By Donna Freed
Each season we take up the Feng Sushi challenge to combine authentic Japanese ingredients and traditional techniques with the best sustainable British fish. We’ve done it again and now it’s time to meet the stars of our Autumn Menu Show: waltzing onto our plates and into our hearts are Mighty Mackerel, Heroic Herring & Stunning Sardines!
This season’s sustainably line caught mackerel joins us from Scotland, our MSC net caught herring hails from Hastings and our MSC sardines come from Cornwall. You may recall that we take mackerel off the menu during spawning season but now that they are fattened up for winter, they are full of flavour and bursting with brain boosting Omega 3.
As a Danish classic (just like Silla Bjerrum, Feng Sushi Founder & Managing Director) herring is served in vinegar. In order for the mackerel and herring to be sashimi ready, the fish has to be lightly marinated to firm up the flesh and bring out the buttery flavour. Add a raw beetroot and mooli salad in a tangy garlic dressing and a perfect partnership is formed – not a 7 but a 10.
Jive à la Dansk: Mackerel Autumn Roll
A drumroll please: subtly sweet, briny mackerel explodes with the energetic kicks and flicks of mizuna, microherbs and cucumber. What better way to kick start Autumn.
Queen of the Harvest Bowl: Autumn Salad
Draped in a creamy, buttermilk dressing, the Autumn Salad is a veritable cornucopia of veg. Wafer thin slices of beetroot and black mooli (so thin you can see the fibre!) edamame, wakame, mizuna, baby gem lettuce, chicory and pickled cucumber salad –it is virtually impossible to cram any more nutrients into one fandango of a delicious bowl – definitely one to watch!
Feng Fact: Raw beetroot is packed with nitrates which increase the flow of oxygen giving you more staying power when eaten before a workout. And let’s face it, anytime you eat is before your (next) workout!
Cha cha charming Japanese Classic: MCS Nishin Herring Soba Noodle Soup
Nishin (herring) is traditionally dried then grilled, the bones evaporating in the cooking process. We poach the herring to similar effect; the fish and mooli steam in an umami infused broth of dashi, mirin, soy with just a dash of honey. Soba noodles are added to the broth, rich in thiamin and an alternative to wheat. Fresh spinach is then wilted into the dish which is topped off with cheeky spring onions. Don’t tell the others, but it’s our favourite!
Feng Fact: For centuries, black mooli has been used as a natural remedy for digestive complaints in Europe and China.
Sumptuous Salsa: Mackerel Udon Noodle Soup
Warm up with this scrumptuous, sumptuous super soup! Spoon in the Omega 3 and savoury goodness then slurp up the thick udon noodles. It’s a (soft) shoe in!
Proud Paso Doble: MSC Sardine Donburi
As eel is currently endangered, we don’t serve it but we think this dish makes a superb substitute. A delicious fish and not just for sunny southern Spain, our Cornish sardines stand proud with the added flourishes of teriyaki, ginger, coriander cress and spring onions.
We are working with the Sustainable Eel Group to put sustainable unagi back on our menu.