“DANCE…AND FEAST…AROUND THE BIG BONFIRE OF TOTALITARIANISM”
I apologize for the speechlessness today. In the past couple days, it has been next to impossible to compose anything on wordpress because…
Every year in China around a historical holiday known as 6-4, a massive and elaborate celebration takes place. The great beast of China and its army of cyber-minions will gather, dance hysterically, and feast on the corpses of information freedom, and any non-Chinese-friendly internet activities around the big bonfire of totalitarianism. I have about a 5 minute window to finish/publish this post before the beast finds me. So my friends, please, help yourself with some disk fries and kombu miso butter sauce, for it is unbeatable in deliciousness and unrelenting in spirit…. A small and insignificant thing it may be, but nonetheless makes me feel slightly better to say – you can bet that the beast….
…ain’t fucking getting any
This is my absolute first time working with Kombu (dried kelp). So you see…anybody can do it. Kombu can be found on all major Asian grocery stores, or widely available online.
- Kombu miso butter sauce:
- 3/4 cup (169 grams) of water
- 1thin strip (7”x1”, 8 grams) of kombu (dried kelp)
- 1 tbsp of red miso
- 2 tbsp of rice vinegar
- 1/4 tsp of sugar
- 1 1/2 stick (170 grams) of unsalted butter, cold
- 1 tbsp of heavy cream
- 1 large egg yolk
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Disk fries:
- 17~20 baby potatoes
- 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
To make the kombu miso butter sauce: Break the kombu into small pieces and add to a small pot with 3/4 cup of water (use a narrow pot so the kombu has a deeper depth of water to soak). Set on low heat and SLOWLY bring the water to a simmer. Once the water has come to a simmer, immediately turn off the heat and let soak for 20 min, after which, the kombu should be soft and slippery to the touch.
Remove the kombu with a slotted spoon and reserve. Dissolve 1 tbsp of red miso through a fine sieve into the kombu-water, then discard the granules left on the sieve. Add the rice vinegar and sugar, then return the pot to medium-low heat and reduce the liquid down to about 1 1/2 tbsp (the mixture should have thickened slightly). This will take approx 10 min. Meanwhile, add the reserved kombu and cold unsalted butter in a food-process, and run until the mixture is evenly blended (stop the machine and scrape the sides a few times). Set aside.
Once the miso-liquid has reduced down, take it off heat and whisk in the heavy cream (which will cool the mixture down slightly), then whisk in the egg yolk. Then add the kombu-blended-butter, 1 tbsp at a time, and whisk vigorously to create an emulsion with the miso-liquid. Do not add more butter until the previous addition has been completely incorporated. When the pot has cooled down too much, and the butter isn’t melting or the mixture is too thick, return the pot a 3” above low heat to warm up. If the mixture breaks (looking more “liquid and greasy” than “creamy”), DO NOT PANIC. Simply add 1~2 tsp of cold milk and whisk vigorously. It should come back to being emulsified.
Once all the butter’s been incorporated, taste and re-season with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
If the sauce needs to be warmed up again, set it over low heat just for a few seconds while whisking vigorously.
To make the disk fries: Cook the baby potatoes in lightly salted water until completely cooked through (a fork should pierce through effortlessly). Drain well, then gently press each baby potatoes with the bottom of a small plate to flatten into a disk (don’t over-press it or the potatoes will shatter). Mix all-purpose flour with salt and black pepper, then drench each disks inside the seasoned flour until lightly coated (the flour will only coat the exposed flesh of the potatoes and not the skin).
Add enough oil to a pot so it reaches 1” deep, and set over medium-high heat. Test the oil by inserting a wooden chopstick into the centre. If it bubbles up fast around the chopstick, the oil’s ready. Fry the potato disks until golden browned on each side. Season them again with a bit of salt and black pepper once they come out of the fryer. Serve with the kombu miso butter sauce.