Hideki Shimoguchi's White asparagus and clams with green-tea vinegar dressing
Recipe taken from Coco
For the Tosazu sauce:
30ml pale soy sauce
Sugar, to taste
Kelp, to taste Dried bonito shavings
For the sweet vinegar (amazu) sauce:
For the asparagus and clams:
4 large Japanese cockles (torigai)
1 geoduck clam
10g green tea leaves (gyokuro)
2 shoots myoga ginger, sliced
8 spears white asparagus
Perilla flower buds, to serve
Dried sea cucumber ovaries (hoshi-konoko)
The verdant flavor of green tea is reminiscent of seaweed, and together with the clams conjures up the aroma of the sea. The clams and green tea play complementary roles, while the sweetness of the gyokuro green tea (a fine, expensive type of green tea whose name translates as “jade dew”, a reference to the pale green color of the infusion) matches that of the white asparagus.
Heat the dashi with the vinegar, pale soy sauce, sugar, and kelp. Once boiling, add the dried bonito shavings.
Bring the vinegar, water, sugar, and kelp to a boil and then let cool.
Blanch the cockles and clam in very hot water and immediately immerse in icy water.
Soak the green tea leaves for 2 hours in the tosazu sauce, at 86°F (30°C) to make the green-tea vinegar.
Blanch the ginger, and pickle it in the amazu sauce overnight.
Peel the asparagus, steam in a steam convection oven for 6 minutes, and sprinkle with rock salt.
Cut the cockles and clam, ginger, and asparagus into bite-size pieces, arrange on a plate, and pour the green-tea vinegar over it.
Garnish with perilla flower buds and dried sea cucumber ovaries.