Asian Tapas / Amuse Guele

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Arctic Char and Shitake Cakes: 

1 pound char, skinless, 1/2-inch dice

1/2 tablespoon rinsed, minced fermented black beans

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 cup shiitake mushrooms, 1/8-inch dice

2 scallions, sliced 1/16-inch

1/4 cup celery, diced 1/16-inch

3 tablespoons Aioli, recipe follows

1 cup all-purpose flour, in a shallow dish

4 eggs, beaten, in a shallow dish

1 cup panko, in a shallow dish

1 cup baby romaine, 1/16-inch ribbons

Salt and white pepper to taste

Canola oil to cook

Vinegar Syrup:

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup Chinese vinegar


2 egg yolks*

1 tablespoon sambal

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 cups canola oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. In a medium non-stick saute pan, coat lightly with oil and saute black beans and ginger until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until soft. Continue cooking until all moisture is evaporated. Set aside to cool. In a chilled bowl, combine fish with mushroom mix, scallions, celery and aioli. Make sure to mix gently as not to break up the fish. Season with salt and pepper. Form small, round cakes, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, 1/2-inch thick. Dredge in flour, then egg, then panko and fry at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. The cakes should not be cooked completely through.
  2. For the syrup: In a small non-reactive saucepan, reduce the vinegars on low heat by 80 percent until a syrup consistency is achieved. Let cool. 
  3. Plating: On small plates, place a small mound of romaine. Zig-zag syrup on plate and over romaine. Top with hot cake.


  1. For the aioli use a food processor, add yolks, sambal and mustard. Slowly drizzle in oil to emulsify. Add juice and season. Will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Cook’s Note

Wine Suggestion: Veuve Cliquot Blanc de Blanc

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