One of our latest creations – a dashi broth made from Cornish ingredients and served with line-caught mackerel – featured in The Times last week. For those who missed it, here’s the recipe, and some words on our exec chef Michael Smith:
“Chefs tend to be a peripatetic bunch, but Australian-born Michael Smith has stayed put for more than a decade. “It’s such a fantastic location. We have to pinch ourselves everyday when we look out the back door of the kitchen at this amazing vista of St Ives bay,” says Smith, who has won acclaim for putting an Asian and Mediterranean twist on Cornish ingredients.”
Line-caught mackerel with Cornish dashi broth
25g sun-dried sugar kelp or dried kombu seaweed
50g dried flaked mackerel (this is semi-cured, smoked and dehydrated fresh mackerel fillets. Dried bonito flakes can also be used)
2 litres pure fresh water
1 live lobster (approx 450g)
4 whole mackerel fillets, butterflied with tail leftintact (you can get your fishmonger to do this for you)
8 hand-dived Cornish scallops, shelled and cleaned
12 Fowey mussels
12 Palourde surf clams
200g egg noodles
1 small chilli, thinly sliced
1 tsp fresh ginger, pulped
1 head Cornish greens or bok choi
4 spring onions, finely sliced
Put the kelp or kombu in a pan with the water, simmer for 10 minutes then cool to 80C. Add the mackerel or bonito flakes and steep in the stock for 5-10 minutes until they fall to the bottom. Strain through a muslin cloth and return to the heat. Boil until reduced by a third or until the flavour is to your satisfaction. Set aside.
Place the lobster in the freezer for 10 minutes then plunge into boiling salted water for 8-9 minutes. When cooled shell the lobster tail and claw meat and slice into chunks, reserving the legs in the shell for garnish.
Season the mackerel and push a toothpick through both fillets at the head end to create a small boat-like shape with the tail sticking up in the air. Place on a tray with a small ladle of the dashi stock added to it and cook in the oven for 4-5 minutes at 190C/ gas mark 5.
In a saucepan add the scallops, mussels and clams with the remaining dashi and bring to the simmer, then add the noodles, chilli, greens and ginger and reserved lobster meat including the legs and continue to simmer for three minutes.
Divide the noodles and greens between four large bowls and place a mackerel tail-up on top of each bowl. Ladle the dashi around the fish, while keeping the skin crisp. Divide the clams, mussels, scallops and lobster meat equally between the bowls.
At the restaurant, the dish is enhanced with pork-belly won tons and foraged samphire.