This dish showcases what head chef Ben Mounsey loves about food and cooking: “I love to use fresh, amazing quality local British ingredients and raise them to a different level with influences from around the world and by focusing on deceptively simple flavour combinations executed with finesse and originality.”
Preparation time: 60 minutes, plus 30 minutes for brining
Cooking time: 30 minutes
1 wild seabass fillet
1 large tin of sweetcorn
1 vanilla pod
4 salsify sticks
50ml lemon juice
Oil, for frying
80g miso paste
40ml soy sauce
½ bulb garlic
½ tsp chilli flakes
230ml rapeseed oil
20g brown shrimp
1. Begin by preparing the seabass. Mix the cold water and salt to create a brine, then score the fish skin and place the fillet into the brine for 30 minutes. After this time wash the fish off under cold running water for 10 minutes, then dry the seabass and leave in the fridge until needed.
2. To make the sweetcorn purée, drain the sweetcorn and place it in a food processor, putting the drained water to one side. Slice open the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds, then blitz them with the sweetcorn whilst reincorporating half of the sweetcorn liquid. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and season.
3. Next, peel the salsify and place it into cold water with lemon juice to prevent it going brown. Take one stick and continually peel the outside until there are only thin strips of flesh remaining. Deep fry these at 180°c until lightly golden brown. Place the rest of the sticks in a pan with half of the miso paste and submerge in water. Boil in the water until cooked through then chill in the liquor.
4. To make the miso dressing blitz the remaining ingredients apart from the oil, butter and brown shrimp in a food processor. Slowly incorporate the oil to create an emulsified dressing. Place the butter in a pan and melt until it reaches a nut-brown colour, then pass it through a sieve and reserve.
5. Pan fry the seabass placing it skin side down and cooking until the fish is almost cooked through before turning it over for a minute to finish on the other side.
6. Colour the salsify in a well buttered pan until golden brown and fold the brown shrimp into the melted brown butter.
Assemble all the ingredients on a plate and drizzle over some miso dressing to taste.
The Manchester Cook Book: Second Helpings is published by Meze Publishing. Retail price £14.95. Available for purchase in all of the businesses featured in the cook book and online at www.mezepublishing.co.uk/shop.