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Japanese Style Baked Seafood

17 Jan

(serves 4)
Creamy morsels of tasty seafood, baked to perfection in a fusion version of seafood newburg or lobster thermidor. One cannot help but be amazed at the wonderous properties of miso that allow a wholesome meal to be cooked without salt, sugar, spices, hebs or cheese for that matter. I’m sure you’ll find this dish a refreshing change.

Ingredients

  1. Lobster/Crayfish meat (200g)
  2. Crab meat (100g)
  3. Medium Prawns (100g)
  4. Scallops (100g)
  5. Mushrooms (1.5 cups diced)
  6. Leek (3/4 cup chopped)
  7. Pressed Garlic (2t)
  8. Milk (1 cup)
  9. Miso (3t)
  10. Honey (1t)
  11. Mayonnaise (4t)
  12. Brandy (3T)
  13. Flour (1T)

Preparation

  1. Its much easier to de-shell lobster and crab if they are pre-boiled, so do this before anything else if you procured the raw variety. Canned dressed crab is an easier option for crabs.  Its alright to leave the prawns (de-shelled) and scallops raw.
  2. Cut all your seafood meat into 1/2 inch pieces, keeping the raw meat seperate from the cooked. Also cut your leek into thin diagonal discs and your mushooms into 1/4 inch cubes.
  3. The miso base comes first. In a small pan, fry in oil 2t of garlic that has been through a press until they begin to brown, then spoon in 3t of miso followed by 3T of brandy. Stir fry for a minute and then add 1/4 cup of water, using it to mash the paste into an emulsion. When the mixture reboils, drizzle in 1t of honey before removing from heat.
  4. In a larger pan fry the leek under high heat in a few T of oil, until it begins to soften.  Add in your prawn and scallop and continue to stir occasionally until the meat begins to shrink.
  5. Keep the heat on high. Add few more T of oil and then sprinkle on 1T of flour. Stir-fry for a further minute to cook the flour and then pour in 1 cup of milk slowly, while stirring.
  6. When the milk starts to bubble and thicken, add miso mixture, the cooked meat, and the mushrooms. Cook for 1 minute further and then remove from fire.  Mix in 4t of mayonnaise and 2t of black pepper.
  7. Spoon the seafood mixture into either individual ramekins or a casserole dish to await baking. When the time comes, preheat your oven to 200oC (390oF) and bake for 15 minutes. I think this bake is best served with steamed white rice but you can use other staples instead, but preferably not potatoes.

Notes

  • Crustacean meat turns mushy very quickly when it is not cooked quickly. So its always preferable to cook lobsters, prawns, crayfish, crabs, scampi etc under high direct heat. That’s why we shouldn’t put raw seafood into sauce and let the baking cook it.
  • As a option you may reserve the lobster or crab shells as baking vessels, as shown in the photo. For an all-in-one meal I sometimes place a bed of cooked rice under the seafood mix before baking (there’ll be no room to do this if you are using the shells of course).
  • I have on occasion substituted whole oysters for the crustacean meat with good results. You might want to give it a try. In Japan, they would use julienned white turnip instead of leek, you can experient with that as well.
  • If you are not familiar with miso, which one might consider the analogue of cheese in Japan, refer to this post of Kobi’s Kichen.
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