Moreton Bay bugs, avodaco, chicken dashi, kombu

Recipe, compliments of Matt McCartney from Char Dining

Serves 10

For the avocado chowanmushi


  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 5g fresh grated ginger
  • 1 green chilli, seeded preferably
  • 200ml full cream milk
  • 20ml fresh yuzu juice
  • 5g Iota
  • 1tsp dashi powder


Place all ingredients in a high speed blender such as vita prep and puree until very smooth.

Pour contents of blender into a heavy based stainless steel pot.

On a moderate heat bring to almost boiling point while constantly whisking.

Once the mix is hot and very runny transfer contents of pot into a jug and pour mix into greased dariole moulds until half full.

This process must be done very quickly before the mix sets!


For service, slice the chowanmushi into 3mm thick discs, 1-2 per serve.

For the bugs


  • 10 whole pieces of Moreton bay bug meat
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 sprigs French tarragon


Place the bugs in a large criovac bag with the tarragon and olive oil and vacuum seal for 20 seconds.

Place the vacuum packed bugs in a water bath set at 59 degrees Celsius and cook for 15-20 minutes (until firm).

Refresh in the bag in iced water.

For service, remove the bugs from the bag and slice in half lengthways, 2 pieces per serve.

Trim off any loose pieces and reserve them to be sautéed with the Shemiji.

Grill the bug halves to order.

For the chicken skin


  • 4ea chicken skins (from breast or leg)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt


Remove all of the excess fat from the chicken skins. Dress the skins in olive oil and sea salt. Lay the chicken skins flat on silpat mats with another silpat mat sandwiching the skins. Place another tray on top. Place the chicken skins in a hot box overnight on 60-70 degrees. Break the skins into 5cm shards. If the skins are slightly underdone (not crisp) place them in an oven set at 180 degrees Celsius for 5-8 minutes. 

For the Kombu chips


  • 2 sheets Kombu (reserved from the chicken dashi see recipe below)


Finely julienne the Kombu and deep fry in oil set to 170 degrees Celsius. Place the fried Kombu on absorbent paper. Season.

Roasted chicken dashi


  • 1kg chicken wings
  • 1lt brown chicken stock
  • 2 pieces Kombu
  • 1 cup bonito flakes
  • 100ml sake
  • ¼ cup light soy
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce


Roast the chicken wings in an oven set to 230 degrees Celsius for 27 minutes. Remove the wings from the oven and place the tray over an open flame. Deglaze the wings with sake. Place the wings and pan juices in a pot and cover with the chicken stock. Add the Kombu, bonito, soy and fish sauce. Simmer on the stove until liquid is reduced by half. Remove the Kombu without breaking it and set aside. Pass the liquid through a fine strainer and reserve for service.

For the soy braised daikon


  • ½ a large daikon peeled and turned into a long cylinder roughly 5cm thick
  • 100ml light soy sauce
  • 200ml chicken dashi
  • 60ml sake
  • Water
  • Oil


Heat oil in a pan, sauté the daikon cylinder in oil until golden brown on all sides. Deglaze the pan with the sake and flambé. Once the flames dissipate add the soy and continue to roll the daikon in the pan until it is well coated and soy is reduced by half. Add the chicken dashi and a little water so as the daikon is half covered with liquid. At this stage transfer all ingredients to a pot and simmer until the daikon is tender, constantly turning the daikon to ensure even cooking. Once cooked place the daikon on a tray in the fridge and allow to cool. Once cold slice the daikon into 2mm thick disks and store with the cooking liquid.

For the shiso


  • 1 bunch large shiso picked good large leaves only
  • 100ml verjuice


Dip each shiso leaf in the verjuice and place in a large vacuum bag. Lay each piece of shiso completely flat and well separated from each other piece. Vacuum seal the shiso for 50 second. Reserve for service.

For the Shemiji mix


  • 1 punnet Shemiji mushrooms trimmed into individual pieces.
  • Bug meat trim
  • Sliced braised daikon
  • Butter


To order sauté the Shemiji mushrooms in butter. Add the bug trim and the daikon slices. Season.