Recipe of the month: Dewakan's Blue Mackerel

Dewakan_by_Darren_Teoh_at_KDU_University_College_Glenmarie_Restaurant_Review37

Darren Teoh, founder & chef at Dewakan, one of the country’s most acclaimed restaurants, is known for thrusting a bounty of Malaysian flavours into the high-end spotlight. His recipes are painstakingly prepared, but if you’d like to attempt to recreate one of Dewakan’s signature dishes at home, Darren has agreed to publicly share the complete recipe for his Blue Mackerel for the first time.

Be warned: It’s a complex concoction that requires elaborate steps!

Dewakan Blue Mackerel

To be prepared in advance

Cured Mackerel

Ingredients:

  • Ulam Raja Salt
  • 100 g Large Ulam Raja leaves
  • 15 g Kosher Salt

Method:

  1. In a spice blender, blend the leaves until you get a paste.
  2. Combine with the salt, spread on to a tray and dry in the sun.
  3. Once dry, run through the spice blender at pulse to return it to a salt texture. Don’t blend it too fine.

PS. You can store this in a container and then freeze and use to season other dishes. Go wild.

Pickled Organic Roses

Ingredients:

  • 50 g Petals of Organic Roses (sorry no substitute)
  • 70 g Distilled vinegar
  • 5 g Wild Honey

Method:

  1. To make the pickling liquid, simply dissolve the honey into the vinegar. Do not heat the liquid and ensure that everything is well mixed.
  2. Put the roses into a ziplock bag and pour in the pickling liquid. Push out as much air as possible and seal the bag. Store in your fridge for at least a week. They taste better the longer you keep them.
Dewakan Chef
A Dewakan chef in action

Pickled Ginger Torch Flower

Ingredients:

  • 1 pc Ginger Torch Flower (sorry no substitute)
  • 70 g Distilled vinegar
  • 5 g Wild Honey

Method:

  1. To make the pickling liquid, simply dissolve the honey into the vinegar. Do not heat the liquid and ensure that everything is well mixed.
  2. Cut the stem off the flower and then halve the flower. Pluck the thicker outer petals and thinly slice them. Reserve the smaller petals for other uses, they are great in salads.
  3. Put the sliced petals into a ziplock bag and pour in the pickling liquid. Push out as much air as possible and seal the bag. Store in your fridge for at least a week. They taste better the longer you keep them.

Lime Leaf Oil

Ingredients: 

  • 100 g Lime Leaves
  • 70 g Rapeseed Oil

Method:

  1. Prepare a large pot of boiling water. It has to be bubbling violently. Also prepare a cool water bath of 50 % water and 50 % ice to cool the lime leaves after you have blanched them
  2. Wash the lime leaves in cold water.
  3. In batches, depending on the size of your pot, cook the leaves for about 50 seconds per round and immediately cool them in your cool water bath. Ensure that the bath stops the cooking process as immediately as possible.
  4. Remove the leaves and pat dry.
  5. Combine the leaves with the oil in a blender and blend to a pulp. Store the pulp in a container in the fridge overnight.
  6. Place the pulp in a strainer lined with a mueslin cloth, and cover the exposed area. Place something heavy over the pulp and let it slowly drip.
  7. Collect the oil that has accumulated and store in the fridge. This oil freezes well and can be used for making dressings. Not the type that you would cook with.
Dining area of Dewakan at KDU University College
Dining area of Dewakan at KDU University College

To be prepared on the day

Rose Water Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 50 g Rose Water
  • 5 g Sugar
  • 10 g Lime Leaf Oil

Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients well.

Mackerel

  • 4 fillets Baby Blue Mackerel, freshest possible
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 100 g sea salt

Method:

  1. Combine the brown sugar and sea salt well.
  2. Remove the skin from the fillets and portion the fillets to only use the upper loin.
  3. Place the loins on a plate/tray and cover them with the sugar and salt mix. Cure for up to about 3 hours in the fridge.
  4. Remove from the cure and pat dry.

To serve

Dewakan Blue Mackerel 2

Garnish

  • Bunga Telang, blue
  • Bunga Telang, white
  • Nasturtium flowers
  • Choy Sum flowers
  • Fresh Ulam Raja shoots
  • Pomelo Segments

Plating

  1. Place the cured fillets on to four plates. Season the fish with the Ulam Raja salt.
  2. Prepare the garnishing by tearing the flowers, pickled roses into small bite size bits.
  3. Start garnishing the mackerel with the pomelos first place 4 clumps interspaced evenly on each loin. Then fill in the gaps with some rose petals and ginger torch flower slices.
  4. Continue with the remaining flower petals and Ulam Raja until you have a pretty plate.
  5. Drizzle the Rose Water dressing and serve cold.

See also:

Review of Dewakan by Darren Teoh

Directory of Dewakan

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