An indulgent lobster claw and a refreshing rock melon mango sago. Executive head chef Nicky Ng and dim sum chef Liao Jing Chun from Mitzo Restaurant & Bar offer tips to execute these two dishes with aplomb. By Priyanka Elhence
Lobster claw with shrimp and sea cucumber, and rock melon mango sago with Hokkaido cheese tart
Stuffed lobster claw is a lavish seafood item on Chinese restaurant menus, but this dish can be replicated at home with a little effort. Nicky Ng, executive head chef of Mitzo Restaurant & Bar reveals his recipe for this exquisite dish, which is a supreme special appetiser on Mitzo’s à la carte menu.
“I decided to use sea cucumber along with the lobster, as the former has a leathery skin that adds texture to the shrimpstuffed claw,” reveals Ng. Since he uses an already cooked sea cucumber, Ng recommends boiling it for only two minutes to ensure that the flavour of the accompanying chicken stock seeps through and the sea cucumber retains its shape.
“By plating the dish as a tower, we’ve created different textural nuances and added an interesting element of surprise for the diner. Enoki mushrooms are sandwiched between the lobster and the sea cucumber, and the key is to not overcook the mushrooms,” says Ng. The step-by-step cooking instructions are easy to follow. The lobster is given a quick stir-fry at a very high temperature to achieve the desired hue without overcooking the delicate meat. Complemented by minced shrimp, the accompanying sauces add visual impact and balance to the wholesome dish.
For a contemporary dessert to complement the lobster claw, dim sum chef Liao Jing Chun shares his crowd-pleasing mango pomelo sago, accompanied by a tangy lime sorbet and a cheese tart. “Normally the pomelo segments garnishing the mango sago are the only source of refreshing tang in this sweet dessert. However, if you add a scoop of a good quality lime sorbet to it, you get a perfectly balanced sweet-sour bite,” says Liao.
For more crunch, Liao adds diced rock melon and shares his recipe for the smooth Hokkaido milk cheese tart. The largest of Japan’s 47 prefectures, Hokkaido is famous for its high quality, fresh dairy products, contributing to 50 percent of Japan’s entire milk production alone. “We use only the best quality milk and mascarpone from Hokkaido, because the resulting texture is smooth and luscious. It is also important to allow enough resting time for the tart filling, so that the final flavours reveal in a stronger but delicate character,” he lets on.
Liao also uses Hong Kong flour for this recipe to stay close to his Cantonese roots. The highly bleached flour provides the best texture for steamed and baked dim sum, rendering them soft and light. His parting tip? “If you’re preparing the pastry shells in advance, separate the unmoulded dough with baking paper between each piece, then chill. Make sure the dough is at room temperature before using,” he adds.