Dear Asurans, Charr, Sylvari, Humans and rampant inner vampires… rejoice! An all-time favorite starter dish, a true “Ascended” food item if you will, pleasing crowds off and on screen all around both worlds has made it’s way onto the Tyrian Menu~! The Carpaccio. With the introduction of Ascended Quality Food last year, our beloved Chef’s Guild has blessed our dinner tables with a delicious choice of 5 different styles of Beef Carpaccio – all of which I will devour… ah… present to you on this side of the screen at some point.
The one I started whipping up about half a nano second after reading the name of the dish was this particular one…
…and since it’s a New Year and a new go at the whole “moderation” thing that’s apparently a thing to have (for other people~) as a New Year’s resolution, rather than running to the butcher’s and indulging in it yet again, I’ll share my take on the first dish of that merry gang with you guys instead. How’s that for (sharing the burden of) practicing patience and moderation~ The amounts listed below will net starters for a table of 4 non-vampires.
800g Beef Fillet Carpaccio – unless you have a large enough freezer and a really good meat cutting machine I highly recommend letting your butcher handle the delicate task of slicing the fillet into see-though slices. Some well-sorted supermarkets also carry Beef Carpaccio of the “not bad” variety in their prepared food sections.
Or: 800g Sashimi Quality Tuna Carpaccio and a really good strategy to rob a bank in preparation.
4 handfuls of Japanese/Wild Herb Mix – my fav greens grocer has a fantastic asian herb blend – what sets it apart from his “usual” wild herb blend is a variety of mustard and horseradish leaves and cress. If you’re into leafy things I’d highly recommend trying to hunt down a blend like that in a reasonable shopping radius around you~
4 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds
Fleur de Sel
4 Drops of Roasted Sesame Oil
1) Lightly brush the plates with the drops of oil and sprinkle them with a couple of Fleur de Sel Flakes.
2) Carefully arrange the delicate beef slices on the prepped plates. You may want to consider snapping on a pair of CSI gloves for the task – not only for food safety reasons while handling raw meat, but also because the thin slices won’t be able to catch on rough patches of skin on your hands or your fingernails as easily. Food cosmetics and all that~
3) Top off the slices with the leaves and seeds and set the plates aside for the time being.
The Crispy Sesame-Crusted Lime Leaves
A small pot, filled by 2/3 with Peanut Oil – or a more modern deep-frying doohickey loaded with whatever makes it tick.
20 Kaffir Lime Leaves – you’ll find them in the freezers of your local Asian Supermarket.
½ Tsp Chilli Salt
½ Tsp Togarashi Pepper Blend
½ Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Pinch of Sugar
1 Tsp Sesame Seeds, lightly toasted – I always go with my 50/50 Black/White Seed mix
Opt: Finely shredded toasted Nori – see below for notes on this
1) Pop the oil-pot onto medium-high heat and allow the temperature to rise to 180°C – if you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, dip in a wooden spoon and look for little bubbles forming around it.
2) Meanwhile, place a deep dish on your work surface and add the spices, sugar, seeds and optional nori sheds to it.
3) Blend the ingredients together with a fork.
4) Spread the lime leaves out on paper towels and pat them as dry as possible – any drop of moisture might just spit piping hot oil back at you.
5) Once the oil has reached 180°C, send the lime leaves swimming in batches small enough to a) give them enough “personal” space so they don’t touch each other or the pot and b) keep the temperature stable.
6) Fry them for 40-50 seconds, then take them out with a slitted spoon, towel them off a bit with paper towels and immediately turn them in the spice blend to coat them all around.
7) Place the finished bites on a cooling rack until you’re done with the whole batch.
The Ginger-Lime Sauce
2-3 1cm Cubes of Pickled Stem Ginger, finely chopped – the sticky, sweet’ish kind, not the Sushi ginger variety
1 Tbsp of the Pickling Syrup
Alt: 1 Tsp Fresh Ginger, finely grated and Ginger Syrup or the odd “Ginger Tea” syrupy jelly stuff you can find in well sorted Asian Food Stores.
50ml Beef Stock
1 Lime, Zest and Juice
1 Lemongrass Stalk, finely grated
1 Tbsp Light Soy or Ponzu Sauce
1 Tsp Sesame Oil
1 Tsp Brown Sugar
1 Pinch of mild Red Chillies
1 Tsp Toasted Sesame Seeds
It’s moments like these that I wish I could just give you the instructions I jotted down beneath the ingredients in my personal collection without sounding uninspired or even rude… if there even are any instructions at all, that is. Oh wait. I can! And quote a famous Chef at the same time!
Instructions: Bowl. Whisk. Done.
Assembling the Dish
The Carpaccio and The Salad
The Fried Lime Leaves
The Ginger-Lime Dressing
4 Sprinkles of Togarashi Pepper Blend
4 Tbsp of Fried Nori Shreds – The snack variety every Asian Supermarket I know has in stock, my pick: the Toasted Sesame Style Nori. These really do make a difference even in small amounts, so if you never had a piece of nori (you liked, even), on this kind of dish they’re absolutely to die for!
1) Drizzle the piles of greens on your carpaccio with the dressing and give them a good dusting with your togarashi shaker.
2) Carefully, as not to loose the coat on the way, slide the fried leaves into the stacks in a decorative manner and sprinkle each serving with the fried nori shreds.