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Mackerel Escabeche by Alexander Robles

Gourmet, fresh, original: these are the Summer 2022 dishes designed by chefs from all over the beautiful country. From the north to the south of Italy, tradition and creativity, between the scent of salt and the fresh flavors of our hinterland: the creations of our chefs will accompany your summer. And with their recipes you can also surprise your guests at home. Ladies and gentlemen: summer is served!

Frying followed by pickling. This is the procedure for obtaining theescabechea universal cooking technique of Arab origin, known from South America to Italy via Spain and Portugal. Alexander RoblesPeruvian chef of the cocktail-restaurant Azotea in the center of Turin, offers it on its menu in a Nikkei version of the Peruvian-Japanese contamination: a Mackerel Escabeche.

“I chose mackerel because it is a very popular fish in Japan, both for breakfast and lunch. I preferred to salt it, as is customary there, but without frying it, to keep its taste properties intact” declared the chef. “After a marinade based on salt, orange, lemon and brown sugargrill the fish over high heat only on the skin side then accompany it there escabeche saucemade with tomato, carrots, onions, aji amarillo, miso and tapioca pearlsan emulsion of watercress, wasabi and chia seeds, which gives spice to the dish, purple potato chips which give crunch, e white onion petals cooked in apple juice”.

The dish, which received a great response from customers for the combination acidity-pungency, draws the technique from Peru – where the preparation returns as well in parties as in restaurants; a preparation and ingredient from Japan, salmistratura and mirin, which replace wine vinegar, and an element from Liguria, the pickling onions used in the sauce. Of Azotea, mackerel escabeche it can be ordered both in the starters section and in the menu Azotea Experience paired with a sip, an alcoholic, low-alcohol or non-alcoholic sip. The drink in question is snow teaprepared with plum gin And snow fungus home made, green apple, lemon, ginger, umeboshi, grapefruit, pink pepper. The cocktail, inspired by a typical Japanese dessert, is perfect to accompany mackerel escabeche.

Mackerel ESCABECA

Recipe for 4 people

Ingredients
For the escabeche sauce

800g copper tomato
400g carrots
80g red onion
20 g of tomato puree
12g ginger
40g sake
40g brown sugar
40g mirin
40g white soy sauce
120g tapioca pearls
Salt to taste
White wine vinegar to taste

For marinating the mackerel
400g brown sugar
200g coarse salt
200g fine salt
Peel of an orange
The zest of a lemon
400g mackerel fillet
Sesame oil to taste
4 pinches Maldon salt

For the onion petals
4 large white onions
400 ml microfiltered clear apple juice

For the watercress and chia emulsion
400g watercress
40g wasabi/horseradish paste
120 g of chia seeds
120g of water
Salt to taste

For the purple chips
4 purple potatoes

The chef of the restaurant Azotea, Alexander Robles

Method

For the escabeche sauce
Brown the tomato, onion and carrot in a pan. Then add the concentrate, ginger, sake, brown sugar, mirin and soy sauce, and cook over low heat for at least 10 minutes. Put the ingredients in a Thermomix and set the temperature to 72°C, speed 6 for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring plenty of water to a boil and boil the tapioca pearls for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Pass the tapioca under cold running water until completely cooled. Strain and remove excess water, then set aside. Adjust it escabeche sauce with salt and vinegar to desired level of acidity. Add the tapioca pearls to the escabeche base and keep at room temperature.

For marinating the mackerel
Prepare a saucepan by mixing the coarse salt, the fine salt, the sugar and the zest. Sand for at least one minute to release citrus essential oils. Take a small saucepan and pour half of the brine mixture into it. Place the mackerel fillets and cover with the rest of the mixture. Let stand for 10 minutes. Dry and dab with absorbent paper. Sprinkle with sesame oil and Maldon salt. Torch the skin of the fish until golden brown. Obtain from the fillet, with an oblique cut, diamonds of about 2X2 cm. Keep refrigerated

For the onion petals
Clean the onions. Get some petals. Vacuum seal with the apple juice. Steam them at 87°C for 30 minutes. Strain the petals from the apple juice.

For the watercress and chia emulsion
Wash the watercress in plenty of water. Dry, blanch for at least a minute, then transfer to a bowl with water and ice. Drain. Mix with the wasabi using the Thermomix at maximum power, until everything is emulsified. Filter and season with salt. Soak chia seeds in water. Sieve, then add the seeds to the watercress and wasabi emulsion.

For the purple chips
Heat the sunflower oil to 170°C. Peel the purple potatoes. Cut into thin slices using a mandolin. Fry fries and pat with paper towel.

The sip in combination, the Snow Tea

The sip in combination, the snow tea

For the finish
Alternate mackerel, escabèche sauce and watercress and chia emulsion, almost to form a camouflage. Finish with onion petals and purple crisps. Serve with the snow tea.

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