One day, the famed Napa gardener Peter Jacobsen brought me a daylily. The flavor of the petals was delicious—sweet without being overly floral. After several attempts, I settled on this dish, in which beautiful raw spot prawns are chopped, stuffed inside the lily, and then roasted. The dish is garnished simply with caviar, lily bulb and lily petals, and wild onion. When asked which dish I am most happy with, I tend to say this one because of its showcasing of products, its succinct flavors, and its elegant presentation.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 1 | lily bulb
- 500 grams | 2 cups water
- 50 grams | ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 18 grams | 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 150 grams | 5.3 ounces live spot prawns
- 3 grams | ¾ teaspoon Twin Sisters olive oil
- Maldon sea salt
- 225 grams | ½ pound unsalted butter
- 8 | day lilies
- 50 grams | 1.8 ounces sturgeon caviar
- 12 | wild onion threads
- FOR THE PICKLED LILY BULB: Cut a slice off the top and the bottom of the lily bulb and pull apart the layers. Place the bulb layers in a bowl. Combine the water, vinegar, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, let cool, and pour the liquid over the bulb layers. Let pickle at room temperature for 1 hour.
- FOR THE SPOT PRAWNS: Clean each prawn by removing the head first and then the shell from the body, working carefully so as not to tear the flesh. Reserve the shells. Devein each prawn, then cut the meat very finely into uniform dice and reserve in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Place a roasting rack on a sheet pan and arrange the shells on the rack. Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer the shells to a saucepan, and add the butter. Place over low heat and heat to 160°F (71°C). Simmer for 2 hours, until the butter clarifies. Strain through a very fine cloth filter into a container and let cool in the refrigerator. Season the prawn meat with the olive oil and Maldon salt, then spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip.
- To prepare the lilies, cut off the flower where it connects to the stem and discard the stem. Remove the pistils from 4 of the larger lilies and reserve the pistils and the remaining 4 lilies for serving. Pipe the prawn mixture into the 4 lilies, dividing it evenly. Prepare a fire in a wood-burning oven. When the fire is at about 600°F (315°C), put a hot plate in the oven and place the stuffed lilies on the plate. Roast for about 15 seconds, turning frequently, then remove from the oven. Melt a little of the clarified butter, then brush the lilies with the butter and season with Maldon salt.