Gastronomer Lifestyle_Sicily Meet Japan Antipasto

Secret Recipe: “Sicily Meet Japan” Antipasto

Written by Alessandro Frau

July issue ‘Italian’, 2023

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The title of our degustation menu at Acqua Restaurant is “Memories and after…” It is inspired by my memories of living in Italy as well as the afterwards, when I left to work around the world. The first dish on this menu is an antipasto called “Sicily Meet Japan”. It represents my experience in Asia, which led to my discovery of and love for Japanese food and ingredients. This oceanic dish combines the ingredients and cuisine styles of southern Italy and Japan.

Sicily Meet Japan Antipasto_Recipe

“Sicily Meet Japan” Antipasto

Servings: 6 Servings


  • 12 pieces Japanese amaebi prawns, peeled and cleaned
  • 12 pieces Sicilian red prawns, peeled and cleaned


  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lime juice
  • Lime zest

Tomato, Black Ink, and Seaweed Oils

  • 850 grams Extra virgin olive oil
  • 250 grams Dry tomato skin
  • 10 grams Pasteurised black squid ink
  • 50 grams Parsley, blanched and dried
  • 100 grams Fresh Salicornia seaweed

Uni Sauce

  • 100 grams Scallop
  • 250 grams Cherry tomatoes
  • 1 kilogram Clams
  • 1 litre Water
  • 1 Whole garlic
  • 10 Red prawns, peeled and cleaned
  • 2 Large red tomatoes, quartered
  • 100 grams Sardinian sea urchin
  • 50 grams Uni (Japanese sea urchin)
  • Salt to taste
  • Parsley stems for flavouring


  • Ikura
  • Herb of choice


Tomato, Black Ink, and Seaweed Oils

  • First, make tomato oil by blending 500 grams of the extra virgin olive oil with the dry tomato skin at maximum speed for 7 minutes. Strain the mixture and leave it aside to cool before refrigerating.
  • Next, make a black ink oil by first heating the squid ink in a pan to release the fish taste. Then combine it with 100 grams of extra virgin olive oil in a blender and blend for 3 minutes at maximum speed. Once again, strain, cool, and refrigerate.
  • Now make seaweed oil by blending 250 grams of extra virgin olive oil with the parsley and seaweed for 7 minutes at maximum speed. Strain and let cool. Then collect only the green oil on the surface to refrigerate.

Uni Sauce

  • Make a scallop puree by steaming the scallop in a vacuum-sealed bag at 100°C for 45 minutes. While still hot, blend the scallops in a blender, adding drinking water if needed. Strain and let cool.
  • Make tomato water by blending 250 grams of cherry tomatoes and then boiling it at 90°C with a pinch of salt. Strain the mixture in a napkin, collecting the water.
  • Make clam water by boiling the clams in the water with the garlic and parsley stems for 3 minutes. Strain the mixture in a napkin, collecting the water. (Save the clams for another recipe.)
  • Place the red prawns in a baking dish and brown them in an oven at 180°C for about 20 minutes.
  • Add the clam water and the large quartered tomatoes and let the whole thing simmer for another 45 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and strain.
  • In a blender, combine the cooked prawns and tomatoes with the Sicilian sea urchin and uni, 100 grams of the tomato water, and 10 grams of the scallop puree and blend until smooth. Let the mixture cool down before refrigerating.


  • Marinate the fresh Sicilian red prawns and amaebi with salt, pepper, olive oil, and lime juice and zest.
  • Place 2 Sicilian prawns and 2 amaebi nicely on the left side of a serving plate.
  • Top the prawns elegantly with small amounts of ikura and the garnish herb.
  • Carefully pour the uni sauce on the right side of the plate.
  • Add 5 droplets of each of the oils (tomato, black ink, seaweed) stylishly onto the uni sauce.
  • Refrigerate the entire dish for 2 minutes and then serve.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Note: The oils keep for 7 days.

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