Green tomato, hazelnut and shiitake

Green tomato, hazelnut and shiitake

Green Pickled Peaches
Chris Chen

I feel a super sensitivity to the deliciousness of the deepfried banana because of the context in which I came across it during a particular time of my life. I find the mixture of hazelnut and shiitake meets a certain concept in my head about what constitutes super-charged umami-ness. So this composition is about harnessing ingredients which play up to the primary focus on hazelnut and shiitake.

For the red capsicum salt


Quantity Ingredient
1 red capsicum
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
sugar, to taste

For the hazelnut and shiitake mushroom paste

Quantity Ingredient
400ml light chicken s tock
5 dried shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, soaked in water for 1 hour
75g skinned hazelnuts
2 garlic cloves, smashed
3cm piece of ginger, smashed
2 coriander roots, scraped of dirt
50-100ml extra virgin olive oil
light soy sauce, to taste

For the chicken threads and green tomato

Quantity Ingredient
12 confit chicken wings
olive oil, for frying
peanut oil, for deep-frying
2 green tomatoes
1 quantity rice batter from banana fritters
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
rice flour, for coating
few small leaves or garlic flowers, to serve (optional)


  1. Make the red capsicum salt:
  2. Remove the seeds and membrane from the capsicum. Cut it into smaller pieces and dry overnight in a convection oven on the lowest heat until crisped but not coloured. Grind to a powder. Grind the coriander and black peppercorns to a fine powder and combine with the capsicum. Season with salt and sugar so that it tastes appetising and savoury.
  3. Make the hazelnut and shiitake paste:
  4. Put the stock, mushrooms, hazelnuts, garlic, ginger and coriander roots in a pot and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 2 hours until the mushrooms and hazelnuts are soft. The flavours and fragrances are very delicate so the mixture can’t be allowed to boil too strongly. (An alternative is to cook the pot in the oven at 170°C for about 2 hours with a lid three-quarters on.) Strain. Pick out the mushrooms and hazelnuts from the solids and put them in a blender or food processor along with the strained liquid. Blend to a fine paste, adding some of the olive oil if necessary to help it pass through a fine sieve. To accentuate the umami taste (savouriness), add light soy sauce, salt and white pepper to taste. Keep warm.
  5. Make the chicken threads and fry the green tomato:
  6. Prepare this just before serving. Remove the skin from the chicken and separate the meat. Using the part closest to the body which has longer strands, shred the meat into fine strands. Brush a non-stick frying pan with olive oil, put over low heat and slowly dry the strands to a crisp. Season generously with finely ground salt.
  7. Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 180°C. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and cut each quarter in half across the mid section. Dip each piece in the batter, then shake off any excess. Deep-fry until golden. Drain on paper towels and season with the red capsicum salt.
  8. Assemble the dish:
  9. You may like to use small leaves or flowers such as garlic flowers or torn-up nasturtiums to soften the bristly look of this dish. I picture this as a canapé, so serve the fried tomato with some of the hazelnut and shiitake paste. Pile the chicken threads on top and dress with additional capsicum salt and the flowers.
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