By Quentin Ville-Renon, Ortega Fish Shack, Wellington
10 large whole scampi
65ml white vinegar
95ml fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp ginger, finely grated
400ml grapeseed oil
Reserved scampi shells
5 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a knife
50g tomato paste
5 star anise
1 ripe avocado, halved and sliced lengthways
1 stick lemongrass, white part only, finely sliced
50g Ora King salmon caviar
1 long red chilli, finely sliced
16 small Vietnamese mint leaves
- Remove heads from scampi, then with a sharp knife cut through the middle of the scampi tails lengthways. Remove digestive tracts and discard. Remove meat from shells and keep in the refrigerator. Reserve heads and shells to make the scampi oil.
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
- Put a pot on a medium heat and allow to warm, then add 100ml of grapeseed oil and the scampi shells. Do not stir for 2 minutes, or the shells will not brown. After 2 minutes stir and leave for another 2 minutes, then add garlic, tomato paste and star anise and cook for a further 1 minute.
- Add remaining grapeseed oil and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes then remove from heat and leave to stand for a further 20 minutes. Strain through a coffee filter (muslin cloth with a fine sieve, or a chinois, will also suffice) and place in the refrigerator to chill.
- Place 4-5 slices of avocado down the centre of bowls and top with 5 pieces of scampi, evenly spaced. Mix sliced lemongrass with dressing and generously spoon over the scampi, followed by about 20ml sampi oil per portion.
- Arrange 3 or 4 teaspoons of salmon caviar around each bowl, followed by slices of chilli, Vietnamese mint leaves, micro shiso and micro coriander. Finish with crispy fried shallots.