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Sardines and Vegetable Chips with Lemon and Caper Sauce.

For the preserved lemons, in a medium bowl, mix together the salt, sugar, lemongrass, chili pepper, kaffir lime leaf, and peppercorns. Place the lemons in a glass jar and cover with the salt mix and lemon juice. Seal the jar and set aside in the refrigerator for two weeks. Transfer the lemons to a cutting board and discard the preserving liquid. Using a sharp paring knife, remove and reserve the lemon zest and discard the pulp.

For the vegetable chips, preheat the oven to 100 degrees. Arrange the sliced vegetables on a parchment-lined sheet pan and season. Place in the oven to dry, about eight hours. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

For the lemon and caper sauce, on a cutting board, mince the lemon zest and capers and set aside. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade attachment, puree the garlic and egg yolk. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a thin steady stream and puree until thick and lemon colored. Add the mustard, minced lemon, caper mix, and parsley and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl, season, and set aside.

For the sardines, preheat the fryer to 365 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the rice flour and water. Whisk to fully combine and season. Dip the sardines into the rice flour batter to coat, place in the fryer, and cook until golden brown, about two minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a paper towel-lined sheet pan to drain. Season and set aside keeping warm.

To serve, line a bamboo steamer with newspaper and cover with bamboo leaves. Arrange some vegetable chips on the bottom and top with some fried sardines. Arrange some fried lemons and lemon slices around the dish. Accompany with lemon and caper sauce and garnish with capers.

(Serves 6)

For the preserved lemons:

1/2 cup salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 small stalk lemongrass, chopped

1 Thai chili pepper seeded and chopped [*]

1 kaffir lime leaf

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

2 small lemons, sides scored

Lemon juice as needed

For the vegetable chips:

1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

1 large beet, peeled and thinly sliced

1 large parsnip, peeled and thinly sliced

1 large sweet potato peeled and thinly sliced

Salt and Szechuan pepper to taste

(*.) Available in Asian markets.

For the lemon and caper sauce: Preserved lemon zest, chopped

1 tablespoon capers

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

1 egg yolk

2 cups olive oil

1/2 cup whole grain mustard

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

For the sardines:

1 cup rice flour

1 cup water

24 fresh sardines, boned

Salt and pepper to taste

For the dish:

Fried lemon slices

Bamboo leaves [*]

Lemon slices

Note: Chef Yeo recommends storing the preserved lemons for two weeks. Prepared preserved lemons may be substituted.
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Yeo, Patricia
Publication:Art Culinaire
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Mar 22, 2001
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