Though I can turn this into a spoonful of that, I find the pearl the most useful with gastronomy applications.
I’m going to make your Corn Cake with a barbecued crab and cilantro pearls. We’re going to show you what happens when you combine the art of cooking with the smarts of science, a little thing called molecular gastronomy.
What I’m going to make now is a corn cake with barbecued crab and cilantro pearls. You need corn cake butter, barbecue sauce, lump crab meat, fresh cilantro, fresh parsley, sodium alginate and calcium chloride. Why don’t we start with the corn cake and take that corn cake butter. We’re basically just going to make pancakes out of it. This will take about four minutes on the first side and about three minutes on the second side. All we really want to do is ground them up, flip them over and make sure that they’re no longer wet on the inside.
What we’re going to work on now is making our cilantro pearls. I’m going to put this calcium chloride in the water and all I need for that to do is to dissolve.
Calcium Chloride is a salt that is as solid at room temperature. Though found in rock salt and concrete, it can also be found in electrolytes, canned vegetables and a brine because of its firming properties.
Then what we’re going to do is take our water, our sodium alginate. It will thicken things a little bit.
Sodium Alginate is the sodium salt of alginic acid. Its natural form is a gum and is used by the food industry as an emulsifier and to increase viscosity in liquids. Sodium alginate has no discernible flavor.
We’re going to add some parsley and some cilantro to this and puree the whole mess. And when you’re finished with that, we strain it and it ends up looking like this. So basically, you got a nice bright green color, it’s got a lot of flavor from the cilantro and the parsley. Make sure that this calcium chloride is completely dissolved in the water. You can either do it like this, one little drop at a time with the spoon, or you want to get a little bit more advanced. I’m just using the syringe in doing it one drop at a time. And as you can see, the minute they hit that solution, they kind of form into a ball. Keep them all out of there. Drain them. And all that I’m going to do now is rinse them in fresh cool water, and what that does is stops the process. You now hold right where they are. My goal here is to have them form a skin on the outside to hold the shape and is kind of a liquid on the inside. So we’ll cut them open and see what happens. Do you see that liquid? That’s what we’re looking for. That way, when someone puts this in their mouth bit into it and it bursts, and they get like this, burst to flavor.
So to take the syringe the idea one step further, I need this neat little gizmo here. We’re going to pour some of the mixture into this little dish and I’ll set this in here. What this is is still a syringe but it’s hooked up to 96 droppers there, so drop that when you want. Just set that in there or pull some of that mixture up into it like that. Now, I can pick this thing up and we’ll hold it over our calcium chloride solution and we’ll just rinse them. This really speeds up the whole process.
So now, I’m just going to scoop them out with this in. At this point, we got our pearls made. Why don’t we go ahead and build this plate.
We have our corn cakes. Put down one of them first on some of the crab meat, on top of it, and pour a little bit of barbecue sauce. This is the barbecue that we make in the house. You don’t have to make one, you can buy one if you like. You have your favorite. You can change the style that you want to do. Have it as an Asian flare or a Peruvian flare, you can do that as well. Put another corn cake, more crab meat, more of the barbecue sauce. And now, we’re going to finish it up with some of these cilantro pearls. These, we’ll just put around the plate with the garnish. Let some of them fall into the plate. We’ll actually put some of it on top too because I want to make sure that people actually get a hold on a couple of these. And then when they bite into it, it will burst in their mouth and they’ll love it.
And there you have it. Corn cake with the barbecued crab and cilantro pearl.