced "conk," with tough flesh that needs to be tenderized before eating (see p. 116 for details). The true conch species within the genus Strombus vary in size; at Nobu Miami, relatively small farm-raised Queen Conchs are used.
Himalayan black salt, Himalayan pink salt A mineral salt with a distinctive sulphurous smell.
Japanese cucumber A small, 8 in. (20 em) long cucumber with a thin, edible skin, highly regarded for its crunchiness.
Tiradito A Peruvian dish consisting of slices of raw fish dressed with ceviche seasonings. Its name is derived from tirar (the Spanish for "throw") because the fish slices are thrown into the serving bowl.
Toban A flat earthenware pot which cooks food with mild and even heat.
Vidrio Chili peppers pickled in brine.
Yuzu An important citrus, believed to be a cross between sour mandarin orange and Ichang lemon. Yellow in winter and green in summer, yuzu is used to add a distinctive pungent, sour, citrusy taste to Asian dishes. Bottled juice may be available in Japanese grocery stores.
Nobu Miami: The Party Cookbook
- by Nobu Matsuhisa and Thomas Buckley
- Photographs by Masashi Kuma
- Kodansha 2008
- $39.95; Hardcover; 192 pages
- ISBN-10: 4770030800
- ISBN-13: 978-4-7700-3080-1
- Recipe reprinted by permission.
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This page created September 2009