Cool Plates features dishes from across the country to help inspire chefs' creativity.
Co-chefs Erik Anderson and Josh Habiger combine modern techniques and classic flavors from Korea and Southeast Asia for this dish.
They cut the tentacles off of Spanish octopus and put them in a sous-vide bag with the chiles used to make kimchee, along with garlic, ginger and salt. They vacuum-seal the bag and cook it in an immersion circulator at 78° Celsius for about 10 hours.
Separately, they thinly slice shiitake mushrooms, roast them to give them some color and then dehydrates them overnight.
“They’re salty and crunchy, like vegan bacon bits,” Habiger said.
They let the octopus cool a little, but while it’s still warm they peel the skin off of the tentacles, leaving behind ivory-colored flesh.
They cut the tentacles into bite-sized pieces and serve them with a purée of kimchee embellished with more ginger, garlic and Korean chiles. Also on the plate are roasted turnips and pickled daikon sheets flavored with fish sauce and kaffir lime leaves.
On top of that they put an Asian slaw of Napa cabbage, micro cilantro, chives, garlic flowers and red pepper threads. They sprinkle the dish with the mushroom bits and finish it with spray-dried coconut powder.
“When it hits your mouth, the powder instantly turns creamy,” Habiger said.
The dish is part of The Catbird Seat’s 9-course, $100 tasting menu.