Virgin pacific oyster with grilled sea foam

Virgin pacific oyster with grilled sea foam

By
From
Marque
Serves
12
Photographer
Stuart Scott

These little nuggets of iodine from Coffin Bay, South Australia, are adorned with a foam made from their own liquor, a little sugar and vinegar. Calling it sea foam is evocative and enhances the relationship between the two elements. One erudite critic described eating the dish as ‘getting dumped in the ocean and swallowing a fish’. I took it as a compliment.

Ingredients

Method

  1. Wash 1 dozen small to medium Pacific oysters – at Marque, we use small Coffin Bay oysters from South Australia, which are 5 to 6 centimetres in length and are very sweet and plump. Shuck the oysters and reserve their liquid in a small saucepan. Place the oyster shells on a tray lined with foil. Wash any shell shards off the oyster flesh, put the oysters back in their shells, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required.
  2. To make the sea foam, bring the reserved oyster juice to the boil in a small saucepan and strain the liquid through a coffee filter into a bowl. Allow to cool. Add enough pickling stock to the oyster juice to make up to 500 millilitres of liquid. Add 1.25 per cent Versa-whip by volume and 0.25 per cent xanthan gum by volume. Combine the mixture with a wand blender and leave to hydrate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  3. We usually serve the oysters on salt pillows and garnish the plate with fresh or rehydrated seaweed, depending on the season. To make the salt pillows, add a small amount of egg white to medium–coarse sea salt. Work the egg white through the salt, adding more if necessary. Spoon some salt mixture onto each serving plate.
  4. Put the oyster foam mixture in a heavily chilled mixer bowl. Whip on high speed until it reaches the texture of Italian meringue.
  5. To serve, top each oyster with 1 heaped tablespoon of foam. Use a cook’s blowtorch to caramelise the foam to a deep golden brown. Press 1 oyster into each salt pillow so that it remains stable. Garnish with seaweed. Serve the oysters immediately to maintain the integrity of the foam and the contrast in temperature between the oyster and its topping.
Tags:
Marque
Mark
Best
Pei
Modern
restaurant
chef
high
end
fine
dining
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