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Shrimp curry molecular gastronomy

I recently ordered some chemicals from l’epicerie. I wanted to play around and decided to do a deconstructed pineapple shrimp curry. Now this dish is still in its early phases (hence why it is under “experimental”), but i wanted to share and maybe get some thoughts on improvement. Some parts were a success and some were duds.

Anyways, I started off by making ginger pineapple sheets.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I took some fresh ginger, and grated it. Measured out  60grams.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Added it to around a cup of water and let it steep in hot water.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

After, i strained it.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Then, I mixed:

  • 100g ginger liquid
  • 100g pineapple liquid
  • 0.6g agar agar

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I brought the mixture to a boil, while stirring.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Pour the agar ginger-pineapple liquid into a pan or whatever, in the thickness you want the film to be.

After, I measured out

  • 500g water (purified/bottled)
  • 2g sodium alginate
  • 2.5g calcium chloride
  • 250 g curry mix (curry powder and paste with some coconut milk)

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

i added the sodium alginate to the curry mix and found it just clumped up! which i hadn’t read anywhere.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

So i tested it on some water alone first, and found that even when it clumps up, if you keep on whisking (whisk or immersion blender), it will blend through. Below is what it looks like when it clumps up. Also, sodium alginate is a natural gelling agent, and the liquid became viscous. I think i should also use less sodium alg next time.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

So, this is what the curry mix looked after some extensive whisking

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Next, i added the calcium chloride to the water, and it dissolved with some whisking much easier than the sodium alginate. I also put some more purified water in another bowl, to rinse off the spheres when created. I didn’t want to go fishing for my spheres so i just put a big strainer in the bowl so that i can lift them out directly after, and dip them in the water for washing.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I put my curry mix in a squirt bottle. I didn’t have a syringe on hand. This worked good, just wish i had one with bigger nozzle width for bigger spheres.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Started squirting the curry mix into the calcium chloride bath.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Then washed them with the pure water bath, and patted the bottom of the sieve with a towel to dry the spheres off.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I loved how the specks of the red curry paste showed in the yellow curry powder.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Since i was playing around, i made a big sphere with a spoon. I grabbed it.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

put it in my palm…

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

pushed and prodded…

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

pushed harder…

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

and kaboom! it gushed out

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Back to the plate, this is the translucent agar agar after i pulled it out from the fridge.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I already had my white rice ready.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I wanted to create a “horizon” with the shrimp jumping like dolphins. Hilarious i know, but you can be the judge if i succeeded or not:) I took a bit of curry powder, put it on a kitchen napkin and wet it a bit and streaked it across the plate.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I cut out strips of the agar mix.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

And started plating with the rice and agar.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

My little dolphin shrimp were next.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Then came the curry caviar.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Oh, i had also put some agar liquid to set in these mini bowls i have.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I flipped it over to create the “sun” in my “horizon” plating.lol. (btw there are many layers of dysfunctional in me)

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

It needed some acid so i used a pomegranate molasses which is thick, sweet and sour at the same time. I love it in salads usually. And you only need a little because its quite strong.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

A close up of the perfect bite: Shrimp, curry caviar, rice, and ginger-pineapple agar gel.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

This is what the final dish looked like:

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

  • Taste: I still felt like it was missing something. Not sure what. It obviously needed some greens, but i didn’t have any on hand. Also, the caviar needed to have a stronger taste.I really liked the flavor of the ginger-pineapple flim: sweet with sharp aftertaste.
  • Texture: I wasn’t in love with the liquid of the curry caviar. It was too thick.  I may have used to much sodium alginate. Iwould make the agar film thinner next time. Also, the rice needed to be different, maybe crispy rice chips?
  • Plating:  It did kinda look like dolphins jumping in the ocean with the sun setting, lol, right? or am i stretching?
  • Fail: In the beginning I tried to make coconut powder with maltodextrin, but there was too much water in the coconut butter, so it clumped up on me, so I scratched that.
  • Success: It would have to be the taste of the ginger pineapple film. That was on point.

Let me know what you think, positives, critiques etc… Also, please rate this post/concept with the star system below.Thanks a bundle!

++MIRA++

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This article has 14 comments so far!

  1. Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) says —

    Thanks for updating me on the site — not able to comment much because I’m traveling w/ limited internet but this curry looks awesome. 😀

  2. shelly (cookies and says —

    Wow, this is really cool! Loved that you posted the process ~ can't wait to see what you do next 🙂

  3. Jeanne Benedict says —

    This is sooo cool! I love it. I'm definitely coming back for more. Awesome!

  4. Nicole says —

    That looks insane! I totally want to try cooking like that…but I'm feeling slightly inhibited by the fact I never even took chemistry in high school! It looks intriguing and delicious!

  5. Janie says —

    Thank you for your kind words about my jewelry. I'm so honored that Sandy (sandyalamode) chose it for her first giveaway.

  6. Chris says —

    What a unique way to cook. feels like I'm watching an episode of CSI 🙂

    happy cooking (in your unique way)

    chris…

  7. ++Mira++ says —

    lol. thanks! just love to play with my food.

  8. Jeanne Benedict – Food and Fun for Everyday and Parties » Blog Archive » Cold Mango Ginger Carrot Soup with Green Tea Cream Float and Coconut Caviar says —

    […] step-by-step shots of their adventures in molecular gastronomy or cooking, most notably blogger Mira Uncut. Knowing that I wanted to create something really unique for my husband’s birthday dinner […]

  9. Gastronomer says —

    You are a mad scientist! Love it!

  10. ++Mira++ says —

    teehee,thx cathy 🙂 love ur blog too!

  11. Brian says —

    Inspirational! love the look on the place! I'm a big fan of cooking from scratch, have my own herb garden and MG is the next thing for me since watching The Mad Gelee scientist, just eating at Volt last week with 3 of the 5 courses having an 'Air' in them, and the visit by Wylie Duphresne on TC Masters.

    What books / tools etc did you find most helpful getting started? I also noticed that Le Sanctuarie was a bit cheaper for some of the common MG stuff.. there was a comparison matrix somewhere. (saw a L'Epicure bag in one of your pics (also seem to be some incredibly cool powders of fruits there though that Le Sanctuaire doen't seem to have.. )

  12. ++Mira++ says —

    I actually compared l'epicerie and le sanctuaire while trying to decide from where to purchase. Some prices were less and some were more, but it evened out. Another factor was that le sanctuaire's smallest size was way bigger for eg for agar. There cheapest one started at 42$. granted it was 180z vs the 4oz i got at lepicerie for 22$, but i had a budget and wanted to get smaller amounts of various things rather than alot of one thing. And it doesnt make sense to pay for 2 shippings so i stuck w lepicerie. I will note that they had run out of one product so i got the whole shipment late and i was annoyed.

    As for books, tools….well, blog.khymos.org is an amazing mg site. they have a great mg primer w alot of the properties http://blog.khymos.org/recipe-collection/
    and to be honest, i havent used much other yet. it just really takes ALOt of experimenting. I recently purchased heston blumentahls fat duck cookbook, and alinea cookbook so i can expand on techniques. I;ll cover them on the blog as i go. Also, its great u got to go to volt! its funny u mentioned "air" I will be making something this weekend and will post it next week. its great ur excited about mg like i am 🙂

  13. Burn Fat says —

    Hello again, I think the composition is good, but the order of the flavours is maybe wrong. The same thing could be done with a terrine of some sorts I think, with your agar (i would turn them into liquid gels and dot them around) being dotted around the terrine. Maybe safron rice, but not much 🙂

  14. MiraUncut says —

    thanks for the tips. I wasn\’t super happy with how this came out. Its one of my earlier plates 🙂 Needs a redo.

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