Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

 

 

 

By Rob Corliss
June 23, 2021

 

This “surf and turf” is a play on the term, showcasing sea vegetables (seaweed) as a flavoring agent for meat while doubling down on the umami of each. Sea vegetables have been in the culinary spotlight, thanks to their rich flavor narrative and natural health halo. Operators can capitalize on these aspects by playing up the intrigue factor and “superfood” power of seaweed, along with doubling down on the craveable attributes of meat. Both work in tandem to create approachable, premium surf-and-turf menu offerings.

“Try This”

PORK

The luscious mouthfeel and melt in your mouth texture of pork makes it an effortless culinary companion to seaweed.

Tokyo Meatball Skillet: Pork meatballs simmered in creamy yuzu-nori sauce; served with sticky rice

Fisherman’s Bowl: Mussels tossed in chorizo-kelp broth, tomatoes, garlic, white beans, citrus; grilled peasant bread

Bulgogi Pork Taco: Grilled Korean barbecue pork with Sea-chi (seaweed kimchi) and fresh cilantro sprigs; in a warm tortilla

BEEF

The marbled richness and robust beefiness is complemented well with additional umami and briny notes from seaweed.

New Steakhouse Plate: Grilled New York strip steak, kelp-creamed spinach, roasted fingerling potatoes

Japanese Prime Rib: Togarashi rubbed whole roasted prime rib, milk bread rolls; red miso-kombu beef au jus

CHICKEN/TURKEY

This versatile, lighter alternative flavor makes it wide open for an array of seaweed applications.

Garden Chicken Sandwich: Grilled chicken breast wrapped in green sea lettuce; served on a toasted brioche bun spread with sun-dried tomato aïoli

“Bacon” Ranch Turkey Burger: Griddled turkey burger (rubbed with dulse-buttermilk ranch seasoning), Havarti cheese, lettuce leaf, red onion, tomato; on toasted egg bun spread

LAMB

The distinctive, lean and succulent flavor of lamb lends itself to more subtle notes from seaweed that cut through the richness.

Sea Minted Lamb Chops: Roasted lamb loin chops with wakame jalapeno-mint jelly glaze

Wild Potato Hash: Smashed crispy-griddled russet potatoes with lamb sausage, wiry strands of arame, peppers/onions

This Maple-Glazed Smoked Canadian Bacon Musubi Bento combines the smoky-sweet flavors of the protein with roasted seaweed and togarashi for a double hit of umami and briny complexity.Photo credit: Smithfield Culinary

This Maple-Glazed Smoked Canadian Bacon Musubi Bento combines the smoky-sweet flavors of the protein with roasted seaweed and togarashi for a double hit of umami and briny complexity.

GET THE RECIPE FOR MAPLE-GLAZED SMOKED CANADIAN BACON MUSUBI BENTO

 

About The Author

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Rob Corliss is a three-time James Beard House guest chef with more than 30 years of experience that includes running world-class hotels, launching new concepts, working in top marketing agencies and, currently, owning a consulting company, ATE (All Things Epicurean), focused on flavor, menu and restaurant innovation. Based in Nixa, Mo., he has an energizing passion for food and is dedicated to connecting people to their food, environment and wellness. [email protected]