A friend gave me a magnificent fillet of Tasmanian Petuna ocean trout and the caviar too! The same fish used by Tetsuya’s for the titled dish. For those of you who don’t know of Tetsuya’s or his signature Confit of Ocean Trout, this is arguably the most famous and photographed dish in Australia.
I didn’t mean to be a copy cat but I couldn’t resist. I am not lucky enough to have eaten the real thing but I took the recipe off the internet and tried to replicate the dish. Result, as pictured, looks less than half appetizing as the original dish due to my lack of technique and sense of presentation, poor lighting in the kitchen and lack of time to properly puree the parsley oil, etc, but yum!!!! No credit to me, you can’t really go wrong. Tetsuya san’s philosophy on this dish as I interpret it is to do minimal work to bring out the best of the ingredient. A delicate heat effect to slightly firmen up the flesh and to infuse the herbal flavours into the flesh.
Discovery. Petuna Ocean Trout is really, really good. The flesh is a little firmer and denser than salmon and taste is also dense. I had a couple of slices sashimi, and was wowed in an instant. But was over-wowed when I started eating the sashimi with the confit marinade like carpaccio and noticed that herb & oil dressing (I used grape seed oil, sage, coriander and garlic) goes much better with this fish than soy sauce. The confit, I don’t have a temperature controlled oven so I just used the pan over low heat. Honestly, I liked the carpaccio best. I also noticed that fennel salad really matches with Ocean Trout. Fennel is a vegetable I seldom use but its licorice like aroma really added a good accompaniment to the rich oily fish. The caviar, slightly smaller in size than normal ikura, provides really good side impact with its crunch popping texture. I remember a long time ago my mother made ikura in Connecticut and it tasted like this. Crunchy. She had been given some harako from a fishing friend or purchased it at a fish market. At the time, I could only compare to the normal ikura and I remember thinking the tough texture was a little too scary for me, relating too much with wild and too far from the familiar soft texture of ikura. Perhaps this was ocean trout caviar… I should ask mother.