2 free-range quails’ eggs, boiled for 4 minutes, cooled and peeled
For the mushrooms
200g/7oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, stalks removed and cut into 15mm thick slices (or left whole if small)
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
50g/1¾oz pomegranate seeds, to garnish
15g/½oz hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped, to garnish
4 pinches shichimi togarashi chilli mixture, to garnish
For the ginger cavolo nero
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
pinch sea salt
1 tsp grated fresh root ginger
85g/3oz cavolo nero, leaves cut into 15mm slices and stalks very finely sliced
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
50ml/2fl oz vegetable stock
For the sauce, place all of the ingredients in a jug and whisk well to combine. Place in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Take off the heat and once cool, remove the star anise but keep it aside for decoration later.
Combine the ingredients for the seasoned flour in a shallow bowl and the ingredients for the seasoned breadcrumbs in a separate shallow bowl. For the batter, mix the flour with 50ml/2fl oz of cold water in a shallow bowl until combined.
For the quail Scotch eggs, mix the lardons and the spring onion in a small bowl. Add a teaspoon of the batter mixture and stir to combine. Dip the quail eggs in the flour, then the batter and then the breadcrumbs. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Preheat a deep-fat fryer or deep saucepan of vegetable oil to 160C. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
Dip the mushrooms in the flour, then the batter and then the breadcrumbs. Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Fry the quail eggs for 3–4 minutes and the mushrooms for 2–3 minutes in the oil, until crispy and golden. Carefully remove using a slotted spoon and leave to drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Sprinkle over the shichimi togarashi and cut the eggs in half once cooled.
For the cavolo nero, place a wok over a high heat until smoking. Add the rapeseed oil, sea salt and ginger and heat, shaking gently, for a few seconds. Add the cavolo nero and pour in the Shaoxing rice wine and stock. Stir-fry for a minute or so, or until the leaves are just wilted.
Transfer the cavolo nero to four warmed serving plates. Spoon over the deep-fried mushrooms, add the quail egg halves and dress with the pomegranate sauce. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds and hazelnuts and decorate with the star anise. Serve immediately.
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