Added by redvespa | Fri 03 Jul 2009 @ 03:41
This is a little dish is my investion. I came up with for the auditions for Australia\\\'s Masterchef. The judges loved the dish... however, it seems that the executive producers didn\\\'t love me, which is why I\\\'m not on TV as we speak. Oh well, there is always next year. This dish in influenced by two of my favourite chefs. Teague Ezard, who often cooks with a masterstock and loves his asian flavours. It\\\'s also influenced by an Italian octopus dish, which I had at Fifteen, Melbourne, which was handmade by the one and only Jamie Oliver. This dish is basically a fusion of both. When you purchase your octopus, see if you can get octopus which has been in the tenderiser for a few hours. It\\\'s basically rolled around in a dryer like drum with some weights and beaten until it\\\'s tenderised.
1 Large Octopus, tentacles only.
3 litres (6 pints) water
250 ml (9 fl oz) light soy sauce
500 ml (16 fl oz) Shao Xing wine (Chinese cooking wine)
200 g (7 oz) yellow rock sugar
40 g (11⁄2 oz) fresh ginger
5 cloves garlic
3 cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
10 g (2 teaspoons) dried mandarin peel
Spices for bag
4 whole cloves
4 star anise
1 teaspoon sichuan pepper
1 teaspoon licorice root
1 teaspoon dried chilli
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Finely chopped chillies
Snow pea tendrils
Finely sliced kaffir lime leaves
Green Nam Jim
3 long green chillies, seeded and roughly chopped
3 green bird\\\'s eye chillies, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons roughly chopped fresh ginger
1 small red shallot, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
3 coriander roots, roughly chopped
50 g (2 oz) peanut praline (see Basics)
125 ml (4 fl oz) lime juice, about 8 limes
2 tablespoons fish sauce
Place all of the spices into a piece of muslin cloth and tie into a bag. Put the spice bag along with all of the other ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 10 Ė15 minutes to allow the spices to infuse.
Green Nam Jim
Use a mortar and pestle to pound the chillies, ginger, shallot, garlic, and coriander roots to a smooth paste. Add the peanut praline and pound it into the paste. Then slowly add the lime juice and fish sauce, a little at a time, until you achieve a good balance of sweet, hot and spicy.
Once your masterstock is ready, bring it to a simmer and place your whole octopus in the pot. Cook the octopus for 3 hours on a gentle simmer. Cooking for this time will help make the octopus as tender as possible and also help the octopus to release it\\\'s gelatine like properties. This is important later.
Allow the octopus to cool in the stock, until it\\\'s cool enough to handle. Gently take the octopus out of the stock and lay the tentacles along side each other on top of a long strip of glad wrap.
VERY tightly roll up the tentacles in the glad wrap to make a big long sausage. Once tightly wrapped up, help the octopus sausage stay tight by wrapping some elastic bands around the sausage. This will help the octopus keep it\\\'s shape when sliced. Place the sausage in the fridge to allow the octopus to set overnight.
The next day you can remove the octopus from the fridge, also removing the elastic bands and glad wrap. The Octopus should hold it\\\'s sausage shape while it\\\'s cold, so you need to work very quickly and carefully.
With a extremely sharp knife, thinly slice the octopus and place each slice on a plate. This is where you will see the beautiful pattern that tentacles make.
Drizzle the nam jim sauce around the plate, or use it as a dipping sauce.