Shark’s fin melon in mushroom consommé
This gourd gets its moniker from the way its flesh disintegrates into shark’s fin-like threads when cooked. For silky strands that look like just the real thing, steam the melon until soft then pull the fibres apart with your hands.
Serves 2 Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
1 shark’s fin melon, approximately 350g, seeds removed, peeled
2 tbsp olive oil salt and pepper to taste
5 tbsp white wine
1 white onion, halved
650g mixed forest mushrooms
150g white cabbage
1 cup sweet white wine
5 cups water
pinch salt and sugar
1 white turnip, thinly shaved and lightly blanched to soften
3 tbsp basil seeds, soaked in water
80g maitake mushrooms, lightly seasoned with flaky salt and pepper and roasted
- Steam the shark’s fin melon in a steamer until it is soft enough to pierce with a fork, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. When the melon is cool enough to handle, pull its fibres apart, its strands should peel off thinly.
- To make the mushroom consommé, combine all the ingredients together in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 45-50 minutes.
- Heat up a non-stick pan with olive oil and sauté the melon strands with a pinch of salt and pepper. Deglaze with white wine.
- Divide the melon strands between 2 bowls and top with mushroom consommé. Float 2 slices of thinly shaved turnip on top of each bowl. Fill each turnip with basil seeds and garnish with roasted maitake mushrooms.
Excerpt from the October 2013 issue of epicure.