"A delicious dish, best cooked on a wood-fired barbecue," says McConnell. "The smokiness adds an incredible depth of flavour. It's a great accompaniment to white meat."
- 1 Chinese cabbage
- 1 nashi pear, peeled and diced
- 10 gm piece ginger, coarsely chopped
- 70 ml grapeseed oil
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp white miso paste
- Finely grated rind of 1 orange
- 5 nori sheets
- 1Remove outer leaves of cabbage (reserve for another use). Halve cabbage through the core, place in a steamer over a saucepan of boiling water and steam until the heart is easily pierced with a knife (15-20 minutes). Place in a colander over a bowl, put a saucer on top to weigh cabbage down slightly and refrigerate to cool (2-4 hours).
- 2For miso dressing, cook ginger in the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat until golden (5-7 minutes). Cool, then strain, reserving the oil. Pound the ginger to a paste with a mortar and pestle. Add the vinegar and miso paste. While mixing, slowly add the reserved oil to emulsify. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
- 3For nori powder, scatter orange rind on a ceramic plate lined with baking paper. Microwave on low at 1-minute intervals, checking to ensure the rind dries but does not burn (2-4 minutes). Set aside. Using tongs, gently wave the nori sheets about 20cm above an open flame to toast until crisp (4-6 seconds). Grind the nori in a spice grinder to a fine powder and combine in a bowl with the orange rind and ¼ tsp sea salt flakes.
- 4To serve, preheat a char-grill pan or barbecue on high. Pull cabbage leaves apart and pat dry. Brush the leaves with a little oil and grill until charred (1-2 minutes). Transfer cabbage to a bowl and toss with 2 tbsp of dressing or to taste. Arrange the cabbage on a plate, drizzle with a little more dressing, scatter with diced nashi and season with nori powder.
Drink Suggestion: Coedo “Beniaka” sweet potato lager, Japan. The malty caramel character and hint of smokiness in this beer balances the sweet charred flavour of the cabbage. Drink suggestion by Leanne Altmann