Picking seaweed and cooking it with brill & cockles



I went seaweed picking in the Oosterschelde together with my vegetable supplier Rungis. After that I'm going to show you how to use the seaweed in your dishes in combination with brill and some cockles. We're going to make seaweed oil, crispy seaweed, a fish farce, barbecued brill sauce and sous-vide cooked brill.



We’re at the Oosterschelde, a nature reserve with great water quality. Because of this the result is the most pure seaweed that is hand picked by Jan. Jan is one of the few in the Netherlands who has a licence to cut seaweed. Every day he walks with low water on the tidal shores to harvest all kinds of different sea weed. All with there own beautiful flavor & texture. Click here for more information on different seaweeds and their season, flavor and texture.



The seaweed oil

30 grams

sea-oakweed

120 grams

neutral oil (I use sunflower or grapeseed)

Transfer the sea-oakweed and the neutral oil in a blender and blend this till the oil is 70 degrees Celsius. It will heat up from the friction. After that pass it through a sieve that’s lined with a kitchen paper. Let this drain in your fridge.



The brill


Start by cutting around the head. Then cut along the center spine of the brill. Now put your knife more horizontal and cut along the bone under the fillet. Make sure you give it some pressure so you don’t waste any fish. Once you have reached the livers remove them and cut the fillet of. Turn the brill around and repeat the process we just did. Now make a small incision at the bottom of the fillet and pull the skin tight. Then gently slice the skin off. Let your knife do the work. Then portion them and keep the trimmings for later. Keep the fillets in the fridge. Now use a spoon to remove any left flesh between the bones and add it to the trimmings. Keep it as well in your fridge for later.



The toasted bone sauce

The brill carcas

1 big

onion

0.5

leek

4 pieces

star anise

2 grams

coriander seeds

1 gram

black pepper

250 grams

white wine

4 sprigs

thyme

0.5 liter

cream


First remove the eyes and the gills of the brill carcas. Then heat up your barbeque. After that tie some rope around the heat and let the bones toast above the barbeque for at least 3 hours on both sides. This will dry out the bones and give it a beautiful flavor. Once that’s done portion it in smaller pieces and keep it for later. Then cut the onion in half, clean it and chop it. Also do this with the leek. Now heat up a big pot, add a splash of oil and glace the onion and leek for 5 minutes with the star anise, the coriander seeds and the black pepper. Now also add the bones and glace for another 5 minutes. After that deglaze the pot with the white wine and let it reduce. Then submerge the bones completely with water, add the thyme and let it simmer for 50 minutes. Remove any floating egg whites when necessary. Once that’s done pass it through a fine sieve and let it drain for at least 30 minutes so you don’t waste a single drop. Then add the cream and reduce the sauce for 3 quarters. After that season it with salt and pass it through a fine sieve once more. Then keep it in your fridge for later.



The brill farce & roll

200 grams

brill fish trimmings

5 grams

salt

2

eggs

100 grams

butter

180 grams

cream

flax brick weed

Sea lettuce weed

1

lime

First transfer the trimmings in a blender together with the salt, the eggs and the butter. Then blend this till it's a smooth paste. Once smooth while mixing add the cream and when incorporated directly stop mixing to prevent it from splitting. Now transfer it on a sieve and press it through. Add some flax brick weed and fold it till incorporated. Then cover your worktop with a layer of plastic wrap. After cover the foil with some sea lettuce weed. Put a brill fillet on top and season with salt. Then add some lime zest and cover it with a thick layer of the farce. Spread it and then roll it into a tight roll. Use the foil to make it even more tight and then make a knot on both sides. Cook it at 71 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes and then directly cook it down in ice water for at least 3 hours.



The cockles

1

onion

4 sprigs

thyme

1 kilo

rinsed cockles

200 grams

white wine

First cut the onion in half, clean it and chop it. Now heat up a frying pan, add a splash of oil and glaze the onion together with the leaves from the thyme. Then turn up the heat and add the rinsed cockles. Fry it for 2 minutes and then deglaze it with the white wine. Cook them till all the shells have opened up and then transfer it into a big container. Then cover it and let them cool down in your fridge. Once chilled remove them from the shell and trim the bottom. After that scrape out the insistence with the tip of a knife and keep them in your fridge for later.



The crispy seaweed

30 grams

tempura flour

2 grams

salt

60 grams

water

Japanse Sargassum


First transfer the tempura flour in a bowl and season with the salt. Now while stirring add the water. Then portion some Japanese Sargassum and cover with a thin layer of flour. Now transfer them into the batter and deep fry them at 160 degrees Celsius till golden and crispy. Then keep them dry and covered for later.



How to finish the dish


Take the brill roll and portion it into the desired thickness with a sharp long knife. Remove the foil and them transfer it on a tray covered with a thin layer of oil. Cover them with some foil and heat them up at 90 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Meanwhile heat up the sauce and then blend for 30 seconds. Just before serving also add the cockles. Then transfer the fish on a plate and season with flaky salt. Now put some codium weed on top and drizzle the seaweed oil around the fish. Then lay the crispy seaweed on the codium and finish the dish with the hot sauce and the cockles.