Gastronomixs

Sake sake don

Nick Bril is chef of The Jane** restaurant in Antwerp. Nick shares three compositions from his book Nick Bril 33 that is published in English this month. In addition to the 33 incredible compositions presented, the book also takes a look at Nick's busy life as he takes you on a journey across the world. Nick Bril 33 presents his journey from locations as diverse as Bangkok to the famous Belgian music festival Tomorrowland, only to return to the place that is at the centre of it all: The Jane. The dishes are divided into three categories: Street Food, Love Food, and High-End Food. The dishes from Nick Bril 33 that Nick has shared with us come from the categories Street Food and Love Food, which were created keeping in mind hobby chefs and home cooks.  These dishes are not a representation of the fine-dining signature that Nick brings to The Jane. For the High-End Food chapter in Nick Bril 33, which is aimed at professional chefs, no recipes or ingredient lists were included.  Instead, Nick tells the story that inspired each of the fine-dining dishes.

Nick started his career at Oud Sluis*** restaurant under the watchful eye of Sergio Herman. Oud Sluis closed in 2013, but it quickly became clear that the two chefs would continue their journey together as business partners at The Jane. The restaurant opened in 2014 and it wasn't long before the Michelin stars followed. As chef, Nick was given the space to develop his own style and apply it to his dishes. Sergio Herman is involved only as a business partner while Nick is the driving force behind the restaurant.

Nick is inspired and influenced by Thai cuisine and in his book it becomes clear just how much street food means to him. Nick: ‘If you want to cook with flavours from around the world, you need to go on a journey of exploration. If you want to work with chilli or fermented fish paste, you have to know where these flavours come from and learn the art of working with them in those countries. Only in this way can you create a new flavour palette built from basics.’

Nick about this dish: ‘I started working with sushi ingredients and then I fine-tuned them to my favorite flavors. I call it “sake sake don” because it’s a remake of a don buri, a Japanese rice dish served in a bowl. The salmon, “sake” in Japanese, is pickled in salt, sugar and rice wine. It is then seasoned with koji, which is actually the salted, fermented rice used to make Nihonshu (rice wine). There are a number of flavors that give it a kick, such as the vinaigrette, the spicy sesame crunch and the wasabi emulsion. In addition, the nori, enoki and tempura crusts give the dish its texture.’

Creation by Nick Bril, The Jane**, Antwerp, Belgium. Photography by Kris Vlegels. 

Sake sake don

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Ingredients

250

g

fine sea salt

300

g

sugar

10

g

black peppercorns

½

 

salmon

2

 

green shiso leaves, chopped

1

bottle

nihonshu (rice wine)

1

can

koji

 

 

black radish, cut into slices and pickled in dashi vinegar

150

g

sushi rice, washed

160

g

mineral water

1-2

g

salt

 

 

vintage soy sauce

 

 

mirin

 

 

dashi vinegar

50

g

egg whites

80

g

quality wasabi paste

35

g

Dijon mustard

10

g

water

10

g

sushi vinegar

pinch

fine sea salt

 

600

g

grape seed oil

1

g

xanthan

2

 

limes

 

 

fresh horseradish

50

g

vintage soy sauce

50

g

Kyoto green onion oil

175

g

dashi vinegar

5

g

ginger, steamed and finely chopped

7

g

spring onion, steamed and finely chopped

 

 

black radish, cut into slices and pickled in dashi vinegar

 

 

red sesame (ochanoko or Kyoto spicy sesame seeds)

2

cm

fresh wasabi, grated

1

 

avocado, sliced and fanned

1

pack

enoki

2

tbsp

bonito flakes

 

 

nori, cut into thin strips

 

 

green shiso shoots

 

 

shiso leaf, cut into small triangular pieces

 

 

young wasabi leaves

 

 

fresh tempura crunch

Preparation method salmon marinated in nihonshu
  • Mix the salt, sugar and pepper.
  • Take a dish that can hold an entire salmon fillet. Cover the bottom with the salt mixture, lay the salmon skin-side down on the mixture and cover the fillet with the rest of the mixture.
  • Add the chopped shiso leaves and pour the Nihonshu over the fish until it is completely covered.
  • Marinate for 24 hours, turn the filet over and allow to marinate an additional 8 hours.
  • Rinse and dry with a cloth.
  • Cut some slices of the salmon, lay them out, top with the slices of pickled black radish and season with the koji.
Preparation method sushi rice
  • Steam the rice in salted mineral water for 26 minutes and season with vintage soy sauce, a little mirin and dashi vinegar.
Preparation method wasabi cream
  • Mix all ingredients, except the grape seed oil and horseradish, for 1 minute in the blender. Then add the grape seed oil drop by drop to thicken the mixture.
  • Finish with fresh lime juice to taste and some freshly grated horseradish.
Preparation method Kyoto green onion vinaigrette
  • Mix all ingredients.
Finishing and presentation
  • Start with the lukewarm rice, drizzle with red sesame, lay the salmon on the rice and finish with the wasabi emulsion and fresh wasabi.
  • Garnish the bowl with the avocado and drizzle with a generous amount of stirred vinaigrette.
  • Finish with the nori, enoki, bonito, shiso, wasabi leaves, and tempura crunch.

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