Shuck it and see

I have just returned from a week in Sydney, and what a week. I was invited to the Gourmet Traveller restaurant awards, where 150 of the country's top chefs and restaurateurs gathered. (Gourmet Traveller is Australia's top food and travel magazine.)

The only downside was that I had to make a speech. But even that proved interesting, because I seemed to hit a nerve that is probably even more sensitive in Australia than it is in this country. That nerve is one of price. I find it absolutely outrageous that someone can think nothing of spending in excess of £20,000 on a new car but will begrudge paying more than a couple of pounds for, say, a packet of four chicken breasts. It is this mentality that also thinks that food can only represent good value for money if served in great quantity.

Anyway, back to Australia. I could not believe how welcome I was made to feel, and just how generous everyone was. I ate at some marvellous restaurants, and thought that this week it would be a good idea - and a bit of a change - to pass on three recipes given to me by three of the finest chefs in Australia. All three have won Gourmet Traveller's restaurant of the year award in their time.

Some of the ingredients may prove hard to get hold of, but most should not present much of a problem. I hope that these dishes spark off as much inspiration in you as I got from eating at their creators' restaurants.

All recipes serve four.

Liam Tomlin's freshly shucked oysters with Vietnamese dressing

Don't even think about making these without really fresh oysters.

15g chopped pickled ginger

15ml pickled ginger juice

10g chopped fresh ginger

small fresh chilli, seeds removed, chopped fine

15g brunoise of shallot (ie, finely chopped shallot, sweated gently in butter until very soft)

35ml rice-wine vinegar

40ml sugar syrup

10ml nam pla (Thai fish sauce)

40ml dashi

10ml Kikkomann light soy sauce

2 limes, juiced

In a pan, sweat the shallot, ginger and chilli without colouring them, add the vinegar and reduce by a third. Add the sugar syrup, dashi and soy, bring to the boil, turn down to a low heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the pickled ginger juice, nam pla and lime juice to taste. Set aside to go cold.

To serve

12 unshucked Pacific oysters

50g spring onion, cut into fine julienne

50g deep-fried sliced shallot

25g baby coriander leaves

4 lime cheeks (ie, segments)

Rock salt

Shuck the oysters, taking care not to spill the juices from the shell. Arrange three small mounds of rock salt on each plate and press an oyster into each mound. Stir the dressing and spoon it over the oysters.

In a bowl, mix the spring onion, deep-fried shallot and coriander, and place a small pile of this mix on top of each oyster. Place a lime cheek to one side of the pile.

Tetsuya Wakuda's slow-roasted rack of lamb with miso and blue cheese

On the face of it, the mix of ingredients here might seem a little weird, but Tetsuya Wakuda really does know what he's doing. Not for nothing is his Sydney restaurant regarded as one of the world's best.

2 medium heads chicory, cut into quarters lengthways

500ml chicken stock

5 tbsp grapeseed oil

1 pinch caster sugar

Sea salt and white pepper

4 small lamb racks of 6 cutlets per rack, trimmed of all fat

1 big bunch fresh thyme

1 big bunch snowpea leaves (optional, as you'll find them hard to come by in the UK; your best bet is to try a big Chinese supermarket, such as the Wing Yip chain)

For the sauce

100g Japanese white miso paste

15g blue cheese

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp mirin or rice wine

1 tsp grated ginger

For the garnish

1 tbsp finely chopped spring onion

1 tbsp finely chopped chives

1 tsp black sesame seeds

1 tsp roasted white sesame seeds

Pre-heat the oven to 220C (or just below gas mark 7). Place the chicory in a small baking dish and cover by two-thirds with chicken stock. Add two tablespoons of grapeseed oil, then season with a pinch of sugar, and some sea salt and white pepper to taste. Cover with foil and cook for an hour in the oven. Remove from the oven when tender, and set aside, still covered, in a warm place.

Reduce the oven temperature to 130C (just below gas mark 1), to cook the lamb. Season each rack with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining three tablespoons of grapeseed oil in a frying pan until it gives off a haze, then sear the lamb quickly all over on a high heat, until golden. Transfer the racks to an oven tray, placing a few sticks of thyme under each. Roast for 30-40 minutes (or until cooked to your own taste).

Meanwhile, bring the remaining chicken stock to the boil, lower the heat to a simmer and add the miso paste. Stir until completely dissolved. Add the cheese and stir until it, too, has dissolved and the sauce has thickened. Add the soy sauce, mirin and ginger, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Once the lamb is cooked, remove it from the oven, then take off the meat from each rack in a single piece by slicing lengthways along the bone and lifting it off. Discard the bones, then cut the meat into thick medallions and set aside in a warm place. Blanch the snowpea leaves (if using) in a large pot of boiling water.

To serve, arrange some snowpea leaves in the centre of each plate. Top these with the chicory and the lamb medallions. Spoon over the sauce. Garnish with spring onions and chives, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Neil Perry's confit of green-lip abalone with fine noodles, mushroom, soy and truffle oil

If you can't get hold of fresh abalone (if you're lucky enough to have a Chinese fishmonger nearby, try there), don't make the confit and instead substitute it with some simply grilled sea scallops or king prawns

For the confit

500g live abalone

Extra-virgin olive oil

2 star anise

1 cassia bark (optional)

1 knob ginger, sliced

For the salad

200g fine egg noodles (buy them in, or make your own as in the final recipe)

30g fresh enoki mushrooms

30g fresh shitake mushrooms

30g each black and white fungi (buy these from a Chinese supermarket; if you can't get hold of them, use a mix of wild mushrooms instead)

30g salmon roe

30g shallots (white part only)

Golden Boy Brand mushroom soy sauce

Truffle oil (Terrabianca brand)

If you're using abalone, shuck it from its shell, remove the gut and mouth, then place in a small baking dish with the other confit ingredients. The olive oil should cover the abalone by 1cm. Cook in a warm oven at low temperature - around 60C (about gas mark ) - for two- to two-and-a half hours. Set aside to cool in the oil. The confit will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

For the salad, slice the shitakes as thinly as possible, slice the black fungi thinly, tear the white fungi into small pieces and slice the shallot into rounds.

To assemble the dish, cook the noodles in boiling water until al dente, then refresh in iced water and drain. In a bowl, mix the noodles, fungi, mushrooms, the shallots and roe, then season with the mushroom ketchup, soy sauce and truffle oil to taste.

Place a pile of salad on each plate. Using a sharp knife, cut the abalone into slices as thin as possible and place on top of the salad (or use grilled scallops or prawns instead). Garnish with the remaining shallots and a dash more truffle oil to taste.

Fine egg noodles

500g plain flour

3 whole eggs

150g egg yolk

50ml olive oil

20g salt

Sieve the flour and salt, then add oil. Combine the whole eggs and the yolks, then gradually add this to the flour until it forms a dough. Allow to rest, then cut the dough into fine noodles by passing it through a pasta machine

· Heston Blumenthal is chef/proprietor of The Fat Duck, in Bray, Berkshire (fatduck.co.uk).

Thanks to guardian.co.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.