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DaiLo Smoked Dashi Butter Truffle Custard with Madai

This recipe from DaiLo Chef/Owner Nick Liu is decadent and over the top – just the way we like it.



  • 1 cup small tapioca pearls
  • 2 litres water
  • 2 tablespoons white shoyu


Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of shoyu and the tapioca pearls and stir gently until they begin floating to the top of the water. Turn the heat to medium and cook for 12 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for another 12 to 15 minutes. Strain the cooked pearls into a fine mesh strainer and discard the cooking water. Rinse the pearls under cold running water until pearls are cold. Tap the strainer to remove all access water and place pearls in a dry bowl. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of shoyu to the pearls and mix well to season and put aside until assembly.

Tip: clean mesh strainer right away after use, the pearls are extremely difficult to remove if dried on.


  • 1/2  pound smoked butter (cubed)
  • 500 millilitre dashi
  • 1 tablespoon cooking sake
  • 2 tablespoon shoyu


In a small pot bring the dashi up to a boil. Add sake and shoyu to the dashi and pour the contents of the pot into a blender. Turn on to medium speed and add the smoked butter in three stages then turn blender speed to high for a few seconds to emulsify all ingredients.

Tip: if you don’t have a way to smoke your own butter use the same amount of plain butter and 1 teaspoon liquid smoked. Put aside until assembly


  • 8 large eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons truffle paste
  • 1 tablespoon truffle oil
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine or sake


Place milk and cream in a heavy bottom pot and bring to a boil.

Tip: Watch your pot when you start to see steam. Milk and cream has a habit of boiling over and making a mess.

Crack your eggs into a bowl and add truffle paste, truffle oil, and shaoxing wine. Whisk together and slowly add your hot milk and cream while constantly whisking. Lay out four soup bowls and pour the custard mixture equally into each bowl. On high heat place a large wok half filled with water with steaming pan inside and bring to a boil.

Stating the obvious: If you don’t have a wok use a large pot with steaming insert.

Place two bowls of custard in the wok steamer, cover with lid, and steam for 4-5 minutes.  Remove from steamer. Repeat with the rest of the uncooked bowls of custards and start assembling.

  • 12 slices madai (Japanese seabream) from True World Foods
  • Truffle custards
  • White shoyu pears
  • Smoked dashi butter
  • Truffle oil


On the hot truffle custards lay 3 pieces of madai in each bowl. Beside the madai place a tablespoon of shoyu pearls in each bowl. In a small pot bring the smoked dashi butter to a boil and spoon a healthy amount of sauce on top of the madai to slightly cook the fish and cover the surface of the custard. Finish with 3 drops of truffle oil and enjoy!


[vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”sidebar”]photography courtesy of Jesse Milns / @jessemilns