Fresh oysters are combined with lychee, sage, grapefruit and lemongrass flavors. The lychee and sage flavors are incorporated into the dish by topping the oysters with lychee bubbles filled with sage vapor.
The lychee bubbles are made using the fish tank air pump technique created by molecular gastronomy Chef Grant Achatz. To fill the bubbles with sage vapor, we place the air pump in a container filled with sage vapor generated by a Volcano vaporizer. The air pump will suck in this sage vapor and pump it into the lychee mix, generating bubbles with sage vapor inside.
This flavor combination was inspired by the molecular profiling of these ingredients done by FoodPairing.com. The resulting sage flavor was a little too subtle for me. I would have preferred to have a slightly more intense sage flavor in the dish.
Ingredients for Bubbles
- 350 g (12.3 oz) lychee light syrup (better if you create your own using lychee juice)
- 1.6 g salt
- 1.4 g egg white powder or 1 g Versawhip (buy egg white powder)
- 0.9 g Xanthan Gum (buy xanthan gum)
- 10 fresh sage leaves
Ingredients for Oysters
- 1 grapefruit juice
- 2 lemongrass stalks
- 2 tbs rice wine vinegar
- 2 shallots
- 12 oysters
Lychee Bubbles filled with Sage Vapor
1- Mix the lychee syrup, salt and egg white powder with an immersion blender.
2- Add the Xanthan gum and mix again with immersion blender until completely dissolved.
3- Place the fish tank air pump in a container. Find an air pump without an air filter or if it has one, it is sometimes easy to remove it.
4- Connect a clean PVC hose to a fish tank air pump and insert the other end in the mix.
5- Grind the sage leaves and place them in the filling chamber of a Volcano vaporizer previously set at 190°C (374°F).
6- Connect one end of the Volcano hose to the vaporizer and place the other end in the container with the fish tank air pump.
7- Turn on the fan of the vaporizer.
8- Cover the container with plastic wrap so that it fills with sage vapor.
9- Turn the pump on and let bubbles collect for about 10 minutes.
1- Cut off the lower bulb of the lemongrass stalks and remove tough, outer leaves. Cut the main yellow stalk into thin slices and process well in a food processor.
2- Finely chop the shallots.
3- Mix grapefruit juice, rice wine vinegar, processed lemongrass and chopped shallots.
Assemble and Serve
1- Open oysters and place on a plate with crushed ice.
2- Dress oysters with desired amount of oyster dressing.
3- Using a slotted spoon, collect some lychee bubbles and place them on top of the oysters. Enjoy!