80 (500g) Whole mackerel
100g grains of paradise
50g Sichuan peppercorns
40g black peppercorns
1.5kg rock salt
Tiger Nut Milk
500g (more if required) Filtered Water
10g Gola Peppercorn
10g Alligator Pepper
5g Black Cardamom
2 bay leaf
Colatura di Alici (Anchovy Garum)
Agraz Verjus (Lemon Juice to substitute)
Crunchy / acidic herbs
This is a simplified version of a dish we have on our menu. We are pairing a lightly cured and then grilled mackerel with a nutty, sweet and umami rich Tigernut Milk infused with sharp peppercorns from the Gola rainforest in Sierra Leone. We think of this dish as a kind of West African sashimi. It has all the core flavours of West Africa, with some really different and fun techniques. It’s a dish that many palettes could enjoy.
Toast coriander and black pepper corns separately. Cool and crush with pestle and mortar, and then combine with sugar, salt and zest. Place mackerel fillets flesh side down onto the cure for 2hr. Rinse the Mackerel thoroughly for 10 mins and pat dry. Remove the bones from the centre of the fish and cut the fillets in half and then again sideways.
Cover the nuts with chilled filtered water and leave to soak overnight. The next day, strain the tiger nuts, and then place in blender along with the strained water, blend at high until smooth, adding more water if necessary. The milk should have the texture of a light cream. Strain through a fine sieve lined with cheese cloth, and then a superbag, squeezing all the liquid out. Toast the peppercorns and the cardamom until smoking, then grind with a pestle and mortar, and then add to the nut milk along with the bay leaf. Leave to infuse for 1 hour and then pass and chill. Season with colatura di alici and lemon juice. It should be sweet, savoury and slightly acidic, but well balanced.
Slice the Okra very finely. Grill the mackerel on the skin until just charred but not so much that the flesh is cooked. It is important to just warm the fat in the fish without cooking it.
Place the okra into the bowl, followed by a few pieces of mackerel/ Based the fish in the Tigernut milk and then cover with crunchy leaves.