Young, ambitious and adventurous: chef Jim Ophorst – or ‘Jimmy’ as most Asian people like to say – is a name to remember. With his restaurant called PRU, he has made the Thai island of Phuket a must visit stopover for foodies, establishing a truly unique dining concept. The restaurant is situated in the beautiful Trisara Resort at the Andaman coast. The location seems to be a piece of heaven, boasting understated, yet refined luxury and top-notch service. At the heart of the resort, you’ll find PRU restaurant. The elegant, yet atmospheric design of the dining home immediately gets you in the right mood. Simple, stylish designs combining the local identity and international class, natural materials and beautiful atmospheric lightning set the tone.
Inspired by Phuket’s legacy as a culinary crossroad and the island’s unique terroir, PRU restaurant is pursuing his own culinary ambition – to elevate farm-to-table cooking to a new level. The chef and his team use nature’s gifts from their own farm and do their part to give back, ensuring that life’s cycle continues to blossom and ripen. In addition, the name PRU is a contraction of ‘Plant’, ‘Raise’ and ‘Understand’: the three cornerstones of their philosophy. “The idea is that we plant our own seeds to grow our own vegetables, raise our own poultry and use only local produce that we serve at the table. By doing this, we complete the whole circle of understanding in agriculture and cuisine, which in turn supports the local island community.” You can notice the chef’s love for local produce in his dish made with aged duck and shiitake, in which only free-range ducks from a local farmer are used. Chef Jim Ophorst is happy to share his recipe with us.
Recipe: Aged duck with shiitake
Ingredients & preparation: Aged duck
- Ingredients: Brine water
- 7,5 l of water
- 500 g of salt
- 3 pieces of cinnamon stick
- 15 pieces of star anise
- 20 g of coriander seeds
- 5 pieces of bay leaf
- 10 g of black pepper corn
- Ingredients: Honey water
- 7,5 l of water
- 260 ml of wild honey
- 10 pieces of dry shiitake mushroom
- 10 g of fresh thyme
- 3 pieces of shallot
- Clean the duck and remove the head, legs and wings.
- Brine the duck in salt water for 24 hours.
- Afterwards, marinate the duck in a honey bath for 24 hours.
- Fill the duck with dry lemongrass and hang it in the dry age room for 5 days.
- Roast the duck over a fire made with a mix of charcoal and Longan wood for 1-2 hours. Glaze the duck every 5 minutes with a mushroom glaze.
- When the temperature of the duck is 53°C, smoke the duck with the dry lemongrass that was used to fill the duck.
- Hang the duck to rest for 1-2 hours before serving.
- Before serving, fillet the duck and roast it quickly over some very hot charcoal in order to create a crispy skin.
“We use free-range ducks from the mountain of Petchabun. There, the ducks are farmed in a sustainable way by one of our close suppliers.”
Ingredients & preparation: Shiitake mushroom textures
- Ingredients: Caramelized shiitake cream
- 450 g of fresh shiitake
- 2 pieces of shallot
- 4 pieces of garlic
- 100 ml of red wine
- 500 ml of vegetable stock
- 150 ml of whipping cream
- Salt & pepper
- Preparation: Caramelized shiitake cream
- Bake the fresh shiitakes for 5-6 hours in an oven at 110°C.
- Cut the pieces of shallot and garlic in half rings.
- Fry the rings in a large saucepan until they’re soft and have a light brown colour.
- Add the shiitakes and fry until they’re soft again.
- Add the red wine and reduce until finished.
- Add the vegetable stock and the whipping cream, and reduce half.
- Once reduced, put all the ingredients in the blender and blend for 5 minutes.
- Season it with salt & pepper.
- Ingredients: Braised shiitake
- 4 pieces of shiitake
- 100 ml of mushroom stock
- 20 g of butter
- Salt & pepper
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
- Preparation: Braised shiitake
- Warm a small saucepan and add some oil.
- Fry the shiitakes on both sides until they’re light brown.
- Add the mushroom stock and cover the pan for 1 minute.
- Remove the pan and add the butter.
- Reduce until the mushrooms are glazed.
- Cut the puff pastry with a cutter ring of 5 cm. Put the puff pastry circle between 2 pieces of baking paper and bake for 15 minutes in an oven at 180°C.
- Put the braised shiitake on top of the puff pastry.
Ingredients & preparation: Duck sauce
- 20 kg of duck bones – separated by 4 hot dishes
- 4 carrots – separated by 4 hot dishes
- 4 onions – separated by 4 hot dishes
- 400 g of celery – separated by 4 hot dishes
- 8 leeks – separated by 4 hot dishes
- 4 garlics – separated by 4 hot dishes
- 12 shallots – separated by 4 hot dishes
- 4 fennels – separated by 4 hot dishes
- 12 tomatoes – separated by 4 hot dishes
- 4 bottles of red wine – separated by 4 hot dishes
- 1 bottle of red port wine
- 30 gr of star anise
- Prepare 4 hot dishes with the same amount of the ingredients.
- Cut the vegetables in big pieces.
- Roast 1 hot dish at the time for 45 minutes in an oven at 225 °C.
- After they’re roasted, put the duck bones in a large saucepan and put the hot dish on the fire.
- Glaze the hot dish with one bottle of red wine and reduce for 50%.
- Add the red wine to the saucepan, together with some water until the duck bones are under water.
- Bring to boil on a high fire. Once the duck bones are boiling, turn the fire and simmer for 5 hours.
- After 5 hours, remove the duck bones and keep the stock.
- Repeat this process 3 times, but don’t add any more water – add the duck stock from the time before.
- After the last time, put one bottle of port wine in a small saucepan and add the star anise. Reduce this for 50% and add it to the duck sauce (without the star anise).
- Reduce this sauce for another 50% in order to have the base of the duck sauce.
- Give the duck sauce the flavour you want.
“The duck sauce is made from 100% duck bones and is roasted and reduced for 4 times in order to give the sauce a very strong duck flavour.”
- Put a little bit of the shiitake cream on the plate and cover it with some sliced raw mushrooms and shiitake powder.
- Place the braised shiitake tart on the plate and finish the dish with a slice of duck.
- Add the duck sauce at your preference.
Read the full article about chef Jim Ophorst and PRU Restaurant here.
Read the full article about the beautiful Trisara Resort here.
Recipe: Jim Ophorst
Photography: PRU Restaurant / Adriaan Van Looy
Text: Carline Roggeman