Sea bass with a popcorn seaweed crumb

Sea bass with a popcorn seaweed crumb, yaki gyoza,  pickled mushrooms & radish, warm broad bean & mango salad, pea & wasabi purée and coconut foam

Created by Ayrshire College (2018/19)

Course: Starter

Servings: 4

Students: Vivienne Beresford, Shaun Bell, Gabriella Crawford

Lecturer: Annmarie Farr

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2 whole sea bass

Pickled mushrooms & radish
50g HonShimeji mushrooms, trimmed
50g caster sugar
25ml rice wine vinegar
40ml water
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
4 thinly sliced radishes

Pea & wasabi purée (making more than needed due to puréeing process)
250g  frozen peas, thawed
½  tablespoon plus ½  teaspoon wasabi paste
fine sea salt
freshly ground white pepper
50g butter, cut into tablespoons
½  tablespoon yuzu juice
1 finely grated lime zest
Piment d’Espelette

Broad bean & mango salad
Blanched and shelled broad beans
1/4 under-ripe mango

peanut oil

Popcorn crumb
1 tbsp nori seaweed flakes
1 tbsp black sesame seeds
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp coconut oil
75g popcorn kernels
2 tbsp butter

Coconut foam (recipe gives more than needed but need quantity for gun)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water
3.5g gelatin powder
400g (1 can) full fat coconut milk

Yaki gyoza
½ tbsp cornflour
4 ready-made gyoza skins, defrosted if frozen
½ tbsp vegetable oil

For the filling
½ spring onions, finely sliced
½cm piece of ginger  grated
½  garlic clove, crushed
15g water chestnuts  chopped
½ tsp soy sauce
½  tsp teryaki sauce
1 tsp cooking saké
½ tsp sesame oil
50g finely chopped/minced  fish – seabass trimings

  1. Scale the sea bass, fillet and remove pin bones, trim and if required cut the fillets into two.
  2. Label, cling and refrigerate until later.

Popcorn crumb

  1. In a pestle and mortar, grind the nori seaweed flakes, 2/3 of the sesame seeds, sugar and salt to a fine powder.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add 3 popcorn kernels, cover with a lid and cook over a medium heat until they pop.
  3. Immediately add the rest of the corn after the corn has popped, replace the lid and cook, shaking the pan occasionally until all the kernels have popped.
  4. Transfer the popped corn to a large bowl and pour over the melted butter, if using. Sprinkle over your sweet and salty nori mixture and use your hands to mix well until every piece is coated. Top with the remaining sesame seeds.

Coconut Foam

  1. Make simple syrup by bringing the sugar and water to a boil while stirring.
  2. Remove it from the heat and let it cool down at room temperature.
  3. Mix the gelatin with ¼ cup of coconut milk and let it hydrate for a couple of minutes.
  4. Warm the syrup in a saucepan until it reaches 90 °C (200 °F).
  5. Add the gelatin mixture and stir for a couple of minutes until it dissolves. Remove from heat.
  6. Add the previous mixture to the rest of the coconut milk and mix.
  7. Pour the coconut mix into the , charge it with one cartridge (use 2 cartridges if using 1 L ) and shake vigorously.

Pickled mushrooms & radish

  1. Bring the water and vinegar to the boil.
  2. Add the sugar, check for correct sharpness/sweetness then add ever thing else, remove from the heat.


  1. Mix all the filling  ingredients together and refrigerate.
  2. To assemble the gyoza, hold the dumpling skin in the palm of one hand and put a heaped teaspoon of the filling onto the centre of the skin, using your finger run water round the edge and seal, making sure there are no air bubbles, shape like a mini cornish pasty and refrigerate until use.
  3. Fry the gyoza on one side until golden then add a good splash of water to the pan and cover with a piece of tin foil with a few holes poked in the top. Cook over a medium heat for 3-5 mins until the water has evaporated and the gyoza filling is cooked through. Set aside while assemble rest of the dish.

Pea & wasabi  purée

  1. Boil peas until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and transfer to a blender. Add the wasabi paste and 6 tablespoons of water and purée until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper. Strain the wasabi pea purée through a fine sieve; discard the solids. Transfer the wasabi pea purée to a small bowl, cover and keep warm.
  2. In the same saucepan, bring 125ml of water to a boil. Whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until fully incorporated. Whisk in the yuzu juice, yuzu zest and piment d’Espelette. Season with salt and white pepper and keep warm.

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