These crunchy, ultra thin and translucent olive oil chips are a creation of molecular gastronomy Chef Ferran Adria of El Bulli. The neutral base and large surface area allows you to showcase the aromas and flavors of a good olive oil. The outstanding presentation makes them a great way to start a molecular gastronomy meal.
The olive oil chip is made with a simple mix of kuzu root starch (called kuzuko in Japan), water and sugar that is dehydrated for 24 hours and then coated with olive oil. The resulting kuzu chip is very thin, very crunchy and translucent. Its lack of flavor makes it a great and fun vehicle to experience the oil you are coating it with. Its large surface area increases the aromas released into the air and also helps to distribute a fine coat of olive oil in your mouth making just a few drops of olive oil really powerful. It is a great way to taste different oils.
Molecular gastronomy Chef Ferran Adria also serves the kuzu chip with olive oil caviar as show in the picture (left).
For this recipe you will need a dehydrator, a stencil with 5.5 cm diameter circles and Teflon or silicone mats for your dehydrator. I tested with both types of mats in this recipe and noticed that the chips dehydrated on the Teflon mat were crystal clear while the ones on the silicone mat were a little dull on one side. However, once coated with olive oil these chips become crystal clear too so for this recipe both mats work fine.
- 250 g (8.8 oz) water
- 25 g (0.88 oz) sugar
- 20 g Kuzu (buy Kuzu)
- 20 g olive oil or your favorite oil (white truffle oil or almond oil are great too)
- 25 g salt
Crunchy Kuzu Chips
1- In a small pot, heat the water, sugar and kuzu over medium heat stirring constantly until it starts boiling. Let it boil for 30 seconds and remove from heat.
2- Pass the mix through a fine sieve and pour it into a decorating bag.
3- Wait for 2 minutes to let it cool down.
4- Place stencil over Teflon or silicone mat. It is helpful to stick it with scotch tape to the countertop to keep it in place.
5- Pour some mix on the mat and spread it with an offset spatula creating a thin layer of about 0.3 cm.
6- Remove the stencil and place the mat in the dehydrator for 6 hours at 50 °C (122 °F).
7- Carefully remove the chips from the mat and flip them. Dehydrate for 18 hours at 50 °C (122 °F). The chip edges tend to bend upwards but to prevent this you can cover them with another silicone mat. The mat weight will keep them flat.
8- Once the olive oil chips are dry and crunchy, store them in a sealed container in a dry and cool place.
9- Grind the salt in a spice grinder until you obtain a fine powder.
Assemble and Serve
1- With a small brush, coat the crunchy kuzu chips with olive oil or your favorite oil.
2- Sprinkle the olive oil chips with salt powder.
3- Serve immediately.
- Ferran Adria coats the kuzu chips with almond oil and tops them with almond oil caviar.