NoshGirl Chef: WASABI!

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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
Serves 2

Fresh Wasabi Pasta (recipe below)
1/2 stick unsalted butter
Wasabi butter (recipe below)
6 scallops
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?

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  • Reply
    Bicoastal Bride
    March 23, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Yum! That sorbet sounds delicious!

  • Reply
    March 23, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    So many delicious recipes! OMG. Mashed potatoes? You clearly made them for me.

  • Reply
    March 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Oh my gosh, you never cease to amaze me! This looks absolutely delicious.

  • Reply
    Micah and Catherine
    March 23, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    WOW! I can't believe you came up with all that. I've had Wasabi mashed potatoes and loved them.

  • Reply
    Geek in Heels
    March 23, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Ohmigosh those scallops look DIVINE! I can almost taste it…yum!

  • Reply
    March 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    How about all of them??? Totally "drooling all over my work keyboard" worthy!

  • Reply
    San Jose Love
    March 23, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I can't believe you consider yourself a beginner chef. These look delicious and fancy. Hope you win!

  • Reply
    Ali @ His Birdie's Nest
    March 23, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    OMG I want to eat all of them! Mainly the scallops b/c I love scallops 🙂

  • Reply
    March 23, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    i don't even know where to start. this post rocks. i have to go now, bc i have to go buy a madaleine baking pan 🙂

  • Reply
    March 23, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    I am super impressed 1-that you made so many dishes 2-that there are so many uses for wasabi (who knew) and 3-that you made FRESH pasta.

  • Reply
    March 24, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Wow! You kicked ass on this challenge! Who knew there was so much you could do with wasabi?!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2011 at 2:20 am

    Wow! I'm so impressed by you! I love pasta so I'd love to try that dish. The scallops look really good. Great job! I hope you win!

  • Reply
    Chic 'n Cheap Living
    March 24, 2011 at 4:18 am

    You are a star! I want the wasabi pasta please!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  • Reply
    March 24, 2011 at 5:07 am

    Love that you went all out! I also am having a hard time deciding and am thinking of doing a trio… but with totally different flavors. I'm especially a fan of the green apple and wasabi sorbet – that sounds like a great combo!

  • Reply
    Amy Stewart
    March 24, 2011 at 5:34 am

    Yum! I bet it tasted as delicious as it looks!! Just found your blog. Newest follower. 🙂

    Rope Bracelet GIVEAWAY!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Good luck on the challenge! All the dishes look amazing!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Your wasabi pasta and scallop dish looks & sounds out of this world. I am so impressed! Very well done!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Wow you outdid yourself! Seriously impressed here!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    I am drooling here over nmmy keyboard!! LOL. Good luck, sweetie 🙂

  • Reply
    March 24, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Truly amazing! I am in awe! Good luck with the competition!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I love homemade pasta…and yours looks so good!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    so many great ideas here! wasabi mashed potatoes are always a classic, and i thought about pairing it with pasta or matcha, too 🙂 wasabi butter… that might be happenning with the last of mine!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    the fresh pasta looks soo good. your creativity with recipes amazes me!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    What a delicious – and spicy – set of dishes! Your pasta is inspiring me to get off my butt and get a pasta attachment for my Kitchenaid…even though my UWS kitchen is already overflowing…

  • Reply
    honey my heart
    March 25, 2011 at 2:56 am

    you did such a good job! those scallops look amaaaazing.

  • Reply
    March 25, 2011 at 6:33 am

    This is wasabi madness, for sure you didn't waste a piece of that wasabi. Everything looks so delicious, I love the tuna and wasabi mashed potatoes combination usually, but to be honest never tried the wasabi sorbet. I am ready to give it a try (if I ever manage to find fresh wasabi), it looks so gooooooooooood.

  • Reply
    March 25, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    What a great idea to make wasabi pasta! Love it on the scallops, too…
    Everything looks super-delish!

  • Reply
    Kelly @ The Startup Wife
    March 26, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    All of that looks so amazing!!! Seriously, what a creative and totally inspiring meal.

    I've never had fresh wasabi, sadly … but this is so tempting. The pasta especially looks amazing.

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 12:24 am

    holy crap woman. You had me at scallops. I'm hiring YOU for my next event. 😉

  • Reply
    A Thought For Food
    April 5, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Congrats on the win!!!

  • Reply
    April 6, 2011 at 2:01 am

    Thank you!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Leslie Uhl
    April 6, 2011 at 4:19 am

    Congratulations!!! Awesome job and can't wait to see what you cook up with your winnings!

  • Reply
    May 4, 2011 at 1:49 am

    wow this looked like a ton of effort but oh so rewarding!!

  • Reply
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