VEGETARIAN NIGIRI PLATTER
1 hour 15 min
1 hour 15 min
Mint Sake Sphere
1. Warm-up 3 tbs (45 ml) water in the microwave, combine with sake and mix in calcium lactate until dissolved. place basil leaves in small, demi-spherical molds (1 leaf per mold). Pour calcium mixture into molds and place them in the freezer for 1 hour, along with the glass of oil. (while you wait, make candied shallot nigiri and pistachio-chive butter.)
2. In a rectangular, flat-bottomed bowl, use a hand blender to dissolve 1 sachet sodium alginate in 2 cups (500 ml) of water. Warm-up in the microwave.
3. Unmold frozen spheres in alginate bath. Let sit for 3 minutes while gently stirring once in a while to prevent the spheres from touching.
4. Fill a medium-sized bowl with water. Using a slotted spoon, delicately collect the spheres and briefly rinse them in the water, then remove excess water from each sphere by applying a piece of paper towel on the bottom of the spoon. Reserve.
Candied Shallot Nigiri
5. Reduce wine vinegar on low heat for 10 minutes, until syrupy. While you wait, peel shallots (be careful to leave them whole).
6. In a large pan, heat butter and oil. Arrange the shallots in the pan without piling them up, add salt and bay leaf, and cook without turning for 5 minutes. Then, add in syrup and about 4 tbs (60 ml) reduced vinegar and heat through. Pour in water (the shallots should be sitting in it but not covered by it) and cover with a sheet of wax paper. Cook for 10 minutes.
7. Remove wax paper, wet with wine, and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring delicately once in a while to coat onions. Add in more wine if the liquid reduces too much. (while you wait, make pistachio-chive butter.) By the end, the onions should appear caramelized and glossy.
8. Preheat oven to 300°f (175°c) and finely chop chives. Roast pistachios in the oven for 10 minutes. In a food processor, pulse roasted pistachios into a fine powder. Continue blending as you gradually add in oil. Transfer to a bowl and mix in lime juice, chives and salt. Reserve.
9. Reduce juice to 1 cup (250 ml). Bring to a boil with saffron and agar-agar, then remove from heat immediately.
10. Remove oil from the freezer. Using a pipette held at a 90° angle, slowly drip droplets of the agar-agar preparation in the cold oil. Pour onto a sieve and above the sink to get rid of the oil and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
Soy Sauce Foam
11. In a rectangular, flat-bottomed bowl, combine water and soy sauce and sprinkle in soy lecithin. Using a hand blender, blend for 3 to 4 minutes, then let sit for 5 minutes.
12. To serve, collect foam using a spoon. If needed and to obtain more foam, repeat step 11.
13. Halve candied shallots and roll rice into balls. Brush each rice ball with a bit of pistachio-chive butter and top with half a shallot. Serve on plates with a shiso leaf, a sake sphere, a few passionfruit pearls, a big spoonful of balsamic emulsion, and some more pistachio butter.