Deasy’s Har­bour Bar & Seafood Restau­rant, Ring, Clon­akilty, West Cork

Irish Examiner - Supplement - - FOOD & DRINK IRELAND -

Chef: Caitlin Ruth Dish: Korean Fish Cake with Cab­bage Salad

Deasy’s is a tra­di­tional old pub perched at the very edge of beau­ti­ful lit­tle Ring har­bour and, on a sum­mer’s eve as dusk falls and the lights within take to twin­kling and re­flect­ing off tran­quil wa­ters with­out, you may well find your­self think­ing there can be no more ro­man­tic din­ing venue in all of Ire­land.

And then you have the eclec­tic and highly in­di­vid­u­al­is­tic cook­ing of chef Caitlin Ruth to con­tend with each menu writ­ten daily de­pend­ing on the stream of fresh pro­duce that streams daily through her kitchen door, in­vari­ably de­liv­ered by the fish­er­men who caught it or the pri­mary pro­duc­ers who reared or grew same pro­duce.

We could have opted of any of five splen­did fish dishes but in­stead plump for some­thing ap­proach­ing a con­stant on Caitlin’s menus, her Korean Fish Cakes. Her menus may con­sist en­tirely of lo­cal pro­duce but her culi­nary in­flu­ences are peri­patetic and global and this dish is an ex- cel­lent ex­am­ple of this ethos in ac­tion. “I usu­ally use a mix of hake and ling be­cause ling gives more sub­stan­tial tex­ture. I make a spice paste, the usual Korean stuff, scal­lions and gin­ger sesame soy, gar­lic, pick­led chillis, stir it through the chopped white fish, stir­ring in thinly sliced spring onions, maybe an egg yolk or two to bind, de­pend­ing on con­sis­tency Pan fry it in olive oil over a low heat and then fin­ish it in the oven.

“The cab­bage salad is a kim­chi-style salad, not ex­actly kim­chi be­cause some peo­ple found it to strong so as not to over­power the fish, we de­cided to mimic kim­chi, mak­ing a sauce that you could stir into Chi­nese Cab­bage.”

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