Roast hispi cabbage, mussels, clams, aioli

  • medium
  • 4
  • 2 hours 20 minutes

Michael Bremner puts hispi cabbage centre-stage in this beautiful dish, pan-roasting the cabbage in butter and serving with an intense seafood soup, kelp crumb, mussels, clams and a healthy dose of mellow aioli on the side. The fish soup makes much more than is needed for this dish alone, but it freezes well and can be used in other dishes – using it to poach fish and shellfish for a twist on bouillabaisse would work particularly well.

First published in 2018




Roast hispi cabbage

Fish soup base


Kelp crumb

Steamed mussels and clams

To serve

  • 1 knob of butter, (to finish the soup)
  • extra virgin olive oil


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
To begin, make the fish soup base. Add the fish bones to a large roasting tin with the onion, fennel, leek, celery, garlic, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, star anise and olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes then stir in the tomato paste and roast for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and deglaze the tray with the white wine, scraping the bottom to remove any residue
Transfer to a large pan and add the brandy and Pernod. Cook out for 5 minutes, then add enough water to cover the bones by an inch. Add the tinned plum tomatoes, lemongrass, potato and saffron and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 35 minutes
Pass the stock through a fine sieve into a clean pan and reduce to the consistency of single cream. Taste the soup, adjusting the seasoning if necessary, and set aside
To prepare the garlic for the aioli, place the oil and garlic in a pan and confit the garlic over a very low heat until it is cooked through but not coloured. Allow to cool
For the kelp crumb, melt the butter in a pan and add the breadcrumbs, cooking until golden brown. Add the kelp powder and salt to taste then store in an airtight container until ready to serve
When the garlic and oil has cooled, blitz together the egg yolks, mustard, vinegar and cooked garlic for 2 minutes in a blender then slowly pour in the garlic-infused oil until you have a nice thick mayonnaise. Cover and chill until needed
To cook the cabbages, remove the outer layers of leaves and wash thoroughly. Cut each cabbage in half. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat and cook the cabbage halves on all sides until they are nicely coloured. Season with Chardonnay vinegar and salt
Meanwhile, steam the mussels and clams separately just until the shells start to open. Remove the meat from the shells and set aside
When ready to serve, heat 200ml of the fish soup in a pan with a knob of butter over a high heat, whisking to emulsify. Place the cabbage on the centre of each plate and top with the shellfish
  • 1 knob of butter, (to finish the soup)
Add a dollop of the aioli to the plate next to the cabbage, pour the fish soup to the side and spoon the kelp crumb over the top. Drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately
  • extra virgin olive oil

Few chefs cooking today are as exciting as Michael Bremner, who takes flavours from all over the world and distills them into beautiful small plates of deliciousness at his acclaimed restaurant in Brighton.

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