January 2019 | Wai Lin Coultas
AS PART OF French territories harking back to 1880, Tahiti’s closest gastronomy to a national dish, poisson cru, gives Spain’s fish ceviche a Polynesian twist – the addition of coconut milk. Unsurprisingly, this e’ia ota – Tahitian for “raw fish” - has birthed many delicious offshoots.
Drawing inspiration from Chinese influences imbuing poisson cru chinois and from other cru recipes with different types of seafood, this refreshingly light ceviche infuses the juiciest scallops swimming in Australia’s January waters with some flavours and textures of Vietnamese cuisine and the freshest accents of summer while remaining true to the definitive taste of Polynesia – the perfect starter before sumptuous mains of prawns on the “barbie”.
6 ½-shell scallops, meat & roe thoroughly cleaned & thinly sliced, shells cleaned & set aside
1 large orange, zested & juiced
2 large limes, juiced
100 ml coconut cream
4 tbsp fish sauce
3½ tsp honey
6 sprigs flat leaf parsley, leaves, flowers & sprig tips only
1 large sprig dill, finely chopped
3-4 tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds
Crispy fried shallots
1 kg pink Himalayan rock salt
1. ‘Cook’ scallop meat and roe lined out submerged in refrigerated plate of mixed orange and lime juices for 30 minutes; and another 30 minutes after turning slices over.
2. Meanwhile make marinade by mixing coconut cream, fish sauce and honey; stirring till honey dissolves.
3. Strain ‘cooked’ meat and roe and add to marinade; refrigerating for at least 1 hour.
4. Meanwhile mix orange zest with dill.
5. Strain out marinated scallop meat and roe. Toss in 2/3 zest and dill mixture; setting marinade aside.
6. To plate 1 individual serve: cover dinner plate with ½ Himalayan rock salt. Sit 3 upturned shells onto salt and lay ½ the parsley sprig tips on salt between shells.
7. Divide ½ the parsley leaves and flowers between the 3 shells before scooping 1/12 of scallop mixture onto each shell’s parsley. Garnish each with pomegranate seeds, crispy fried shallots and then 1 tsp marinade.
8. Heap the other 1/12 scallop mixture over this. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, fried shallots, 1 tsp marinade and finally 1/6 remaining mix of orange zest and dill.
Photo | Wai Lin Coultas