At home with Tetsuya’s confit of ocean trout

Confit of ocean trout with fennel salad

Confit of ocean trout with fennel salad

Tetsuya Wakuda is possibly one of the most revered of celebrity chefs in Australia and his restaurant, Tetsuya’s, is booked out months in advance.

His signature dish – the confit of Petuna ocean trout with fennel salad is perhaps the most celebrated dish among fine dining restaurants in Australia. This dish has now been on his menu for almost twenty years.

Diners and food lovers the world over can always vividly remember their dining experience at Tetsuya’s. I have been to Tetsuya’s three times and this dish is still my favourite among so many innovative creations on the menu.

Cookbook by Tetsuya Wakuda

Cookbook by Tetsuya Wakuda

Mysaucepan and I have once replicated this dish at home many years ago, inspired by our driving trip around beautiful Tasmania.

The quality and freshness of its local produce from cheeses, King island beef, world class pinot noir, oysters and of course, its renowned ocean trout from Maquarie harbour on the west coast of Tasmania are arguably some of the best ingredients in the world that one can cook with.

2005 Chateau Beaumont Haut-Médoc

2005 Chateau Beaumont Haut-Médoc

So, we have decided to replicate Tetsuya’s most famous dish for a second time. The guests for our dinner party are enthusiastic foodies and Mr T brings a bottle of 2005 Chateau Beaumont Haut-Medoc.

Cork of the 2005 Chateau Beaumont Haut-Médoc

Cork of the 2005 Chateau Beaumont Haut-Médoc

A wine where the cork bears its name and vintage, haut-Medoc is an Appellation d’Origin contrôlée (controlled designation of origin) in the southwest region of Bordeaux in France.

After decanting and given time to breath, this wine exhibits plummy flavours with leathery undertones and a smooth finish.

Salad of butter lettuce, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted capsicum

Salad of butter lettuce, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted capsicum

Molly brings the ingredients of one of the most beautiful and vibrant looking salads that is screaming summer in Sydney.

Mysaucepan cuts up the vegetables and assembles the salad in our kitchen.

The roasted red capsicum adds a smoky dimension to the crunch of yellow capsicum, cucumber and butter lettuce. Tangy slices of sun-dried tomatoes and balsamic vinegar is a perfect marriage with the rich, salt complexity of anchovies.

Tossing the salad

Tossing the salad

After a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a good old toss by Mysaucepan, this colourful and delicious salad comes to life and its beautiful flavours whet our appetite for the next course.

Tetsuya's signature dish - Confit of Petuna ocean trout and fennel salad

Tetsuya's signature dish - Confit of Petuna ocean trout and fennel salad

One of the obvious prerequisites for Tetsuya’s confit of ocean trout is its absolute freshness. We almost take fresh seafood in Sydney for granted with its daily abundance from hundreds of seafood markets all over Sydney.

The wave of new Japanese restaurants have also taken the art of making good sushi, sashimi and ocean fresh seafood to a new level.

Ocean trout fillets resting on fennel stalks

Ocean trout fillets resting on fennel stalks

After marinating for a few hours in grape seed oil, extra virgin olive oil, coriander powder, white pepper, basil, thyme and garlic, I gently place the delicate fillets of ocean trout on fennel stocks to prevent any part of the fish from having direct contact with the baking tray.

Cooking ocean trout fillets in warm oven with door open

Cooking ocean trout fillets in warm oven with door open

Tetsuya’s recipe calls for a pre-heated oven to be set at its lowest of around 70 degrees Celsius and the oven door to be open throughout the entire cooking process.

Each piece of ocean trout fillet should weigh no more than 100 grams and the recommended cooking time is approximately 7 – 8 minutes but no more than 10 minutes.

Heated so gently, I can stick my hand into the oven to brush each fillet with the grape seed oil and EVOO marinade as I watch them cook.

Confit of ocean trout with fennel salad

Confit of ocean trout with fennel salad

At the end of the cooking process, the ocean trout makes a slight indent with the gentle press of my finger to indicate that it has been cooked although its colour remains in its original vibrant orange.

2011 Petaluma Riesling from Clare Valley

2011 Petaluma Riesling from Clare Valley

KC brings a bottle of 2011 Petaluma riesling from Clare valley, Australia’s foremost riesling producing region. It displays the usual citrusy and fresh lemon and lime flavours. This wine will yield great rewards with long term cellaring but is undoubtedly a beautiful accompaniment to the ocean trout.

Confit of Petuna ocean trout with fennel salad

Confit of Petuna ocean trout with fennel salad

The ocean trout’s gentle flavour is complemented both in taste and texture by the crispy and salty bits of konbu. The parsley oil adds herb aromas while the small drizzle of lemon juice and EVOO in the fennel salad gently wilts its firm texture and brings out its aniseed flavours.

Confit of Petuna ocean trout with fennel salad

Confit of Petuna ocean trout with fennel salad

Our dinner guests give us a seal of approval and although I am happy with the taste and flavour of all the elements of this dish, the execution and presentation have a lot more room for improvement.

My next take would most definitely involve a whole fish rather than individual fillets. The sprinkling of konbu can be a lot more precise and tidy and the fillets more uniform and even when it comes from the fillet of one whole half of a trout.

Spaghetti carbonara cooked with bacon salt

Spaghetti carbonara cooked with bacon salt

Since I made a batch of bacon salt recently, I have rekindled my love affair with an old world recipe in the form of a good spaghetti carbonara.

By sweating finely diced garlic and parsley in some good EVOO, I stir in a healthy dose of bacon salt. Once fragrant, I mix the boldly al dente spaghetti until it is evenly coated. Three eggs stirred into the pasta and a sprinkle of chives top off this simple dish as our main tonight.

Slicing the creme caramel

Slicing the creme caramel

Molly never fails to impress with her signature creme caramel dessert. Tonight, she brings this dessert where it is flipped and assembled in our kitchen.

Creme caramel

Creme caramel

It is light, creamy and not overly sweet with a subtle vanilla flavour, a perfect end to a wonderful evening with good friends and good food.

Thank you all for coming, it is always a pleasure to have you at our place.

~~~~~~o~~~~~~

The Recipes

Salad of roasted capsicum, sun-dried tomatoes and butter lettuce

Salad of butter lettuce, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted capsicum

Salad of butter lettuce, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted capsicum

This is a great summer salad because it is as light as it can be and I love the combination of the tangy and sweet taste of the dressing.

I have a feeling we will be making this salad more than once this summer. Thanks Molly for a beautiful recipe!

Confit of ocean trout and fennel salad 

Ocean trout marinating in grape seed oil, EVOO, coriander powder, white pepper, basil and thyme

Ocean trout marinating in grape seed oil, EVOO, coriander powder, white pepper, basil and thyme

Tasmanian salmon caviar

Tasmanian salmon caviar

Fennel stalks in baking tray

Fennel stalks in baking tray

Ocean trout fillets resting on fennel stalks

Ocean trout fillets resting on fennel stalks

Finely diced konbu and chives

Finely diced konbu and chives

Confit of ocean trout with fennel salad

Confit of ocean trout with fennel salad

 Spaghetti carbonara

This is a simple and tasty recipe that should not require any cream at all. Stir in some pecorino cheese just before serving if desired.

Spaghetti carbonara

Spaghetti carbonara

Creme caramel

This is a dessert that is great for summer or winter as it is light, gently creamy and served warm.

Thanks Molly for yet another beautiful dessert of yours!

Molly's creme caramel

Molly's creme caramel

So dear readers, have you been to Tetsuya’s and if so, do you have a favourite dish on the menu?

Click on any of the photos to view ChopinandMysaucepan‘s favourite recipes or simply click here.

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44 Responses to At home with Tetsuya’s confit of ocean trout

  1. Stunning, simply stunning! Er, may I please lick the plate?

  2. Christine says:

    fantastic!!! you are truly a talented chef to pull this one off! what lucky dinner guests! :)

  3. msihua says:

    I have been lucky enough to try this dish once. You guys host the most awesome looking dinner parties! So jealous!

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear msihua,

      This dish is quite delicious and I need more practice to get more consistency in the execution and presentation.

  4. Charles says:

    Just “wow”… that fish looks… breathtakingly good. It’s not surprising the restaurant is booked out so far in advance if they’re serving stuff like that – I really want to try it! It’s hard to find fennel stalks where I am though – they always cut them off and just sell the bulb :(

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Charles,

      The original recipe actually recommended stalks of celery and carrots as the base for resting the ocean trout fillets but I thought using the fennel stalks would be better since they are inedible and were going into the bin anyway.

  5. What an incredible meal. Each dish looks superb! I have his book but have yet to make anything from it. I will have to browse through it again. Is Ocean Trout Salmon? I’m thinking yes without checking online.

    I’m out getting a pedicure and when I return I am going to get that cookbook out and check out this recipe. Thank you for sharing all of them. They all look sensational. What a fun evening you had.

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Vicki,

      Ocean trout and salmon are two different kinds of fish although they look quite similar. Depending on where salmon comes from, it has more of a silver body whilst the ocean trout has a reddish blush along the side of its body. It’s actually not a difficult recipe if you are working with a whole half of a the fish fillet so that it can be sliced more evenly.

  6. Excellent dishes, when Tetsuya finds out about this maybe he will want to join your next dinner party:)
    That confit is cooked rather quickly, surprised.

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Three-Cookies,

      Tetsuya has churned out this dish many thousand times whilst I have done it twice, so I’m pretty sure mine is better than his … not!!

      The cooking time really depends on the oven and requires constant monitoring.

  7. Hotly Spiced says:

    What a beautiful dinner party. I’m sure that was a very special evening. I must buy Tetsuya’s cookbook. I think you have certainly done justice to Tetsuya’s recipes. Love how you twirled that pasta.

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Hotly Spiced,

      I’m a long way off from doing justice to this recipe. It is a tasty dish and I would be keen to practise with a whole fish the next time :)

  8. Row says:

    Such beautiful dishes! I’m from a landlocked city, so it’s very rare to have salmon as wonderfully fresh as the one photographed here. All of the photos are lovely, but my favourite has to be the ones of the spaghetti carbonara. I can almost taste the strands of spaghetti coated with cheese and bacon salt… yum!

  9. You did a great job! I’ve seen that recipe and thought that perhaps I could do it one day but still haven’t gotten around to it. Yours gives me confidence as it looks perfect! :)

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Lorraine,

      You’re too kind with your comments coz my interpretation looks far from perfect! I would love to try it again with a whole fish though :)

  10. Carolyn Jung says:

    That’s like a $125 tasting menu at a fancy restaurant. Wow! Beautiful job. Every dish looks like a winner, but especially that vibrant ocean trout.

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Carolyn

      I think certain recipes can be replicated provided the chef has not held back any secrets in their cookbooks.

      This ocean trout is actually quite fun to prepare because it’s more to do with prep skills because the slow oven does all the cooking :)

      • Carolyn Jung says:

        Very true! Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s recipes always work so well. And he has so many uncanny techniques that are easy and trustworthy.

        Well, your dish came out so gorgeous. It would make any dinner a true party. ;)

  11. Ann says:

    Oh, my! What a simply stunning dinner! You let each dish shine on it’s own – even though there was a star of the evening! Thank you, thank you for inviting us along! Brilliantly done!

  12. Fiona Novak says:

    wow!! Well done!! The Trout looks superb … actually every dish looks amazingly mouth-watering. Tetsuya would be proud his dish was prepared so stunningly at home!

  13. Oh wow! I really love that chefs are now sharing a lot of their passion and recipes with their captive audience. While not everyone may be able to afford to go to Tetsuya’s restaurant or they may live too far away, they can easily replicate some of the dishes at home. Your execution looks brilliant too!

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Martyna,

      You’re right that most of the celebrity chefs at top fine diners have cookbooks of their famous dishes. Hopefully they are not holding back on any secrets for the recipes though :)

  14. Raymund says:

    That salmon is mouth watering! honestly that made me drool. That is my favourite fish and I can eat a whole big one by myself

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Raymund,

      The ocean trout do taste very similar to salmon and it’s one of my favourite fish too. Thanks for visiting.

  15. This is amazing C & MSP! I’ve never heard of him before (thanks for mentioning) and I would love to go to his restaurant in my lifetime.

    This dish is very contemporary and just beautiful! Even when I have the same ingredients I would not be able to come up a dish like this. What an amazing chef with creative minds! And you two are amazing too to replicate the dish so successfully!

    I love your cream caramel and will try your recipe one day (my husband’s favorite).

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Nami,

      Tetsuya is probably the most famous celebrity chef in Australia.

      The recipe is not too difficult to replicate. What I found challenging is the preparation of the fish and presentation.

      One of our friends brought the dessert and it was beautiful.

  16. Sissi says:

    What does one have to do to be invited to a dinner in your house??? Seriously, both dishes and wines always look excellent and carefully chosen… Not to mention the company of gourmets and big wine amateurs.

    Actually a book called “Tetsuya” has been on my wish list for over a year and I have almost forgotten about it. Since I have never been to Australia and don’t have any Australian cookery book, I suppose Tetsuya Wakuda must be a big international star.

    That’s it, this is the second time you mention the bacon salt. I must do it.

  17. tigerfish says:

    Look at the perfect marbling on the ocean trout! Plus the great skills of a chef like you to bring it to greater heights.

  18. Hannah says:

    Oh my golly, I am so in awe of your commitment and ability!

    …I’m going to keep eating my packet oatmeal with peanut butter now.

  19. sophia says:

    Ohmylord. the freshness and taste just leaps out from the pictures and your words. I am absolutely smitten with the pinkness of the trout flesh. And that gleaming flan!

  20. Joanne says:

    Every aspect of this meal sounds amazing! you put so much thought into it and it really shows! The trout especially…I wish I could taste it…I guess now I can since you provided the recipe!

  21. Juliana says:

    Everything looks wonderful and delicious from the beginning to the end…perfect meal, so elegant. You are sure very talented…
    Have a great week :-)

  22. Looks delicious! When my dad goes fishing, he’s always the most happy when he catches an ocean trout.

    Thank you for the tweet! I thought you’d love Chopin’s piano concerto #2 as well! :)

  23. With all those delicious and beautiful array of menu, I want to be your neighbor :D

  24. What a wonderful meal, but wow the confit of ocean trout, a must try.

  25. Kimby says:

    Your posts are such a treat — for the eyes and for the palate! (I felt like I had dined with you by the end. ) Simply exquisite! I’m also anxious to try your Bacon Salt — it’s destined to become a staple in Southern cooking! (Bacon is BIG in the South.) Thanks again for the enjoyable time spent with you.

  26. Maia says:

    I have never heard of preparing fish with low heat and oven door ajar. How unusual! Everything looks and sounds delightful.

  27. What a fabulous meal! I really like how your carbonara recipe didn’t use any cream at all :)

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