A complex recipe involving many techniques and ingredients to recreate the taste and look of an actual marine rock pool.


  • Oyster

  • 8 large Pacific oysters, e.g. Coffin Bay or Barilla Bay

  • Abalone

  • 2 medium-sized farmed abalone, removed from shell and cleaned

  • 6g aromatic stock

  • Fish stock

  • 300g snapper head and spine

  • 25g carrot

  • 67g white onion

  • 33g leek (white only)

  • 7g white wine

  • 1 parsley stalk

  • 1 litre purified water

  • Mussel stock

  • 900g mussels, scrubbed clean and without barnacles

  • 650g fish stock

  • Aromatic stock

  • 1 litre purified water

  • 67.5g ginger

  • 60g lemongrass

  • 2.25g kaffir lime leaf

  • 1g galangal

  • Mackerel stock

  • 1kg whole slimy mackerel

  • Olive oil to dress

  • 500ml purified water

  • Mackerel gel

  • 50ml mackerel stock

  • 3g kuzu

  • Buckwheat

  • 20g buckwheat

  • 250ml water

  • 2g salt

  • olive oil

  • Lemon confit

  • Zest of half a lemon (no pith) cut into 3cm long fine strips

  • 200ml water

  • 50g sugar

  • Grapefruit jelly

  • 125ml grapefruit juice

  • 0.9g agar agar

  • Wakame

  • 4g ground wakame

  • Snow pea

  • 32g finely sliced snowpea

  • Mackerel gel to bind


  • For the oyster:

  • 1.

    Shuck the oysters and remove them from their shells reserving their juice. Rinse the oysters in the reserved juice, taking care to ensure that there is no grit or shell present. Lay the oysters on paper towel to dry

  • 2.

    The oysters will be sealed at the time of service so it is important that they are free of any surface liquid. Leave them on the paper in an airtight container until needed

  • For the abalone:

  • 1.

    Remove abalone from their shells and clean them, removing the digestive tract and any slime that may be present

  • 2.

    Place the abalone into a vacuum bag with the aromatic stock and seal with maximum pressure Cook the abalone for 12 hours in a water bath set at 95°C

  • 3.

    Once cooked place the abalone, still in the bag, in a blast chiller bringing them down to 3°C as quickly as possible

  • 4.

    Remove the abalone and slice them into fine slices allowing 3 slices per portion. Place portioned slices between grease proof paper until needed. Reserve refrigerated

  • For the fish stock:

  • 1.

    Clean the fish head and bones removing eyes, gills and any blood

  • 2.

    Peel and dice all vegetables ensuring that they are the same size

  • 3.

    Combine all ingredients in a small stock pot and on a low heat bring to a gentle simmer. Skim any impurities that come to the surface

  • 4.

    Allow the stock to cook for 2 hours or until the flavour is a balance of cooked fish and vegetable

  • 5.

    Strain the stock through a fine strainer and reserve until needed

  • For the mussel stock:

  • 1.

    Scrub the mussels with steel wool making sure that all barnacles and grit are completely removed

  • 2.

    Rinse the mussels in fresh water and combine them in a pot with the fish stock. Place a lid on the pot and on a low heat bring the liquid to a very gentle simmer

  • 3.

    Allow the stock to simmer for 40 minutes and for the juices from the mussels to combine and cook with the fish stock

  • 4.

    Strain the resulting liquid through a fine strainer and chill it rapidly. Reserve the mussel stock in a vacuum bag until needed

  • For the aromatic stock:

  • 1.

    Peel the ginger and slice it finely

  • 2.

    Smash the lemongrass to release its flavour and slice it into fine rounds

  • 3.

    Peel galangal and slice it

  • 4.

    Roughly chop the lime leaf

  • 5.

    Bring the water to the boil and as it breaks add all the ingredients. Quickly seal the pot with film so that the aroma does not escape. Let infuse for 20 minutes and then strain

  • 6.

    Reserve the liquid vacuum sealed and refrigerated until needed

  • For the mackerel stock:

  • 1.

    Using scissors remove the fin, tail and wings from the fish. Rub olive oil over the mackerel and place them on a flat roasting tray. Roast the mackerel in a pre heated oven at 160°C degrees until they have an even golden appearance Once the desired colour is achieved transfer the fish to a stock pot taking care not to break them

  • 2.

    Add the water; if it does not cover the fish add a little more so that the fish is covered. Simmer the stock for around 2-3 hours until the liquid is deep golden colour and has a rich roasted fish flavour

  • 3.

    Strain the liquid through a fine strainer, cool immediately and store vacuum sealed until needed

  • For the mackerel gel:

  • 1.

    Dissolve the kuzu in cold mackerel stock and place onto a low heat. While stirring gently and continually slowly bring it to 75°C. Maintain this temperature for at least 5 minutes. The stock will thicken and become clear

  • 2.

    Check the seasoning and when correct transfer the gel to a sealed container and refrigerate until needed

  • For the buckwheat:

  • 1.

    Bring water and salt to the boil and add buck wheat

  • 2.

    Boil rapidly for 8 minutes. Once cooked strain off the water, spread the buckwheat on a tray and cool rapidly

  • 3.

    Warm a small amount of olive oil in a pan and add the cooked buckwheat stirring continually until the buckwheat is toasted and has taken on a nutty flavour

  • 4.

    Transfer the toasted buckwheat to a dehydrator and leave for a minimum of 12 hours

  • 5.

    Portion the buckwheat into 2 gram portions and reserve in airtight containers until needed

  • For the marine essence:

  • 1.

    Combine 150ml of mussel stock with 72ml aromatic stock. Check balance and seasoning

  • 2.

    Portion the finished ‘marine essence’ into test tubes at 38ml per portion. Reserve refrigerated

  • For the lemon confit:

  • 1.

    Cut the zest from the lemon and remove any traces of pith. Cut the zest in to 3cm long fine, even strips. Place water, sugar and sliced zest into a pot and on a very low heat gently simmer the zest until it is no longer brittle and has lost its rawness

  • 2.

    Reserve the confit lemon zest in an airtight container in the liquid

  • 3.

    A portion is 2 strips of zest

  • For the grapefruit jelly:

  • 1.

    In a small pot combine grapefruit juice and agar While stirring very gently so as not to introduce bubbles or cause any foaming on the surface, warm the liquid to 92°C. Maintain the

  • 2.

    Temperature for a minimum of 5 minutes so that the setting properties of the agar develop

  • 3.

    Once the time has elapsed pour the liquid into a lined plastic tray forming a sheet of grapefruit jelly. Leave to cool in the fridge

  • 4.

    Once set, cut the jelly into 1cm squares and re serve between grease proof paper until needed

  • For the snow pea:

  • 1.

    Slice the snow pea into even 5cm strips, slicing across the snow pea. Allow 8g per portion

  • 2.

    Reserve covered with a damp paper cloth touching the snow pea until needed

  • To serve:

  • 1.

    Place the portioned marine essence to warm into a water bath set at 70°C.

  • 2.

    In a bowl place the buckwheat, wakame, lemon confit and one piece of grapefruit jelly

  • 3.

    Place a pot of salted water on to boil and quickly blanch the snow pea.

  • 4.

    Once cooked transfer the snow pea to another pot and dress it with the warmed mackerel gel. The snow pea should have the appearance of wet sea weed

  • 5.

    Place the snow pea into the bowl on top of the other ingredients and scatter 3 slices of abalone around the snow pea

  • 6.

    In a hot pan seal the oysters giving them almost a crusted appearance but retaining a raw like texture. Place the oysters on top of the snow pea and pour the warmed marine essence over the top

  • 7.

    The dish should have the appearance of a rock pool


Courtesy of Dan Hunter at Melbourne Food and Wine Festival's Langham Melbourne Masterclass.

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