Gaston Acurio’s Scallop Bachiche

Acurio cooked and served this dish to lucky punters at his masterclass with Le Cordon Bleu during the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

A delicious, fresh dish packed with punchy flavours, this Bachiche is a vibrant celebration of Acurio’s native Peru.

Acurio explains tiger’s milk as a fiery tradition in Peruvian cuisine. “People think [in Peru] that a sauce that is richer, because it has shellfish and chillies; because it’s spicy and citric; it’s very good for sex; it gives you so much power you become fiery!” he laughs.

“The tiger’s milk is always evolving. So when you [make] tiger’s milk in the morning, you need to re-season it; you need to put [more] lime, chillies. Even in one hour, the flavours have changed.”

Serves 4

Fish stock (makes 2 litres)
Olive oil
1 brown onion
1kg fish bones
2L water

Confit vegetables
200g brown onion, peeled
200g celery
40g peeled garlic
200ml vegetable oil

Parmesan and anchovy brine
170ml water
100g parmesan
50g anchovies

Tiger’s milk
125g parmesan, grated
75g confit vegetables
3 scallops
50ml fish stock
1-2 Peruvian Limo chilli
Bunch fresh coriander
50ml lemon juice
25ml anchovy brine
2g xanthan gum

For serving
24 scallops
400g sliced cobia
Basil oil
Parmesan and anchovy tiger’s milk

For the fish stock: Sweat the onion until soft but not coloured in a large stockpot. Add fish bones and water and simmer for one hour.

For the confit vegetables: Cover vegetables with oil and confit them in the oven until garlic is tender and cooked through. Strain the excess and reserve vegetables.

For the parmesan and anchovy brine: Process parmesan and water and process in a Thermomix for ten minutes on 60C [Note: Alternatively, process in a food processor and then heat on a medium heat in a saucepan for ten minutes). Strain through a fine sieve and rest overnight.

Place anchovies and prepared parmesan brine in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve. Set aside.

For the Tiger’s Milk: Place all ingredients in a blender except for the fresh coriander, Peruvian chilli and xanthan gum. Blend on high for one minute. Add the coriander and chilli and blend for another minute. Strain the mixture and stabilise with xanthan gum.

To serve: In a bowl, combine tiger’s milk, scallops and cobia. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange with tomato and avocado and garnish with basil sprouts and basil oil.

Check out our interview with Gaston Acurio here.

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