As I had previously mentioned, I’m currently in the final round of the Marx Foods Ridiculously Delicious Challenge. For the finals, we have to use the super-secret ingredient provided by Marx Foods to create a ridiculously delicious recipe! I’m so excited that the secret ingredient is fresh wasabi (I wrote about its unique properties here) and had such a tough time narrowing down my options to just one recipe.
So I didn’t…
Now I realize that Marx Foods isn’t looking for recipeS, just one recipe (no “s”) – so I am officially submitting one. But I absolutely love the “Iron Chef” feel of this challenge – one ingredient, now GO! I couldn’t help but build a whole meal around this rare but scrumptious ingredient. So let’s get started, shall we?
For the first course (and official submission), I present Fresh Wasabi Pasta with Pan-Seared Scallops in a Brown Butter Sauce (first photo). I had gone through a lot of dry runs in my head regarding this recipe – I really wanted to incorporate wasabi completely into this dish, without screaming WASABIIII! The scallops are pan-seared in wasabi compound butter to impart a hint of flavor without being overwhelming, while the wasabi pasta is subtle but omnipresent. The brown butter sauce ties everything together with warm, nutty aroma.
Recipe: Fresh Wasabi Pasta with Pan-Seared Scallops in a Brown Butter Sauce
Fresh Wasabi Pasta (recipe below)
1/2 stick unsalted butter
Wasabi butter (recipe below)
Salt and and Fresh Ground Pepper, to Taste
Grated Parmesan Cheese
1. Cook pasta in salted boiling water for 4-6 minutes, depending on pasta thickness.
2. While pasta is cooking, melt 1/2 stick of butter over medium heat until it browns. Toss drained pasta in brown butter and set aside.
3. Pat scallops dry thoroughly with paper towels (the less moisture, the better). Season each side of scallops with salt and ground black pepper.
4. In a large skillet, heat wasabi butter over high heat. Just before the butter begins to turn deeper golden in color, add scallops to pan.
5. Allow scallops to cook for 2 minutes on one side – no touching! After 2 minutes, flip scallops and cook for another 1 minute or until browned.
6. Arrange scallops on pasta and top with cheese. Serve immediately.
Wasabi Butter (used to pan-sear the scallops)
(adapted from the Marx Foods recipe here)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp soy sauce
3/4 tbsp grated wasabi
Pinch of sea salt
1. Soften butter at room temperature for 30 minutes
2. Meanwhile, grate fresh wasabi and let rest for 10 minutes.
3. Mash butter, soy sauce, wasabi and salt until well combined.
4. Allow to re-harden in the fridge.
Fresh Wasabi Pasta
1 2/3 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
3 1/2 tbsp grated wasabi
Water, as needed
1. Combine flour and salt in a food processor and pulse for 5 seconds. Add eggs and wasabi, pulse processing until combined.
2. Transfer dough to clean and floured surface. Sprinkle dough with additional flour and knead until smooth. If dough is too crumbly, add water drop by drop.
3. Divide dough into two portions, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour.
4. Place chilled dough through pasta machine, rolling to your desired thickness. Generously sprinkle a large tray or baking sheet with more flour, and allow rolled pasta to rest on tray/sheet. Continue with remaining dough.
The pasta-making is a bit time-consuming but fun, and the end result is mouthwatering! There’s nothing quite like making your own pasta from scratch.
But wait, there’s more. To complete the meal, I prepared a starter of Smoked Salmon Canapé with Wasabi Crème Fraiche:
I love crème fraiche and and its tangy flavor and creamy texture pair well with the bite of the wasabi.
Full yet? I thought not. This Wasabi-Crusted Tuna Steak with Wasabi Garlic Mashed Potatoes is meant to be served after the wasabi pasta:
Wasabi mashed potatoes were already posted on Marx Foods’ blog so I’m didn’t use this dish as my official submission, but who doesn’t love mashed potatoes? While I normally pair potatoes with beef, the tuna was hearty enough to hold its own. The fresh wasabi accompaniment was flavorful and nuanced in mouthfeel as opposed to a blinding spiciness.
Room for dessert? OF COURSE. We finish this mouthwatering meal with Green Apple and Wasabi Sorbet with Matcha Madeleines.
The sweet and tart dichotomy of the green apple balances the slightest bite that a touch of wasabi gives. I used the basic madeleine recipe I wrote about previously, substituting matcha for the lemon elements. The matcha madeleines tie into the Japanese theme of this course while remaining light and airy. The madeleines tasted appropriately green-tea-ish, but I would have liked them to be greener in color. Next time, more matcha, more matcha!!
There you have it, kiddos – a four-course meal that incorporates wasabi at every turn without being in-yo’-face. I hope you had as much fun reading about this meal as I did devouring it!
Which of these courses would you like to try?