Full of Spanish heart

By Dong Fangyu ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-07-23 07:46:41

Full of Spanish heart

Spanish cold tomato soup Salmorejo.

Why noodles as a starter? The dish plays an amazingly deceitful trick: the squid meat is thinly and dexterously cut into the shape of hand-pulled noodles.

The ink sauce is thick but not heavy; after stirring, the squid noodles look as though they are decked in a dark coat. With its distinct sea taste, but one that is not fishy at all, it is delicious. It imparts an incredible feeling in the mouth because of the springy squid meat and the creamy texture of the ink sauce. This is briny and mildly sour with a special Spanish sauce in it called jerez (sherry vinegar).

The ink and hollandaise sauce also has a slightly sweet twist because of the onions in it, caramelized after six hours of cooking on very low heat, Ruiz says.

The marriage of caramelized onions and squid meat also appears in another of Ruiz's signature dishes, candied and grilled pork belly on top of a base paste of onion and squid, and a side sauce of apricot compote (128 yuan).

In this dish, caramelized onions give the paste a subtle sweetness and wonderfully offset the chewy texture of the squid meat.

Iberian pork and Atlantic squid are quintessentially Spanish, and a gourmet complex of the two apparently goes back to when fishermen used squid in bartering with butchers for pork.

"Like China, different regions in Spain have very different styles of cuisines," Ruiz says. "For Catalonia, seafood and meat dishes are high on the menu."

At Agua the streaky Iberian pork is braised for 10 hours on extremely low heat and then slightly sauteed. The fat meat then seems to dry out, leaving a crisp outer layer.

Apricot compote as a side sauce works very well to balance any oily feel of the pork and onions.

Editor's Picks
Hot words

Most Popular