Udon Seafood Cioppino with Smoky Dashi Broth and Spiraled Fish Cake

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  • Total: 1 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped

1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1 cup bok choy, chopped

1 cup tomatoes, chopped

9 large shrimp, peeled

12 ounces mixed fish cut into 1/2-inch pieces

8 mussels, cleaned and de-bearded

9 small hard shell clams, such as Little Neck or Manila, cleaned

1-quart smoky dashi broth, recipe follows

2 cups fresh udon noodles

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups tatsoi

Salt and pepper, to taste

Smoky Dashi Broth:

1 cup sliced shallots

2 tablespoons garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped

4 very ripe tomatoes, cores removed, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon toasted and ground Szechwan peppercorns

1 cup sake

1/2 cup mirin

8 cups dashi

Salt and black pepper

Spiraled Fishcake:

6 ounces white fish, roughly diced

1 egg*

2 tablespoons yellow miso

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 lemon, juiced

Black pepper

1/4 cup scallion greens, thinly sliced

2 sheets nori

6 to 8 strips red bell pepper

1 cup rice flour

1 to 2 cups soda water

Canola oil, for frying


  1. In a large saute pan coated with the canola oil, cook the garlic, ginger, shiitake, bok choy, tomatoes, shrimp, and fish over high heat for 1 minute. Add the mussels, clams, smoky dashi broth, noodles and butter and simmer covered until the shellfish have opened, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Plating: Pour the broth and the fish into a large-shallow bowl so that the fish shows through the top of the broth. Place the tatsoi on top of the fish. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange the cut fish cakes around the top of the fish and garnish with the aioli. Set out 4 smaller shallow bowls and ladle out the respective portions making sure to include all the components in each serving.

Smoky Dashi Broth:

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook the shallots, garlic, and ginger until transparent, about 20 minutes. Add the tomato and Szechwan peppercorns and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Then add the sake and reduce by a half. Add the mirin and dashi and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and lightly puree in a blender just until the tomato is just broken up. Strain before using.

Spiraled Fishcake:

  1. In a food processor, combine the fish, egg, miso, cream, and lemon juice until smooth. Season with black pepper and fold in the scallions.
  2. Lay the nori shiny side down on a rolling mat and spread a thin layer of fish mousse over 3/4 of the nori. Place the pepper strips at the bottom of the nori and roll, creating a spiral of nori and mousse. Seal the edge of the roll with a little water. Repeat the procedure for the other roll. Whisk the rice flour and soda water together until a thick pancake-like batter is achieved. Dip the nori rolls in the batter and place in a fryer or a medium heavy pot 1/3 full with oil over high heat to 350 degrees. Fry the rolls until very golden. Remove, season with salt and cut on the bias into thick slices.
  3. Aioli: 2 egg yolks* 2 tablespoons red miso 2 tablespoons roasted garlic, pureed 1 cup canola oil Juice of one lemon Black pepper
  4. In a food processor, puree the egg, miso, and garlic. While the processor is running, slowly add the canola oil until the mixture thickens. Add the lemon juice and season with pepper. Add a little water if the aioli is too thick.
  5. Wine suggestion: Bastianich Vino da Tavola 1998