Hi, I’m Francesco Apreda. I’m here in my new location, which is The Pantheon Iconic Hotel. We’re here in the restaurant Idylio by Apreda. Today is an important day: we’ll talk about carpaccio. We’ll be making a carpaccio with beef, amberjack, peppers and caviar, then we’ll go on to a carpaccio with scallops, a jasmine blossom summer black truffle, then we’ll go on to a vegetables carpaccio made with white turnip, Buffalo mozzarella and Floregano.
Let’s start straight away with the first recipe. For what concerns the ingredients: for the dashi broth we have Kombu seaweed, Katsobushi, shiitake mushrooms, mirin, soy, sake, lime kaffir in leaves. Beef that will be marinated first in shio koji, then in the same dashi with spring onion.
The amberjack will be seasoned with some layu oil, which is a spicy sesame oil. The dish will have 2 sauces: one is a red miso cream and hazelnut paste, the other is a vinaigrette that we’ll be making with a veal fond, a reduced pepper extract, olive oil, fine rice vinegar.
The garnish for this dish will be caviar, a pepper cream, 2 cresses from Koppert Cress, specifically BlinQ Cress and Adji Cress. Let’s start with the preparation of the dish. The first step is, of course, the dashi broth.
We’re making this broth from the Japanese culture, very important and with some fundamental steps. Let’s start by using a Kombu seaweed. It’s important to clean it by removing all the salinity that is external to the Kombu seaweed.
5 gr of Kombu seaweed in half a Lt of water. The water must be very pure, with a very low MCLs. It must be put in the fridge all night, so the seaweed starts to bring out all of its fluids and the water becomes very gelatinous.
It should be then put on the fire and stopped to 90°C to avoid bringing out the bitter-ish part of this seaweed. We’re adding 2 handfuls of katsobushi, these thin sheets of smoked tuna, very popular in the Japanese cuisine, as well.
It’s important, when adding this ingredient, not to work it. When reaching 90°C, we’re switching the heat down and adding around 3 shiitake mushrooms in half a liter of water, coarsely cut. Just as with the katsobushi, we’re adding it in an infusion.
In the end, we’re adding lime kaffir, very interesting for its highly citric taste. We’re letting them infuse until the katsobushi sets down on the bottom of the pot. The next step, while waiting for the dashi broth to infuse for about 10 minutes, we’re moving on to the marination for our beef, in this case a Vagyu, to go along the line of my Japanese past.
We’ll be creating a segment with the meat, in this way. We’ll then proceed by slicing it. We’ll then make 2 marination processes: the first for 3 minutes inside shio koji, a fermented rice extract. It’s interesting, as it softens the fibers and gives a quite different texture to this beef.
This is the first marination for our beef. While we wait for the 3 minutes of beef marination in the shio koji, we’ll move on to the first preparation for a sauce that will garnish the plate. 65% of red miso, then we’ll add around 35% of hazelnut paste.
We’ll be incorporating it in this way, until it’s smooth enough. After around 10-15 minutes of infusion for our dashi broth, meaning the katsobushi set down to the bottom of the pot, we’re filtering it.
It’s important to use a very fine net, so that the impurities don’t seep in. It’s also important not to squeeze the katsobushi, as it could bring the bitter part out. As the broth is filtered, it should be cooled down.
The next step is to marinate the beef. After 3 minutes in the shio koji, it goes for around 6 minutes inside this dashi broth. Once the broth is cooled down well, we’re balancing it with 3 key ingredients: for sapidity, soy sauce.
For the alcoholic part, we’re adding some sake. For the sweet part, Japanese people like to use mirin, a sweet extract of sake. We’re adding some freshness as well, using the spring onion, coarsely cut.
Then, the meat step. So, the meat goes from 3 minutes in the shio koji to our aromatized dashi broth, so once we add it into this broth, it takes all the sapidity and flavors of the broth added with lime kaffir, to give it the citric hint.
After soaking it in the dashi broth, we’re letting it stand for 5-6 minutes. In this carpaccio “from sea and land”, as we classified it, we’re going to add the sea part, that comes from the broth as well, with the Kombu seaweed and katsobushi, and it’s made from a carpaccio part that is, in this case, amberjack.
It’s a very interesting fish and goes really well with the raw preparations for its very firm meat. In this case, we filleted it and paid attention not to heat up the fish too much. When talking about carpaccio served raw, it’s important to work on a clean cutting board, not to heat the meat up and make very direct movements with the knife, without making any up-and-down movement that can heat the meat up, in this case of the amberjack.
Also keep it always cold, maybe working it continuously with ice or next to fridges as the fish shouldn’t undergo too many temperature leaps. Once filleted, we’ll create a segment just as we did with the beef, so to have an interesting gourmet plate, appealing to the eye, we’re creating this segment.
Once we cut our amberjack, we’re moving it to a plate and season it with this spicy oil, which is a spicy sesame oil called layu. We’re massaging it in this way with the spoon. Once the 5-6 minutes for the beef marination have passed, we’re lifting it and obtain, in this case, our 2 carpaccios, marinated.
From one side, the amberjack with the spicy sesame oil, from the other our beef, marinated with shio koji and later with aromatized dashi. We’re moving now onto the last preparation before plating our carpaccio: the making of a vinaigrette: let’s use our four ingredients, all in equal parts: the fine rice vinegar, the veal fond, the peppers extract, roasted peppers, reduced by half, and olive oil.
Let’s emulsify it until all the 4 ingredients incorporate and it starts to boil. We have all of our preparations, so we’re ready to plate our carpaccio with beef and amberjack, peppers and caviar. We’re adding the marinated beef on the plate.
We’re creating a quite abstract plate, without a true scheme. When creating abstract plates, it’s important for all the components to be prepared properly. After placing the beef, we’ll add the amberjack.
We’re then adding the hazelnuts paste with red miso. We prepared a pepper cream, this is with pepper, roasted and then blended with a drizzle of olive oil. We also prepared a pepper brunoise, peeled, cut in small cubes and lightly sauteed in a pan with salt and oil.
We’re adding caviar and then we’re decorating the plate with our cresses. It’s fundamental, when adding cresses to garnish our plates, to think essentially to how the plate itself is gonna taste, so in this case, we’re using two Koppert Cress cresses: Adji Cress and BlinQ Cress.
Talking about cresses, we’re finishing it with BlinQ Cress, part of this plate as we didn’t use any added salt, but gave sapidity, as you noticed, through different consistencies. This cress is very rich in water as well, so it’s giving a sort of watering to a complex carpaccio as this one is.
It also adds a lot of sapidity, as well. We’re finishing the plate with a vinaigrette, cooled down at a room temperature. Putting it in the fridge is useless, as it would solidify too much otherwise. So, we have this vinaigrette with acidity from rice vinegar, as well as pepper extract and soy to give it sapidity, and we’re salting it all.
Here is our carpaccio with beef and amberjack with peppers and caviar. The caviar can be skipped by adding another sapidity, such as roe fish or a salmon egg, whatever can work. It’s important in this plate not to use any added salt, finishing it with these two cresses: one gives it acidity and spiciness – Adji Cress – the other gives it a briny note, with a sea flavor – BlinQ Cress, charged with water and also named ‘ice grass’.
What we add is to create a well-balanced dish.