Marcus Wesch adds peppery notes to his shark hash-filled spring rolls with a Bermuda hot pepper and nasturtium leaves, which are similar in taste if not texture to watercress. The crispy spring rolls are served with dressed greens, carrot curls, and a bright touch of prickly pear syrup. If fresh prickly pear fruit are not available to you locally, look for frozen juice or even preserves.
- Shark Filling
- Carrot - 1, roughly chopped
- Celery Stalks - 3, roughly chopped
- Leek - 1 strip, cut into 2-inch pieces
- Romaine Lettuce Leaf - 1
- Shark Steak - 1-1/2 pounds, broken into chunks
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Shallot - 1, minced
- Bermuda or other small hot pepper - 1, peeled, seeded, and minced
- Pepper Leaves - 3, julienned
- Nasturtium Leaves - 2, cut in chiffonade
- Thyme Sprigs - 1, stemmed and minced
- Parsley Sprigs - 2, stemmed and minced
- Zest of 1 lemon, blanched and dried
- Lemon Juice - 1/4 cup
- Orange Juice - 1/4 cup
- Olive Oil - 1 cup
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Prickly Pear Sauce
- Prickly Pear juice - 1/2 cup
- Orange Juice - 1/4 cup
- Carrot Curl Garnish
- Carrots - 2, pared
- Spring Rolls
- Egg White - 1
- Cool Water - 1 teaspoon
- Egg roll wrappers - 6
- Nasturtium Leaves - 12, stemmed
- Shark Filling - (above)
- Canola oil for frying
- Mixed baby greens - 1-1/2 cups
- Chives - 16
To prepare the filling: Wrap the carrot, celery, and leek in the romaine lettuce leaf to create a bouquet garni, and tie with cotton string,. Put the bouquet garni and the shark into a large saucepan of boiling water. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Lift the shark out of the broth with a slotted spoon and let cool. Squeeze the pieces dry in a towel. Put in a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat and stir in the thyme and parsley. Cook until the mixture is as dry as possible, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Remove and let cool.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the shallot. Cook until translucent and softened; do not brown. Crumble the shark meat into the shallots and add the pepper and leaves. Remove from heat and let cool.
To make the dressing: Combine the zest, lemon juice, and orange juice. Slowly pour in the oil, whisking constantly to form an emulsion. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
To make the prickly pear sauce: Combine the prickly pear juice and orange juice in a small non-aluminum saucepan over medium heat. Cook until reduced to a syrup. Remove from heat and let cool. Put in a squeeze bottle.
To prepare the carrot curls: Use a spiral slicer or mandoline to cut long, very thin curls or strips from the carrots. Put in ice water.
To make the spring rolls: Thin the egg white with the water in a small bowl and set aside. Spread an egg roll wrapper on a work surface. Place two nasturtium leaves in the center, overlapping one another slightly. Spoon a line of shark filling on the leaves, across the center of the wrapper. Brush one corner and the adjacent edges of the wrapper with the thinned egg white. With the painted corner toward you, fold the opposite corner over the hash and leaves and tuck under, forming a cylinder. Roll toward you slightly. Fold the two side corners of the wrapper up and over the developing roll. Continue rolling toward you, pressing the point and edges down to seal. Set aside, sealed-side down, and cover with a damp cloth which has been nearly completely wrung out. Make the remaining five spring rolls.
Heat the oil to 350 in a deep-fat fryer or deep saucepan. Fry the rolls until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, turning to fry all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Do not crowd the pan; if frying individually or in batches, let the oil return to temperature before each addition.
To serve: Remove the carrot curls from the ice water and pat dry. Whisk the dressing briefly and toss with the greens. Cut a thin slice off the ends of the spring rolls to create flat ends. Slice the rolls in half on the diagonal with a sharp serrated knife. Stand three spring roll pieces, points up, in an open triangle on a serving plate. Place one fourth of the dressed greens between the rolls. Place a cluster of carrot curls in the center, on top of the greens. Stand four chives in the middle, bracing them with the carrot curls and greens. Spatter prickly pear sauce around the plate. Repeat with remaining three plates.