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Sea Garnish – edible sand, sea foam and seafood

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Inspired by Heston Blumenthal's ‘Sound of the Sea’ dish, molecular gastronomy Chef Elfwing of Senses at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur created this delicious sea garnish to accompany the Red Gurnard with smoked potato puree. This incredible seafood dish invites the diner to explore and discover different flavors in every bite.

The sea garnish has edible sand, sea foam, Boston Bay blue mussels, a seared Scottish scallop, clams, butter cooked crab meat, French wild asparagus, rock chives, oyster leaf and maji leaf.

I tried this dish for the first time when I was invited by Chef Michael Elfwing to have lunch at his restaurant. The best part? Sea Garnish - edible sand, sea foam and seafood
Hard to say but I was astonished by the flavor of the edible sand. I just loved it but couldn't figure out where the taste was coming from. Fortunately, molecular gastronomy Chef Elfwing shared his magic recipe with us.

The edible sand contains konbu seaweed, maltodextrin, tuile biscuit made with rendered chicken fat instead of butter, crispy fried panko, crispy fried shirasu and miso oil. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Miso oil

- 200 g (7 oz) red miso paste

- 200 g (7 oz) white miso paste

- 300 g (10.6 oz) grape seed oil

Ingredients for Edible Sand

- 6 g (0.2 oz) konbu seaweed, ground to a fine powder in a coffee grinder

- 80 g (2.8 oz) Maltodextrin

- 25 g (0.9 oz) ground traditional tuile biscuit with the butter content changed to rendered chicken fat

- 30 g (1 oz) crispy fried panko

- 5 g (0.18 oz) crispy fried shirasu

- 140 g (5 oz) miso oil, recipe above

- sea salt to taste

Ingredients for Sea foam

- 1 kg (2.2 lb) clams

- 200 ml (6.8 oz) white wine

- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped

- 2 shallot, chopped

- 1 stick of celery, chopped

- 2 sprigs of dill

- 5 g of lecithin powder

Other Ingredients

- Your favorite seafood. Chef Elfwing uses Boston Bay blue mussels, a seared Scottish scallop, clams and butter cooked crab meat

- Vegetables and greens. Chef Elfwing uses French wild asparagus, rock chives, oyster leaf and maji leaf.


Sea Garnish & Red GurnardMiso Oil

1- Whisk together all ingredients and leave for 48-72 hours in the refrigerator for a minimum.

2- Strain through a chinois by pouring in all the oil and miso paste and leave to sit until all the oil has dripped out.

Edible Sand

1- Mix all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

2- Add the oil slowly and keep whisking to a wet sand consistency.

3- Start using your hands and rub the mixture until desired texture is achieved.

4- Taste and season with sea salt and more konbu if needed.

5- Store in a dry place until needed.

Sea Foam

1- Bring wine, vegetables and dill to boil.

2- Add the clams and cook until they open, strain the juice and measure what is left.

3- Use 2 g of lecithin powder for every 250 ml and blend it in well in a high container wide enough to collect the air (about 25 cm). Strain the mixture and keep until needed.

Assemble and Serve

1- Cook your favorite seafood. Chef Michael Elfwing’s sea garnish includes Boston Bay blue mussels, a seared Scottish scallop, clams and butter cooked crab meat. Heston Blumenthal’s ‘Sound of the Sea’ has razor clams, oysters and sea urchins.

2- Place the edible sand on a plate and with a spatula make a vertical strip of about 4 cm (1.5 inch) wide.

3- Arrange the cooked seafood over the sand.

4- Arrange some vegetables and greens next to the seafood such as French wild asparagus, rock chives, oyster leaf and maji leaf.

5- Produce the sea foam by lifting the immersion blender to the upper part of the liquid surface to incorporate as much air as possible so that foam forms on the surface. Once you have enough foam on the surface, let it rest of 1 minute so that the foam sets and the excess of liquid is eliminated.

6- Spoon some sea foam on top of the open sea shells and next to the edible sand to resemble the ocean foam on the beach.

Serving Suggestion

- Serve the sea garnish by itself as an appetizer.

- Play sound of the sea music like Heston Blumenthal does at his restaurant The Fat Duck.

- Serve it as side to a grilled fish such as Red Gurnard.

-  Add a side like smoked potato purée: simply spread your potato purée on a tray and cold smoke for 20 minutes using the Smoking Gun or similar device. Chef Michael Elfwing uses birch wood but any of your favorite wood will work.