Cured Vimba Bream
1 kg Vimba bream filletsskinned
350 g coarse sea salt
150 g unrefined caster sugar
5 g dried kombu seaweed
400 g AP flour
65 g malt flour
8 g Salt
190 g dark beer
Drained Sour Cream
300 g sour cream
30 g gelatine mass
10 g Butter
10 g Oil
135 g dill topschopped
60 g chiveschopped
The malt puff idea began with a discussion I had with a chef who used to work at Ore.
She was from Saaremaa island and so I asked her what people eat there in the spring and summertime. She told me about a dish called “Äkis”. She said they usually cook it with white fish because it’s easy to clean, but some locals prefer to use Vimba bream because it has a better taste. So that inspired me to combine the two fish. Making a cured bream mixed with whitefish roe seemed like the perfect combination. And since “Äkis” is served with herbs, onions, and black bread, the flavors came together naturally and for me.
The presentation symbolizes rocks covered with seaweed that you can see along the island sea shores.
How to Make Cured Vimba Bream:
It’s worth noting that the fish has very thin bones running through the whole fillet, so there is no point in cleaning it. We chop the cured fish very finely, so you won’t be able to detect any bones in the final mix.
- Blend sugar, salt, and kombu in a blender until the kombu has broken down into smaller pieces.
- Spread some of the cure on a tray lined with parchment paper.
- Place the fillets on the cure and cover with more curing mix.
- Let cure at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Rinse off and place on a cooling rack.
- Place the rack in the fridge uncovered for 2 hours to get rid of excess moisture.
- Chop the fillets very finely.
- Weigh the final mix and add 10% of white fish roe and 1% neutral oil.
- Mix and place in a container.
- Keep refrigerated.
How to Make Malt Puffs:
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixer with a dough hook.
- Add the beer and mix until the mixture comes together.
- Take it out of the bowl and continue to mix by hand until fully hydrated.
- Wrap and place in the fridge for an hour to relax and cool.
- Cut a piece of the dough and run it through a pasta machine on the widest setting – nr 1.
- Work your way down through the settings and finish at setting nr 7.
- Fold the sheet of dough evenly. (Avoid using any flour at this point, or the dough won’t stick.)
- Using a ring cutter, punch out preferred sizes and place on a tray and cover.
- Repeat until you have enough.
- The dough scraps can be reformed and placed in the fridge overnight to fully bind together again.
- Heat a fryer to 190 C and place the cutout dough disks in the oil a few at a time and wait for them to puff.
- Turn them over frequently, and baste with hot oil until they stop sizzling, which means there is no more moisture in the dough.
- Remove them from the fryer and drain on a towel.
How to Make Drained Sour Cream:
- Place the sour cream in a sieve lined with muslin cloth. Leave to drain in the fridge overnight.
- Mix the drained sour cream with some chardonnay vinegar and season with salt.
How to Make Frozen herbs:
- Melt the gelatin mass by heating 100 g of water in a pot. Don’t let it boil or it will weaken the gelling properties of gelatin.
- Mix the dissolved gelatin water with butter and oil and add it to the blender.
- Add the chopped herbs and puree the mixture.
- Season with salt.
- Freeze the mix in silicone molds.
- Keep frozen until required.
- Malt puffs
- Cured Vimba bream mix
- Drained sour cream
- Onion brunoise
- Frozen herb mix
How to Serve:
- Using a paring knife, poke a hole in the top layer of the puff.
- Fill with the Vimba bream mix until half full.
- Layer with drained sour cream and onion brunoise.
- Using a microplane, grate the frozen herb mix on top and serve immediately.