THE ART OF EXPERIMENTS. Experimental cuisine extraordinaire Chris Salans shares his love of homegrown Indonesian flavours with Each recipe taking gastronomes on an authentic and cultural journey
Young Jackfruit-Cèpe Soup
It was back in 1996 when Chris Salans, then the executive chef of The Legian in Bali, first began a love affair with the bright and unique flavors of Balinese food and ingredients. He boldly combined these fresh and exciting flavors with classic western cooking techniques to produce a cuisine that was unlike any other. Mozaic Restaurant Gastronomique, founded by Salans in 2001, was the first in Southeast Asia to be recognized by the prestigious Traditions et Qualité association as a member of “Les Grande Tables Du Monde,” joining an exclusive membership including world most famous restaurants such as Lucas Carton (Alain Senderens), Le Louis XV and Plaza Athénée (Alain Ducasse), Guy Savoy (Guy Savoy) and The French Laundry (Thomas A. Keller). Since then, he has also starred as a guest chef on both “MasterChef Indonesia” in 2012 and “Top Chef Indonesia” in 2013.
“Imagine you like to paint, and you go to a new country, and all of a sudden you discover 300 new colors. Must be exciting, right? You’re an artist and you suddenly discover new notes. I’m a chef and am always on the hunt for new flavors!” explains the inventive Chef Salans, pointing out what can be achieved when quality ingredients are combined with spontaneity and imagination. “I didn’t have my monkfish, truffles or peaches, and so initially I was lost. However, I then began foraging, looking for what was in Indonesian waters, forests and soil, and really sourcing typical Indonesian ingredients.” By sharing his expertise and discoveries, Chef Salans hopes to promote Indonesian cuisine to the world.
YOUNG JACKFRUIT-CÈPE SOUP
When Chef Salans first tasted jackfruit in its unripe vegetable form, it instantly reminded him of an artichoke. To capitalize on this, he then combined eastern and western flavors through the use of cèpe (or porcini) mushroom and a western texture: creaminess. One of Mozaic’s early classics, it offers diners a pleasantly familiar yet completely surprising soup experience.
- 75gr cèpe mushroom
- 100ml salad oil
Traditional jackfruit stew:
- 2 teaspoons Balinese basa gede spice mix
- 250ml chicken stock
- 125gr young jackfruit, peeled
- 1/2 lemongrass stalk, crushed
- 1 salam leaf
- salt and white pepper
- 100ml cream
- 100gr cèpe mushroom
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp salad oil
- 10 wooden skewers
- 10 sprigs fresh herb of your liking for garnish
Start by gently frying the cèpe in oil in a saucepan over low heat for one hour, stirring occasionally to make sure the cèpe doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Allow to cool to room temperature.
For jackfruit stew, cut the jackfruit into 2cm thick slices. Place in a large pot covered with water and bring to the boil. Simmer until the jackfruit is half cooked (slightly harder than al dente). Strain and place the jackfruit into a clean pot with all the other ingredients. Bring to the boil and cook until the jackfruit is soft enough to be blended into a puree. Remove the salam leaf and lemongrass stalk and blend until smooth. Gradually pour in the cèpes and accompanying oil. Strain and place into a saucepan. Bring the soup to the boil, add in the cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.
For cèpe sate, cut the cèpe into regular dice 1½cm x 1½cm and skewer them on wooden skewers. Season the cèpe with salt and pepper and grill, or sear, with the salad oil.
To finish, place the hot jackfruit cèpe soup and a cèpe skewer in hot bowls and garnish with fresh herbs.
“Imagine you like to paint, and you go to a new country, and all of a sudden you discover 300 new colors. Must be exciting, right?”
Gindara Carpaccio in Macadamia
GINDARA CARPACCIO IN MACADAMIA
Garnished with caviar and vodka cream, this gindara dish makes for a delicious light appetizer. The dressing is a delightful concoction of fresh, local ingredients, including vanilla beans and Balinese Lemon Pepper.
Balinese lemon pepper lavash:
- 100gr flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 egg
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1 egg for egg wash
- 1 tbsp water for egg wash
- Balinese lemon pepper, ground
- sea salt
Vanilla macadamia dressing:
- 80ml macadamia oil, extra virgin
- 50ml lemon juice
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds only
- salt and black pepper
- 240gr fresh gindara fish
- 65gr crème fraiche
- ½ tbsp lemon zest, julienne & blanched 3 times
- 1 teaspoon vodka
- 1 wedge lemon, juiced
- salt and white pepper
- 6 teaspoon caviar
- 1 teaspoon macadamia nuts, roasted and chopped
- 1 pinch Balinese lemon pepper, toasted & crushed
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, julienne & blanched 3 times
- sea salt
- 1 punnet micro coriander herbs
Mix all ingredients of Balinese lemon pepper lavash together (except for the lemon pepper and sea salt) in a small dough mixer until everything is homogenous. Using a pasta roller, roll the dough as thin as possible without breaking it. Cut the rolled-out dough into a small triangular shape (about 1.5cm wide x 4cm high). Brush with an egg wash (mixed egg and water) and sprinkle with the lemon pepper and sea salt on top. Bake at 160C for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool at room temperature and keep in an airtight container. To make the vanilla macadamia dressing, mix all the ingredients together and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside—the longer, the better for taste. Using meat hammer, flatten slices of gindara to get a perfectly round shape. Place each circle of gindara onto a plate. Plastic-wrap them and refrigerate immediately.
For vodka cream, mix all the ingredients together and season to taste with salt and pepper (and more vodka if you wish!) Keep in the refrigerator for one hour minimum to allow the cream to set. To finish, remove the plates with the carpaccio from the refrigerator. Spread the vanilla dressing over the carpaccio pieces so that they are moist but not overly covered in marinade. Sprinkle with sea salt, lemon pepper, lemon zest julienne and the roasted macadamia nuts. Garnish with the caviar, micro herbs, the pepper lavash and the vodka cream.
Sesame Crusted Fish
SESAME CRUSTED FISH
By experimenting with various textures and different levels of acidity, bitterness and sweetness, Chef Salans created the perfect tomato salad. Topped with a modern interpretation a traditional Balinese dish, sambal be tongkol, the salad’s use of tuna and ginger flower is a delightful combination.
- 160gr cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 baby star fruit, sliced
- 2 rosewater apples, sliced into segments
- 50 ml olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ginger juice
- 1 tbsp finely sliced fresh herbs (such as lemon basil)
- 1 tbsp finely chopped shallots
- 1 tbsp finely sliced chives or spring onions
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon toasted shrimp paste
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tbsp finely sliced Lombok chili
- 3 tbsp finely sliced shallots
- 1 tbsp finely sliced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp finely sliced ginger flower
- ½ lemon (or any fragrant lime)
- 1 finely sliced lemon leaf (or any edible lime leaf)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- salt to taste
- 320gr tuna fillet cut into 4 x 80gr appetizer portions (or 2 x 160gr main course portions)
- 60gr untoasted white sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp salad oil
- 1 tbsp Asian sesame oil
- salt and pepper
- sea salt for garnish
For salad, place cherry tomatoes, baby star fruit and rosewater apple into a bowl. Drizzle olive oil, red wine vinegar and ginger juice over the top. Add herbs, shallots, chives, salt and pepper. Toss ingredients and adjust seasoning. Set aside for a minimum of 30 minutes.
To make the relish, crumble the shrimp paste and salt together in a bowl. Add the shallots and half tablespoon of coconut oil and, using your fingers in a light rubbing motion, combine the ingredients for one minute. Add the chili and combine in the same manner, adding the remaining coconut oil as needed to the mixture to ensure adequate moistness. Repeat this process with the lemon leaf, followed by the ginger flower. Finally, add tomatoes and squeeze in the juice of the half lemon, throwing the remainder into the mixture also. Do a final toss and adjust with seasoning.
Season the tuna fillet with salt and pepper on both sides before patting one side with sesame seeds. Heat the salad oil and half of the sesame oil in a skillet until lightly smoking and place the tuna fillets, sesame seed side down, into the oil. Sear the tuna on one side only, until the sesame seeds are golden brown and the tuna is cooked to your liking. Remove from pan and drain excess oil on paper towel.
To serve, heap the tomato salad in the center of a plate. Place the fish on top, sesame-crusted side facing up. Sprinkle with sea salt and the leftover sesame oil. Top with the ginger flower relish and fresh herbs.
Ginger Flower Sorbet
GINGER FLOWER SORBET
One of Chef Salans’ favorite recipes, this dessert isolates an exotic flavor from a quintessentially Indonesian dish and turns it into something unexpected: a light and refreshing sorbet. Chef Salans describes the flavor of the Balinese ginger flower as magical. “It changed my life forever,” he said.
- 350ml water
- 125gr sugar
- 100ml glucose
- 150ml plain unsweetened yoghurt
- 2 to 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1½ sheets gelatin
- 1 fresh torch ginger flower, sliced thinly
Strawberry and lime leaf compote:
- 250gr fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced into segments
- 2 fresh kaffir lime leaves, sliced very thinly
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp sugar
For strawberry and lime leaf compote, season strawberries in a bowl with the sugar, lemon juice and sliced kaffir lime leaf. Cover in cling wrap and leave to marinate in the refrigerator from one hour up to a day.
For the sorbet, bring the water, liquid glucose and sugar to rapid boil in a pot. Then add in the sliced ginger flower and simmer for one minute. Remove from heat, cover and allow mixture to infuse for ten minutes before straining. Then add the pre-soaked gelatin or gelatin powder, stir well, and allow to cool to room temperature so that the mixture thickens to a soft set. Whisk in the yogurt and the lemon juice (to taste, depending on the desired level of acidity). Mix until smooth. Churn the sorbet in an ice cream machine. When complete, place the sorbet in a plastic container and freeze for a minimum of one hour.
To serve, divide the marinated strawberries and their liquid between pre-chilled bowls. Place one scoop of sorbet in each, garnish with a fresh kaffir lime leaf to finish.
Chris Salans is chef-owner of the Ubud multi-award-winning Mozaic Restaurant Gastronomique in Ubud and the Mozaic Beach Club in Batubelig, Bali.
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