Tetsuya Wakuda Singapore – confit of trout – ‘well my version’
The lucky Kennett condo were treated today to ocean trout confit inspired by the Japanese-born, but Australian chef Tetsuya Wakuda Singapore. He now resides and works at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore – hmmm don’t think I’ll be seeing much of him then as I loathe that place.
I had a couple of beers the other night and was chatting to the Chef, Alan, and he said have I tried this dish it’s amazing. Well OK then I’ll give it a go and boy did it turn out nice. Ollie consumed a whole fillet. Mary consumed half a big one and saved some back for Jude, but then Amy smelt it and devoured that bit leaving only a tiny little bit for Jude now. Poor little love. So if the devouring is anything to go by this must be good – right?
Here I did 2 rather large salmon fillets, following Tetsuya Wakuda Singapore recipe, which could have fed four actually. But the oil would be good enough to easily cook another 2-4 fillets as the flavours infuse so nicely in there, just keep re-using it. Now what we’re cooking here is unfit style, normally I have duck confit so this is my first foray in to the world of fish confit. Slow cooked in infused oil is the basic order of the day, so slow cooked that the fatty layers in the salmon don’t quite break down but sort of melt leaving the fish super super moist and flavoursome. So was the feedback. We’re accompanying this with a fennel salad to give a little tartness.
You will need;
- 2 salmon fillets;
- A fairly deep pan filled to about 3/4 full with olive oil – a big enough pan to house the fillets and the oil;
- 5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme;
- 5-6 sprigs of fresh fennel;
- 1 teaspoon of ground coriander seeds;
- 4-5 thinly sliced garlic cloves; and
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
Pour the oil in the pan and add all the ingredients except the fish. Place on a low heat and wait for it to warm. You should be able to stick your finger in the oil with no burning sensation. Yes it is going to confit in this oil at this low temperature to cook slow, and remain firm, and melt that fatty layer to retain moistness. So you want really a temperature around the 70 degrees mark.
Place in the fish, with skin side down, making sure the oil covers them completely. Give a little stir of the oil and set a timer for 10 minutes. Leave the fillets alone as they will get delicate and you want whole fillet not one broken to bits.
At 10 minutes give a little stir to move the oil temperature around to equal heat again. Set the timer for another 5-10 minutes depending on how thick the fillets are. You can quickly slip a sharp knife in to the thick piece of the fish and touch it to your top lip. If you feel warmth all the way you have done great and evenly cooked the fish. If you feel any cold spots, just let it go a few minutes more.
Whilst it is cooking you have plenty of time to prepare your wee accompanying fennel salad.
- 1 bulb of fennel that you slice as thinly as you can, or use a mandoline to shave it and place in a bowl. Then add in;
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice;
- A good pinch of cracked pepper;
- A good pinch of salt; and
- A drizzle of olive oil.
Mix these together lightly. Have a little taste. You want some zing, whilst being nicely balanced with the other ingredients. This really is a wonderful salad, something I think I will absolutely be adding to other dishes that are quite ‘heavy’ in taste.
Fish will easily be done now. Lift it carefully out allowing most of the oil to drip from it. Place it on your plate and add a little pile of the salad. I drizzled the fish itself with a little of the salad dressing.
Hey presto. Not so complex as Wakuda-san, and fennel not basil in the oils – but hey I can call it my own, inspired by the main man…
Tetsuya Wakuda Singapore