Lamb with ginger, clams and grilled lettuce

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 12 people

  • 120 gm raw buckwheat (see note)
  • 800 gm clams
  • 100 ml rice wine vinegar
  • 20 gm caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp mirin
  • 1½ tsp finely grated ginger
  • 300 ml grapeseed oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 6 small cos hearts, halved
  • 1 kg lamb eye fillets (about 12; see note)
  • 1 tbsp salted kombu, finely chopped (see note)
  • ¼ cup chives, cut into 1cm batons
01   Cook buckwheat in boiling salted water over medium heat until al dente (6-8 minutes). Drain and set aside.
02   Heat a large saucepan over high heat, add clams, cover and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until clams open (2-3 minutes). Set aside to cool slightly, then remove meat from shells (discard shells).
03   Stir vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat to dissolve sugar (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in soy, mirin and ginger. Gradually whisk in grapeseed oil to create an emulsified vinaigrette. Season to taste and set aside.
04   Heat a char-grill pan over high heat. Brush lettuce lightly with oil, place on grill cut-side down, and grill, turning once, until lightly charred (2-3 minutes). Set aside.
05   Brush lamb lightly with oil, season to taste with sea salt and white pepper and grill, turning occasionally, until cooked rare to medium-rare (5-7 minutes). Set aside to rest.
06   Combine buckwheat, clams, kombu and vinaigrette in a bowl. Thickly slice lamb fillets, halve cos pieces, and divide among 6 plates. Spoon buckwheat mixture over, scatter with chives and serve.

Note Most buckwheat is sold roasted. For this recipe, look for raw buckwheat, available from most health-food shops. Lamb eye fillet, also known as lamb tenderloin, is the smaller fillet from a lamb loin chop. (It's not to be confused with the backstrap, also known as the eye of loin, which is the larger fillet from the same chop.) Salted kombu, also known as shio kombu, is kelp that is thinly sliced, cooked in soy sauce and coated in a salt mixture. It's available from select Japanese grocers, including Tokyo Mart.

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