Mejillones de roca con algas a las hierbas frescas

A recipe by Ferran Adrià, taken from A Day at elBulli
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Rock mussels with seaweed and fresh herbs

Serves 4

Rock mussels

32 x 15 g (½ oz) rock mussels

1. Plunge the rock mussels a few at a time into boiling water for 10 seconds.

2. Remove the mussels from the water and leave them to cool at room temperature. 

3. Use a short, pointed knife to cut the muscle joining each mussel to its shell. 

4. Lift the rock mussels out, taking care they do not break.

5. Cover the mussels with their own liquor, which has been previously strained through a Superbag. Refrigerate.

Thickened mussel water

100 g (1/2 cup) rock mussel liquor, previously prepared

0.4 g Xantana

1. Strain the mussel liquor through a Superbag to remove any impurities.

2. Mix the mussel liquor and Xantana in a container.

3. Process with a hand-held blender to obtain a smooth, lump-free cream.

4. Refrigerate.

Sliced shiraita kombu in rice vinegar syrup

2 slices of shiraita kombu measuring 6 x 19 cm (2½ x 7 2⁄3 in)

120 g (½ cup) water

80 g (1⁄3 cup) rice vinegar

1.5 g salt

4 g sugar

1. Mix the water with the rice vinegar, salt and sugar.

2. Place the sliced shiraita kombu in a small pan and cover with the vinegar mixture.

3. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat.

4. Keep refrigerated for 24 hours.

5. Cut the seaweed into 12 x 2 cm (3/4 in) squares.

Shiraita kombu is the Japanese name for the slices taken from the middle section of kombu seaweed.

Seaweed

20 g (¾ oz) fresh nori seaweed

20 g (¾ oz) fresh samphire

20 g (¾ oz) fresh wakame seaweed

20 g (¾ oz) dulse seaweed

20 g (¾ oz) red tosaka seaweed

20 g (¾ oz) green tosaka seaweed

8 stems fresh purple glasswort

4 x 3 cm (1¼ in) stems pasteurized sea grapes

1. Clean all the seaweed (apart from the sea grapes) under running water to remove excess salt.

2. Refrigerate. 

3. Select the 8 x 4 cm (1½ in) purple glasswort stems.

4. Hydrate the sea grape seaweed under plenty of running water until it is smooth and moist.

Purple glasswort is an annual plant that grows in saline soils. The branches are fleshy and green.

Sea grapes (umi budo) take their name from the clusters of liquid-filled globules along the seaweed. They have a crisp texture and originate from Japan. The sea grapes should be hydrated just before presentation and finishing.

FINISHING AND PRESENTATION

1. Arrange the seaweed salad on the right-hand side of a moon-shaped dish in the following order: kombu, green tosaka, dulse, kombu, samphire, nori, purple glasswort, wakame, red tosaka and finally kombu.

2. Arrange the 8 mussels on the left-hand side following the edge of the dish to complete the circle started by the seaweed.

3. Arrange the fresh herbs over the seaweed.

4. Cover each mussel with a spoon of thickened mussel water and fill the middle of the dish with another spoon of the same sauce.

5. Finally, place a sea grape stem in the space between the rock mussels and the seaweed salad.

Cutlery:

Tapas cutlery, a 14 x 3 cm (5½ x 1¼ in) spoon and fork.

How to eat: Alternate the mussels with each type of seaweed. Take a little mussel water with every mussel.

EXTRAS

4 fresh basil shoots

4 fresh 1.5 cm (2⁄3 in) chervil leaves

4 fresh mint shoots

4 fresh tarragon shoots

 

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