(Seriously, Chef Morimoto, kind sir, you are a God amongst us mere mortals and I bow to your crazy delicious skills and would also like to cuddle you because you look like a nice Japanese teddy bear)
Yeah, yeah, I’m a jerk for neglecting the blog. Insert lots of excuses and whining and a half-hearted apology, let’s move on.
So sometimes there are things I cannot do, like recreate Michael Mina’s amazing lobster pot pie, or master Joel Robuchon’s mashed potatoes, and for that I am happy to fly to their restaurants like the food psycho I am so I can indulge. But there are things I can cook at home that come pretty damn close to the original, for a smidgen of the price, and who doesn’t love it when that works out?
As we all know, Morimoto is insanely talented and owns a restaurant empire, not to mention coveted title of Iron Chef, and really is a master at all things seafood. One of his most popular dishes is his miso-marinated black cod, which is salty-sweet, melts in your mouth, and is pure magic with a simple bowl of rice and some sautéed vegetables. But you know what? Making a near-replica to that miso marinade isn’t all that complicated, and it’s stupid impressive at your next dinner party and somehow even fancier when eaten with chopsticks. So save your $50 and give this one a go. Just do me a favor and get good quality fish from your local fish market– no shit Trader Joe’s stuff here (love you, TJ!), because quality is important when it comes to fish, especially when it’s the star of the plate, dahling. This serves 4 of your closest snobby friends.
4 black cod or sablefish fillets, about 6 oz each
1/3 cup of yellow miso paste (you can find this in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp mirin (Japanese rice wine.. You can find this at the grocery store too, and it’s also great in salad dressings)
2 tbsp of white wine (customary to use sake here, so go ahead and use that. I just always have white wine in the fridge. Feign your surprise. It doesn’t taste any different to me, so use what you’ve got.)
2 tbsp grape seed oil (this comes to a high temp but still feels light so I like using it for fish)
Mix the miso, sugar, miring, wine or sake, and a dash of salt in a bowl until it’s smooth like smooth peanut butter. If the miso is too thick, add a little hot water to thin it out. Nestle the fish in there and coat, and then cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Overnight is pretty great if you’ve got that kind of time, but if you don’t, no one will be able to tell, so relax.
Heat the oven to 400F. Heat a frying pan with the oil over high heat. Scrape off some marinade from the fish with your fingers and add to the pan, skin side down. Sear for a couple minutes and transfer to the oven for ten minutes or so until the fish is flakey and opaque, but don’t overcook it! Serve with some steamed brown rice.
Kinda boss to make some extra marinade and sautee your favourite veggies with it. I love broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, red pepper, maybe some bok choy, and water chestnuts. Once the veggies have softened in a hot pan for five or 6 minutes, add a couple tablespoons of marinade and stir fry for an additional 2 or 3 minutes, and serve those alongside the fish. Morimoto who?