A Winter Tidal Pool Recipe | PBS Food

Enjoy Chef David Kinch's recipe for A Winter Tidal Pool.


Yield: 8 servings



  • For the Pickled Kelp
  • 115 grams (1/2 cup) unseasoned rice wine
  • 115 grams (1/2 cup) white wine vinegar
  • 115 grams (1/2 cup) water
  • 55 grams (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 55 grams (2 ounces) battera kombu, rinsed in cold water and cut crosswise into 3/4 inch wide strips
  • For the Mushroom Gel
  • 20 grams (0.7 ounce) dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 200 grams (scant 1 cup) warm water
  • 5 to 10 grams (1 to 2 teaspoons) dark soy sauce (koikuchi shoyu)
  • Kosher salt
  • Xanthan gum (0/6 percent of weight of liquid)
  • For the Oyster Gel
  • 120 grams (1/2 cup) oyster liquid, strained through cheesecloth)
  • Kosher salt
  • 0.7 gram xanthan gum (0.6 percent of weight of liquid)
  • Pinch of edible silver flake
  • For the Abalone
  • 1 red abalone, 115 grams (4 ounces) 90 millimeters (3 ½ inches) in length
  • For the Tidal Broth
  • 1 kilogram (4 ¼ cups) soft water (low mineral content, for example, Fiji water)
  • 12 grams (0.5 ounce) dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 15 grams (0.5 ounce) dried large kombu
  • 25 grams (0.9 ounce) thinly shaved bonito flakes (katsuo bushi)
  • 30 to 60 grams (2 to 4 tablespoons) white soy sauce (shiro shoyu)
  • 15 to 20 grams (3 to 4 teaspoons) ponzu
  • To Serve
  • 1 to 2 sheets gold nori
  • Grapeseed oil, for frying
  • 80 grams (3 ounces) foie gras, sliced into 10-gram (0.3 ounce) pieces
  • 8 clean sea urchin (uni) tongues
  • 20 New Zealand spinach leaves
  • 20 smaller Malabar spinach leaves
  • Green scallion tops, sliced very thinly on an extreme bias and soaked in ice water until curled
  • 1 to 2 bunches enoki mushrooms, stems trimmed to 1 inch
  • 1 to 2 whole yuzu or Meyer lemons


  1. For the pickled kelp: whisk the vinegars, water, and sugar together, bring to a boil and boil until the sugar dissolves. Cool the mixture to room temperature. Submerge the kombu in the pickling liquid, cover, and steep over night in the refrigerator. The pickled kombu can be made ahead of time and will keep for months.
  2. For the mushroom gel: soak the mushrooms in the water for at least 6 hours, or overnight. Strain the mixture, reserving the mushrooms for another use, and season the liquid assertively with soy sauce and salt. Weigh the seasoned liquid and then transfer to a blender. Weigh out xanthan equaling 0.6 percent of the liquid weight (for example. For 100 grams of liquid, use 0.6 gram of xanthan). While blending on the lowest speed, gradually shear in (see page 311) the xanthan. Continue blending until the mixture thickens, 5 to 6 minutes, and then strain the gel into a vacuum seal bag. Vacuum at 100 percent, without sealing, 5 to 6 ties to remove air bubbles introduced during blending. The gel will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  3. For the oyster gel: season the oyster liquid to taste with salt and transfer to a blender. While blending on the lowest speed, gradually shear in (see page 311) the xanthan and add the silver flake. Continue blending until the mixture thickens. Transfer the mixture to a vacuum seal bag without straining, and vacuum at 100 percent 5 to 6 times to remove air bubbles. The gel will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
  4. For the abalone: remove the abalone from its shell and, with kitchen shears, remove the viscera. Rinse thoroughly in the lukewarm water to relax the meat. Place the abalone between 2 kitchen towels with the foot side up and pound forcefully with a meat pounder or heavy pan until the foot flattens. (Typically this takes 2 good blows.) Allow it to rest in a covered container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight.
  5. For the tidal broth: combine the water, mushrooms, and kombu in a large pan, cover, heat to 140 degrees and steep for 1 hour. Remove and discard the kombu. Heat the mushrooms and broth to 175 degrees. Add the bonito flakes, stir for 15 seconds.
  6. To serve: drain 2 pieces of Pickled Kelp per serving. Warm the Tidal Broth almost to a summer, so that bubbles form on the bottom of the pan. Toast the nori by waving it over low heat until it crisps and turns a lighter shade of green. Tear the toasted nori into 1-inch pieces. Slice the raw abalone crosswise, as thinly as possible, cutting a few slices for each serving. Quickly stir-fry the abalone with grapeseed oil in a hot pan.
  7. For each serving, place a slice of foie gras in a heater bowl topped with a sea urchin tongue, pickled kelp, and a few slices of abalone. Garnish with a few spinach leaves, curled scallions, 8 to 10 mushrooms, and 5 to 6 pieces of nori. Immediately before serving, add 90 grams (6 tablespoons) of warm Tidal Broth to each bowl. Float several pools each of Mushroom Gel and Oyster Gel on top of the broth. With a Microplane grater, zest yuzu over the entire bowl.
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