31 Jul 2010

Matcha Madness #2: Cod mousseline disk with nigella seeds and matcha foam

Cod mousseline disk with nigella seeds and matcha foam

As continuation to the Matcha Madness cook-off, it is now time for the cod mousseline. What is a mousseline? It is simply a farce, a mixture of protein (mostly fish) and cream used in classical French cuisine for quenelles (dumplings) or to make terrines.
It is a very simple and versatile preparation that can even produce elegant and delicate sausages; a perfect ingredient for a dinner party.
What is Matcha Madness  you ask me now? Matcha Madness is a recipe contest that Catty from The Catty Life started for the month of July. We were asked to produce something featuring matcha green tea to win a tin of Teapigs’ matcha powder . If you want to know a bit more about matcha read my previous post.
I decided to cook something savory and after fighting with something like 10 different dishes I chose three of them:
In this post I will share with you the recipe for the second dish:

Cod mousseline disk topped with a sprinkle of black nigella seeds and matcha foam served with a matcha flavored dashi broth and wakame seaweed

Cod mousseline disk with nigella seeds and matcha foam

Ingredients (makes 3 servings):
For the mousseline:
  • 100g white fish (cod, sole, plaice or a mix of them), thawed and chopped;
  • 50g whipping cream;
  • 12g egg white;
  • Salt and pepper.
  • For the broth:
  • 2tsp dried wakame seaweed;
  • 6tbsps wakame soaking water;
  • 3tsps sake;
  • Salt;
For the matcha foam:
  • 40g whole milk;
  • 1/2tsp matcha powder;
  • 1 little pinch of sugar;
  • 1tsp whipping cream;
For the garnishes:
  • Few thin carrot sticks or carrot carvings like flowers or leaves;
  • 1tsp sugar;
  • Nigella seeds.
We start by doing the mousseline; the process is very easy and straightforward the important is to keep all the ingredients very cold at any time.
In a small mixer reduce the fish to a smooth paste, add then the egg white and blitz till combined. Slowly drizzle now the cream onto the mixture blending it in well. Season it with salt and pepper. To check the seasoning, have a small saucepan of barely simmering water at hand and drop a little teaspoon of the mixture in to cook for 5 minutes or so and taste. Refrigerate the mousseline covered with plastic wrap for a couple of hours. If you want your mixture to be more delicate and refined, pass the fish paste through a fine mesh sieve before adding the cream.
Make now the matcha flavored milk. In a small saucepan combine the milk, the matcha and the sugar; bring to a simmer and steep for 10 minutes out of the fire. To combine the fine matcha powder with the milk you could either create a paste with a little milk in small container and diluting it gradually so to eliminate all the lumps or slowly sifting the powder over the saucepan with the milk stirring from time to time.
After the milk has been steeping, refrigerate well (for the same time as the mousseline or in a bowl containing ice water if on a hurry).
When ready to assemble the dish, soak the wakame with cold water for 5minutes or so (do not use more than 6-7tbsp of water or the wakame flavor will be too diluted).
In a small skillet cook the thin carrot sticks and carvings with the sugar and a little water till the sugar will start bubbling, they will take only but few minutes to cook and candy slightly. Remove the carrot pieces over some baking paper to let the sugar harden.
To prepare the broth, combine 6tbsp of the wakame soaking water with some of the seaweed and 1 1/2 tsp of sake; cover, bring to a simmer and steep for 10 minutes.
Prepare the matcha foam by adding the cold whipping cream to the matcha milk and use a milk frother to create a thick foam.
Now form the quenelles (in our case they will be disks); flour a non stick working surface and spread over it the cold mousseline. In the meantime bring some water to a boil in a kettle.
Flouring your hands spread gently the mousseline mixture to 1/3inch of thickness. Using a cookie cutter or a medium size glass cut the 3 disks out of the mousseline; if you are not able to cut all of them at once, gather the trimming and repeat the process.
Put a saucepan wide enough to accommodate the three disks on a low fire, poor in the boiling water from the kettle and using a spatula lower one disk at a time into the hot water. Let cook for 10 minutes without letting the water coming back to a boil or the quenelles might burst.
To dress the plate, place some wakame on the center of each plate in a radial fashion so they will show under the quenelle like a crown. Bring the broth to a simmer and add the remaining sake.
Place one quenelle in each plate, sprinkle the top with few nigella seeds, poor in the warm broth and spoon some of the foam over each quenelle. Finish the plate with the candied carrots.


  1. This is a preparation that I think would be well received in Japan. Although you are using a French method (mousseline), it is not unlike many of the fish cakes that are popular in Japanese cuisine! I have never had nigella seeds. What do they taste like?

  2. @Fuji Mama I would describe them nutty and balsamic, an earthy aroma.