Green tea and sake seem to go hand in hand, or at least they are close partners in food. When eating I am eating Japanese food I usually transition between green tea and sake before and after the meal. I will start with a cup of green tea to warm the bones on chilling evenings and then look quickly towards a refreshing glass of sake. Similarly, as an evening of consuming mass quantities of Japanese food begins to wind down, I switch from the sake to the tea again, somehow looking to tell my palate and stomach that I have eaten quite enough. Today we revisited our approach to floating roe, yet we were working with a sake cured steel head trout roe and decided to float it in a green tea broth sweetened slightly with agave nectar. In looking at new means to present the floating roe we layered it and the green tea broth in sections of cucumber which were divided by planks of melon confit. The final elements of the dish were accents to the roe, the tea and the cucumber and melon sections. We added a few pomelo cells for acidity and then some sections of gooseberry for floral sweetness. A few leaves of celery added an herbal bitterness to the dish and a drizzle of Armando Manni's olive oil added a touch of spice and richness.
While I was typing the first portion of this post, I began to think. I was being cute with the presentation of the dish rather than taking advantage of the ingredients and the roles each one can play together. So, I reworked the dish, still using the base ingredients and we now have a dish that is quite spectacular. The components are presented in the bottom of a glass. The chilled tea broth is then poured over the ingredients which happily float in the broth, waiting to be consumed in several distinct sips.