We went. We ate. We cooked: Leo Carreira at Climpson Arch's cabbage, rice starch and mackerel

By
Eve O'Sullivan
Added
11 February, 2016

Fantastically fresh mackerel stuffed with kombu (a type of seaweed) left to cure overnight to heighten that ‘from the sea’ flavour takes the mantra ‘simple ingredients cooked well’ to a new level. When we tried this dish at Portuguese chef Leo Carreira’s (previously head chef at Nuno Mendes’ Viajante) restaurant residency at Climpson’s Arch, we knew, by hook or by crook, we had to get a recipe for it, and it’s accompanying cabbage thickened with sushi rice cooking water, too. You’re welcome.



Serves 2

1 whole mackerel, around 600g

200g fresh kombu seaweed or other seaweed

½ January King cabbage, shredded

300g sushi rice

5 tbsp lemon juice

4 tbsp olive oil

Salt


Open the mackerel from the back and slice down the middle lengthways, to butterfly. Remove the guts and the blood line under cold water. Clean with a j-cloth, and leave it on a perforated tray for 1 hour in the fridge so any excess water to to drip off. Alternatively, you can ask your fishmonger to do this for you.


Place the kombu inside the mackerel, then "close" the fish. Leave in the fridge covered with clingfilm for 10 hours, or overnight.

Blanch the shredded cabbage in salted water for 3 minutes, then drain, reserving a cupful of the salted cooking water, and then refresh the cabbage in cold running water.


Place the sushi rice in a pot with double the amount of water and overcook it. Once the rice is broken down, pass it through a fine sieve without pressing. Wait a couple minutes and let it drip, then press it with a ladle to squeeze out the last bit.


Remove the seaweed from the mackerel and cook on a barbecue, in a griddle pan or under the grill, until the skin is golden brown.


Once the fish is almost ready, put the cabbage in a pot and stir with the olive oil. Add ½ cup of the reserved cabbage water and 4 tbsp of the sushi rice starch from the sushi rice. Stir everything well until it is a smooth texture, then check the seasoning, adding in a little salt and lemon juice. Serve with the fish.



Find out more about Leandro Carreira and L.C @ Climpson’s Arch here, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.


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