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Japanese Seafood And Fig Brulee

Chef Josh DeChellis may not be Japanese, but his inspired use of Japanese ingredients has made him a rising star in the culinary world.

He is the executive chef of the restaurant Sumile, located in New York City.

He's created an inventive, modern Japanese menu for our Chef on a Shoestring challenge: to create a three-course meal for four on a $40 budget.

Warmed sea scallops rubbed with yuzu kosho and quince puree
Serves four

12 sea scallops
1 quince
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon yuzu kosho
2 cups Boston lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil.
1 teaspoon unsalted butter

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Method: Slice each scallop in half, and reserve chilled until ready to cook. Peel the quince and roughly chop it. Then, place butter in a small skillet. Once it starts to "foam" add the quince. Using medium heat, sweat the quince until tender, and puree until smooth in a blender. Strain using a fine mesh strainer. Set aside.

Rub each scallop with yuzu kosho on both sides and cook very gently using medium-low heat in a non-stick pan. The scallops should take no more than 2 to 3 minutes in the pan. Once cooked, remove the scallops from the pan and set aside.

Heat up the strained quince puree in a saucepan and spoon some on each for the four salad plates. Arrange six discs of scallops on each plate around the quince puree. Zest the lemon into a bowl and toss it with the lettuce and the olive oil. Place lettuce on top of the puree and then drizzle some soy sauce around the scallops. Serve.

Miso-cured brook trout with ginger pickled shallots

4 shallots
4 inches of fresh ginger, peeled
2 tablespoons rice vinegar

Method: Thinly slice shallots and place in a small bowl. Using a microplane, grate the ginger over a towel and squeeze out the juice, then place the grated ginger over the shallots, adding the rice vinegar. Toss. Let sit for an hour uncovered at room temperature.

4 brook trout filets
1/2 cup dark miso
1 cup cold water
1/4 cup soy sauce

Method: In a bowl, mix dark miso, cold water, and soy sauce with a whisk. Place trout flesh-side up in a baking dish. Pour the marinade over the fish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

3 tablespoons dark miso
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons soy sauce
11/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1 bunch shiso, julienned (while shiso is preferred, fresh mint can be used as a substitute)

In a bowl, combine dark miso, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame seed oil. Set aside.

Remove the fillets from the baking dish and gently wipe off the marinade with a rubber spatula.

In a dry cast iron pan, using medium to high heat "blacken" the skin side of the trout for 1-1/2 minutes and flip over and quickly cook the flesh side for approximately 30 seconds. Remove the fish from the heat and let rest for a few minutes prior to serving.

Divide the reserve sauce evenly among the four dinner plates. Place the sauce in the center of each plate. Arrange the trout on the plate over the sauce.

Toss shiso (or mint) with the ginger pickled shallots. Then garnish each trout with some of the mint mixture. Serve.

Brulee of Black Mission Figs with Fresh Bay Leaf Crème

16 ripe black mission figs
1 pint of heavy cream
4 fresh bay leaves
1/8 cup sugar for the figs
1/8 cup sugar for the bay leaf creme
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Method: Cut a tiny slit lengthwise in one side of each fig and scoop out the inside. Place the insides of the figs in a bowl and combine with the balsamic vinegar. Place 1/8 cup of sugar in a shallow plate. Re-stuff figs with the mixture and then place stuffed sides down in sugar to coat evenly. "Brulee" the figs with a blow torch until the sugar caramelizes. You may also place the figs in the broiler for about a minute or two. Make sure figs are in an oven-proof dish.

Heat up cream with fresh bay leaves in a saucepan using medium heat. Turn off heat once cream comes to a fast simmer. Let bay leaves steep for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Once chilled, remove the bay leaves. Using a hand whisk, whisk cream until fluffy with the remaining 1/8 cup of sugar.

Scoop cream and place into the middle of a serving platter. Arrange the figs around the cream. Serve family style.

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