FoodNRecipe's Totally Amazing Fish and Chips Recipe, Inspired by Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Rice Cracker Crusted Tuna with Spicy Citrus Sauce
Jean-Georges Vongerichten knows how to take an unruly combination of the best ingredients and techniques from a mosaic of cuisines and turn it into something elegant and, perhaps most masterful of all, logical. Take his famous recipe for Rice Cracker Crusted Tuna with Spicy Citrus Sauce, a miracle of simplicity in which the violent heat of Sriracha Hot Sauce gets tempered by bursts of sweet citrus and the salty, mouth-filling umami of dried bonito flakes.
The sauce is, in one word, dope. But perhaps the real miracle of the dish is that it doesn't drown out that top-shelf sushi-grade tuna flavor that you're paying so much extra money for. Make no mistake: the recipe is sheer perfection. We're just playing with it to make it our own.
And how did we play with it? In the spirit of Jean-Georges's culinary jet-setting, we're replacing orange juice with blood orange juice and adding oven-baked fries made out of ube, a filipino sweet, purple yam that's a visual marvel to behold.
Here's how to make FoodNRecipe's Fish and Chips, inspired by Mr. Vongerichten.
1. Bake those Ube Fries
-Get your hands on a pound of ube, which you can pick up at either Whole Foods or an asian specialty market. If you get weird looks when you ask for ube (pronounced oo-beh), try asking for purple yam and seeing if that helps. If you can't find ube, a sweet potato will also do nicely in this recipe.
-Preheat your oven to 400 degrees for thinner fries or 500 degrees for thicker fries.
-Slice up your pound of ube into fries however thick you like them. Typically, I only eat very, very thinly cut fries, but for this, thicker is nicer as it plays well as an intermediate between the crispiness of the tuna and the smoothness of the sauce.
-Toss your ube fries with two tablespoons of olive oil, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of Hungarian smoked paprika.
-Toss them in the oven. You'll want to cook them for approximately fifteen minutes on one side, then turn them over and cook them for ten minutes on the other side. Be mindful of how their thickness affects their cook time (thinner may cook faster depending on your oven wonkiness), so be sure to factor that in as you multi-task.
-If you prefer to finish the fries before you do the other stuff, you can leave them in the oven once done at your oven's lowest setting to keep them warm.
2. Get that Sriracha Citrus Sauce Going
-Take two tablespoons of bonito flakes and steep them in three tablespoons of nearly boiling water for then minutes, then strain it through a fine-mesh sieve, making sure to squeeze the bonito flakes to get as much of their juices out as possible. Then throw them away and reserve the liquid.
-Take the bonito-infused water and add it to a food processor along with one large egg yolk, two tablespoons of fresh-squeezed lime juice, one tablespoon of fresh-squeezed blood orange juice, two teaspoons of Sriracha, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Pulse them until just combined.
- Once it's all mixed, blend everything at a medium-high speed, and very slowly drizzle in 1/2 a cup + 3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil until the mixture thickens. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate that bad boy until your fish is ready.
3. Grab a Sushi-Grade Tuna and Get Deep Frying
-Go to a supermarket you trust and ask the fishmonger to cut one 12-ounce piece of sushi grade tuna into four 4-by-1 and 1/2 inch pieces.
-Pour three inches of oil into a wok or other deep saucepan and heat it to 400 degrees.
-While that's heating, whisk together 3 egg whites and two tablespoons of corn starch until it's nice and smooth.
-Next, grind up 8 4-inch round rice crackers into small crumbs. You can do that with your hands or with a mortar and pestle. Just be sure you don't grind it too small. You want some crunch here.
-Coat your pieces of tuna in the egg wash, then dredge them in the rice crackers.
-Deep fry each steak for fifteen seconds on both sides, flipping it only once. The goal is to have them rare and cold even slightly cold in the middle. Drain them on a paper towel, then cut them into 1-inch pieces.
-Stir the thinly-sliced white part of two scallions into the citrus sauce, then drizzle it onto the plate decoratively.
-Next, add the tuna steak pieces to the plate.
-Last, serve them alongside your ube fries. For even more color, you can dust the ube fries with some confectioners sugar before plating.
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