Langoustine and sea buckthorn tacos

A seriously clever dish which takes the idea of Baja California's fish tacos and reimagines them using wild British ingredients. Langoustines are gently cooked in a chipotle cream, before being garnished with a variety of interesting herbs. The sea arrowgrass replaces coriander; the sea buckthorn takes the place of lime and the sauerkraut adds a more complex crunch than raw cabbage. If you can't find the more unusual ingredients on the list then they can simply be omitted or replaced with your favourite herbs or lime juice; the results are still delicious.

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First published in 2021
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Ingredients

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Imperial

Langoustines

  • 6 langoustines
  • rapeseed oil, for frying
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • 1 pinch of langoustine powder, or chicken bouillon powder (optional)
  • salt

Chipotle cream

Sea buckthorn syrup

  • 100g of sea buckthorn juice, or tamarind paste
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 50g of muscovado sugar

To serve

  • 6 soft tortillas, (small)
  • sea arrowgrass, torn into small pieces
  • 6 tbsp of sauerkraut
  • samphire, or sea purslane
  • 1 tbsp sea buckthorn berries
  • sesame seeds, for sprinkling
  • chickweed
  • 100ml of sea buckthorn juice

Equipment

  • Syringe (optional)

Method

1

Prep the langoustines by placing them in the freezer for 20 minutes (this makes them easier to peel). If you’re using live langoustines, humanely kill them and then separate the head from the tail. Carefully peel the tails, then set aside

2

To make the chipotle cream, simply mix the cream and chipotle paste together

3

To make the sea buckthorn syrup, pour the juice and both sugars into a pan with 50ml of water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce by three-quarters or until dark, thick and syrupy (be sure to keep an eye on it and stir regularly so it doesn't burn). Leave to cool then pass through a fine sieve into a squeezy bottle – you will probably have more than you need for this dish but it will last for months in the fridge

  • 100g of sea buckthorn juice, or tamarind paste
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 50g of muscovado sugar
4

Place a frying pan over a medium heat and add the langoustine heads. Drizzle with a little rapeseed oil, then fry, turning occasionally, until cooked through but not dry. Lift them out of the pan and set aside

  • rapeseed oil, for frying
5

In the same pan, add the sliced garlic and gently cook until lightly browned. Slice each langoustine tail into 3 pieces, then add these to the pan. Gently cook for around 30 seconds until just beginning to turn opaque, then pour in the chipotle cream and add a pinch of langoustine (or chicken bouillon) powder and a pinch of salt. Cook very briefly then remove from the heat

  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • salt
  • 1 pinch of langoustine powder, or chicken bouillon powder (optional)
6

Place a clean dry frying pan over a high heat and allow to get very hot. Place the tortillas in the pan for a minute to heat through and soften, then remove

  • 6 soft tortillas, (small)
7

In the same pan add the samphire and/or sea purslane and lightly fry in a splash of oil. Add the sea buckthorn berries and warm through, then set aside

  • samphire, and/or sea purslane
  • 1 tbsp sea buckthorn berries
8

Now it’s time to build the tacos. Place a spoonful of sauerkraut and a little sea arrowgrass into each taco. Place 3 pieces of langoustine on top, ensuring plenty of the chipotle cream is drizzled over. Add a small drizzle of reduced sea buckthorn juice (or tamarind), then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Finish with the fried samphire, sea purslane and buckthorn berries, followed by the chickweed

  • 6 tbsp of sauerkraut
  • sea arrowgrass, torn into small pieces
  • chickweed
9

Finally, to serve, fill a syringe with fresh sea buckthorn juice and inject it into the inside of the langoustine heads. Bring the tacos to the table with a langoustine head on the side – squeeze the heads over the tacos like a lime to add sourness and the richness of the langoustine head juices

  • 100ml of sea buckthorn juice
First published in 2021
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Blending Mexican dishes and techniques with British ingredients, Santiago Lastra is treading a never-seen-before culinary path at his beautiful terracotta-toned London restaurant KOL.

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