#SaturdaySessions: Spanish nigiri

#SaturdaySessions: Spanish nigiri

A playful take on a Japanese favourite

Text: Denise Kok

Chef Carlos Montobbio shares a recipe from one of his most inventive dishes at Esquina

Make a visit to Esquina and you might see plates of tuna nigiri flying off the pass. But if you take a closer look at the dish, you'll realise they aren't of Japanese ilk. Under the playful hand of Head Chef Carlos Montobbio, brandade (an emulsion of salted cod and olive oil) layered with piquillo pepper mimics the form of the classic Japanese sushi. These delicate bites might require some time and effort to prepare, but when done right, they make for the perfect conversation starter at your next house party.   


Here's what you'll need
Makes 4 pieces

For the brandade

500g salted cod

250g diced Ratte potato

300ml garlic oil

10ml cream

Salt, to taste

White pepper, to taste

For the piquillo pepper glaze

100g piquillo pepper jus

20g light soya sauce

To top the brandade

4 pieces of roasted piquillo pepper sliced to resemble slices of tuna


How to make it

1. To prepare the brandade, cook the cod in boiling water for 2 mins and leave it to strain. In the same water, cook the Ratte potatoes till they become soft.

2. Meanwhile, reheat the garlic oil, add in the cod, and turn off the fire. Leave the cod to poach for 5 mins in the oil. 

3. Mash the potatoes.

4. Whisk the cod, mashed ratte potatoes, and hot cream together. Gradually add garlic oil into the mixture till it emulsifies. Add white pepper and salt to taste. 

5. To prepare the piquillo pepper glaze, combine piquillo pepper jus and light soya sauce in a squeeze bottle and set aside.

6. Before assembling your final dish, soak the piquillo pepper slices in the glaze for 1 min.

7. To assemble, shape brandade into four quenelles, top each with a slice of piquillo pepper, and finish with a light sprinkling of sea salt.

For last week's Saturday Sessions, click hereTo view more recipes, click here.