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A good meal is like a good couple – the elements must be superstars in their own right, but also, more importantly, the elements must complement each other.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we wanted to give you a leg-up with a simple recipe that could make you seem rather talented in the eyes of your other element, combining some ancient aphrodisiacs that originate from the sea, just like Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love.

The recipe is from the collection of Topaz Restaurant’s Master Chef Alain Darc: a stunning union of marinated salmon and scallop carpaccio.

What You’ll Need

Salmon fillet – 500g
Scallops – 120g
Long Jamaican peppers – 3
Sea salt – 250g
Sugar powder – 100g
Olive Oil – 45ml
Lemon juice – 30ml
Kampot black pepper – 20g
Chopped shallots – 20g
Basil leaves

The Method

The first step is to prepare the salmon, ideally a single 500-gram fillet, which should first be washed under fresh water and then lightly dried by dabbing an absorbent paper, careful not to damage the tender meat.

Next, prepare a simple marinade by mixing the sea salt, sugar and coarse black Kampot pepper. Cover the fillet with this mixture inside a sealed container and place in the refrigerator for 48 hours.

After 48 hours, rinse the salmon once again with cool water, then leave it to sit in cool water for about an hour, changing the water twice during that time. Dry once more with paper towels, slice finely, and spread it on a plate, adding a drizzle of olive oil, dill lemon juice sauce and a sprinkling of freshly grated truffle. Now, for the second element of our dish, the partner.

Take four nice scallops and put them in the freezer for about 45 minutes. Then, grind the fresh chillies with garlic and sea salt with in a mortar and pestle. Add lemon juice into this mixture to make a pasty dough, adding olive oil gradually.

Take the scallops from the freezer and finely slice, then use the back of a spoon to press the seasoning into the slices. Decorate with basil leaves.

Now, the final touches, plating up: and this is where your mastery can be brought undone if you are not careful. Use the salmon to make a crown around the edges of a plate and then place the scallops in the middle. Season again with prepared sauces and sprinkle some fresh basil.

It’s as simple as it is time consuming, but the results can be stunning. Serve with white wine, and wait for the power of Aphrodite to descend upon you.