Yuzu Cilantro Spheres
These spheres burst in your mouth releasing a refreshing taste of yuzu, orange peel and cilantro. Yuzu and cilantro pair perfectly as they have similar molecular compounds in common. (check “Food Pairing in Molecular Gastronomy”). The spheres are garnished with cilantro leaf, orange zest and popping sugar, adding an extra pop and crackling.
In this recipe we’ll be using Frozen Reverse Spherification to create the spheres. Instead of using a spoon to pour the main ingredient into the alginate bath, a hemispheric mold is used to freeze the calcium mixture and then the frozen hemispheres are popped into the bath. All the spheres will be the same size and perfectly round. You will need hemispheric silicone molds for this recipe (buy silicone mold).
- 60 g (2.1 oz) yuzu juice
- 30 g (1.1 oz) orange juice
- orange peel
- 2 g cilantro
- 30 g (1.1 oz) simple syrup
- 2 g orange zest
- small cilantro leaves for garnish
- unflavored popping sugar (buy popping sugar)
- 2.4 g calcium lactate gluconate (buy calcium lactate gluconate)
- 1000 g (35 oz) of filtered or low calcium water
- 5 g sodium alginate (buy sodium alginate)
- 50 g (1.8 oz) sugar
1- Start by preparing the alginate bath. Mix the sodium alginate and sugar in the water using an immersion blender until the sodium alginate is completely dissolved. If this is your first time doing this, be aware that this may take longer than expected.
2- Let it rest for 24 hours in the fridge so that the air that has entered the mixture disappears and the sodium alginate is completely rehydrated.
1- Mix Yuzu and orange juice with the Calcium Lactate Gluconate until it dissolves completely.
2- Add orange peel and cilantro and let it rest in a covered container in the fridge for 1 hour.
3- Pass the mix through a fine sieve.
4- Add simple syrup to taste and mix.
5- Place hemispheric silicone mold on a cutting board, flat pan or plate so you can keep it flat while you place it in the freezer. Fill the hemispheric mold with the yuzu mix and let if freeze overnight.
Making Yuzu Spheres
1- You are now ready to start the spherification process! Warm the alginate bath in the microwave (around 65 °C / 150 °F).
2- Pop a few frozen Yuzu hemispheres into the warm alginate bath. It is important that they don’t touch or they will stick to each other.
3- Leave the spheres "cooking" for about 2 minutes in the alginate bath. Try with one sphere first until you find the right timing which depends on how fast the frozen hemisphere thaws. If the membrane is too weak, leave it a little longer in the bath. If it is too thick, reduce the time. After you practice with a few spheres, you’ll be able to tell if they are ready by just lifting the spheres just above the surface of the bath using a slotted spoon.
4- Carefully remove the Yuzu spheres using a slotted spoon.
5- Rinse them very gently in a bowl with warm water.
6- Transfer them to a container with water or Yuzu juice while you make more spheres.
7- Store the Yuzu spheres in the fridge until serving time.
Optional: Carbonating the Spheres
8- To carbonate the spheres, place them carefully in an ISI Whip (buy ISI Whip) container and cover them with Yuzu juice.
9- Charge the ISI Whip with a CO2 cartridge (not N2O or they won’t be fizzy!).
10- Place them in the fridge for about 2 hours.
11- Discharge the canister by holding it upright and squeezing the trigger to release the pressure. DO NOT open the canister before discharging it completely.
12- Unscrew the top and remove the spheres. Serve immediately.
Assemble and Serve
1- Remove Yuzu spheres from the fridge and place them on appetizer spoons.
2- If spheres were stored in water, add a few drops of Yuzu mix to each sphere.
3- Decorate with small cilantro leaves, orange zest and pop rock.