Each week on the Food Chain, we ask a chef to describe a dish he or she recently enjoyed. The chef who prepared the dish responds and then picks his or her own memorable meal. On and on it goes. Last week, Boston chef Ting Yen talked up the abalone shumai at South Sea Seafood Village in San Francisco. Dim sum chef Churk Liu doesn’t eat out so much, so we turned to South Sea’s manager and resident translator Terry Chen to see what he loves to eat. What keeps you going back, Terry?
Who: Terry Chan, manager of South Sea Seafood Village
What: Potato-wrapped sea bass
Where: Isa, San Francisco
“I don’t eat out a lot, but when I do it’s usually at friends’ restaurants. Luke Sung is a high school friend of mine, and I always like to go to his restaurant and order the potato-wrapped sea bass. It has a delicious, crispy skin of potatoes around the fish, and the fish is always perfect, with a really pungent sauce.”
Luke Sung, who recently sold Isa but remains a consulting chef and continues to run Prime Rib Shabu and Domo, responds:
“The potato-wrapped sea bass is a French dish, and I took some inspiration from a dish that Daniel Boulud makes called Paupiette of Sea Bass (paupiette means pillow). The dish is served with a classic Grenobloise, which is a sauce made from brown butter, lemon, tomato, capers, and parsley.
“We slice and blanch Russet potatoes really quickly so they’ll be soft and so that we can manipulate them. Then we lay them out on a tablecloth to dry, portion the fish (about a six-and-a-half-ounce log) and we wrap it in eight or nine slices of potato, which are cut in even strips. We arrange them into a sheet, overlapping the center, covering the whole piece of fish, and then fry the whole thing until brown and crisp, with the fish inside this little pocket.”