Scallop and nori tartlet with ponzu trout roe

A canapé that perfectly encapsulates chef Charlie Tayler's approach to combining Japanese flavours and techniques with the best of British produce, these single-bite tartlets made from crispy nori seaweed contain a mixture of scallop, apple and pickled cucumber, which is then topped with ponzu-marinated trout roe. It might look intimidatingly impressive, but the dish itself is actually simple to put together – just make sure you use the best quality ingredients you can get.

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First published in 2022
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Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Ponzu trout roe

  • 40g of trout roe
  • 4 tbsp of ponzu

Dashi stock

  • 250ml of water
  • 15g of kombu
  • 5g of bonito flakes

Nori tartlets

Scallop filling

Equipment

  • Thermometer
  • 6cm tart tins 8

Method

1

Begin by pouring the ponzu over the trout roe. Give it a gentle stir, then leave in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour (3 hours is best)

  • 4 tbsp of ponzu
  • 40g of trout roe
2

To make the dashi stock, place the water and kombu in a pan and bring to 70ºC. Hold at that temperature for 45 minutes. After this time, remove the kombu, bring to the boil then add the bonito flakes. Pass through a sieve into a container and leave to cool. You could also use a ready-made dashi, but make sure it's good quality

  • 250ml of water
  • 15g of kombu
  • 5g of bonito flakes
3

To make the tartlet cases, cut each sheet of nori into 4 squares. Stack 3 squares of nori on top of each other, then dip them in the cooled dashi to make them more pliable. Sandwich the stacked nori between 2 metal tart cases (around 6cm in diameter), pressing firmly – any overhang can be trimmed away later. Repeat until you have 4 cases

4

Bring a deep pan of oil to 150ºC. Using tongs, hold the nori – still sandwiched between the 2 metal tins – in the oil and deep-fry for 3-4 minutes, until the bubbles stop. Remove from the oil, drain on kitchen paper and remove the top tartlet tin. Wait a minute for the tartlets to crisp up, then use scissors to trim the nori into neat tartlet cases. Set aside

  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
5

Shuck, clean and dry the scallops, ensuring any membrane is removed. At this point Charlie cures and smokes the roe to create a bottarga-like seasoning, but this is optional. If you'd like to give it a go, weigh the scallops, then divide that number by 10 and cover it with that amount of salt. Leave it to cure for 12 hours, then rinse off the cure and smoke the roe heavily with hay. Finally, dehydrate the roe in a dehydrator or low oven for 6-8 hours. As we mentioned, this is optional!

  • 2 scallops, the best quality you can get
6

Dice the cleaned scallop, apple and picked cucumber into 1cm cubes and mix together. Season with a pinch of salt and a dash of rapeseed oil, then stir in a few shiso leaves, reserving 4 for the garnish. If you have the cured, dried scallop roe, finely grate some into the mixture. Give everything a final stir

7

Fill each tartlet case with the scallop mixture then cover the top with the trout roe. Finish with a shiso cress leaf and enjoy in a single bite!

First published in 2022
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After working in some of London's toughest kitchens, Charlie Tayler travelled to Japan to further hone his craft. Returning to the UK a year later, he now leads the kitchen at Simon Rogan's chef's table-style restaurant Aulis London, where he cooks Rogan's signature produce-led style of food whilst simultaneously chatting to his customers.

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