Time: 1 hour
4 live marron
50 g black garlic
0.5g xanthan gum
3 sheets nori seaweed
100 g butter, at room temperature
10 ml fish sauce
10 ml yuzu juice
10 ml soy sauce
water, ice as required
salmon roe pearls
sea herbs or baby cress*
Place live marron in the freezer for 20 minutes prior to cooking – they are cold-blooded crustaceans and this will put them to sleep humanely.
Place a large saucepan of water over high heat and bring to a rapid boil.
Carefully add marron to the boiling water one at a time. Cook for 5 minutes.
In the meantime, fill a large bowl with iced water. Remove the marron from the saucepan with a slotted spoon and place in iced water to cool for 10 minutes.
Remove the head of each marron and, with a pair of scissors, cut the shell along the inside of the tail on both sides. Carefully remove the tail meat, place it in a bowl and refrigerate, covered, until needed.
(Do not discard the marron head and shells – these can be used for shellfish stock or bouillabaisse.)
Black garlic purée
Place the black garlic in a blender with 100ml of warm water. Blend on high speed for 1 minute. While blending, add 0.5g of xanthan gum and continue until incorporated and purée has thickened. Spoon the purée into a small piping bag or squeeze bottle.
Lightly toast the nori sheets over naked flame – such as a gas burner – for 1 second at a time, until crisp. Place the toasted nori in a blender and process until it forms a powder. Place butter in a medium size bowl with the fish sauce, yuzu, soy sauce and nori powder.
Mix all ingredients together well. Place in a container or small bowl until required.
Either collect an array of sea herbs and leaves from a coastal area or buy some from the fish markets. Samphire, sea bananas, sea lettuce, sea blight and warrigal greens would be ideal.
*If sea herbs are unavailable, use watercress, baby basil, tarragon, chives and/or dill.
To plate the dish
Cut the marron tails in half, removing the vein. Place on plate as two separate halves cut side facing down.
Warm a little butter in a small saucepan and brush it lightly over the marron tails.
Place a dot of the black garlic purée between the tails and add a small spoonful of salmon caviar to coat one of the tails. Delicately arrange small leaves picked from the sea herbs on top of the marron tail, leaving the other one plain for presentation.
If you have a smoking gun, cover the whole plate with a cloche and inject smoke from apple chips into it for 15 seconds before serving. To serve, remove the cover for that wow effect!