Thursday, March 31, 2016

Miso Glazed Cod with Fiddlehead Ferns and Miso Sesame Soba


Sometimes, all you want is a quick and easy dinner, using simple ingredients and steps and ending up with a healthy, complete meal that not only looks expensive but also tastes wonderful. This Japanese-inspired fish recipe fits the bill. With minimum advance preparation, you can practically have your meal ready in under twenty minutes of active cooking time. And half of those "active" twenty minutes is standing idly watching your fish cook inside the oven.

I was grocery shopping in Tokyo recently and picked up some fresh cod (ぎんだら, Gindara), a buttery white fish that is well-suited for this dish for its high fat content and melt-in-the-mouth silkiness. I then came along some precious fiddlehead ferns that seemingly just popped out of the Avatar film. Harvested early in the season, these crunchy, furly fronds are mild in flavor and take well to boiling, sautéing and a pinch of salt and pepper.

As for the miso, white (shiro) miso are most often used as it is milder with a hint of sweetness; however, I have tried red miso with similarly great results.

Any fatty fish works well for this dish. Try salmon or black cod!
Serve the dish alongside multigrain rice, or get impulsive and toss some buckwheat noodles in a creamy, savory dressing of miso and sesame oil to complement the fish.

I have been making this humble dish at home long before I heard about celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa, whose renowned signature creation at Nobu has been replicated far and wide. Here is my simplified version of the recipe. いただきます!

What you'll need...
2 cod fillets, about 1/2 lb or 200g each
100g soba noodles (per person)
Fiddlehead ferns (or other greens of choice)
Black and white sesame seeds, toasted, for garnish
Sliced scallions, for garnish (optional)

For the miso marinade:
1 heaping tablespoon miso paste
1 tablespoon sake
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon shoyu
1 teaspoon sugar

For the soba noodles miso sesame dressing:
1/2 tablespoon miso paste
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Some warm water to thin the mixture

For the Miso Glazed Cod: 

1. Prepare the marinade: whisk miso paste, sake, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar together. Adjust proportions to taste.

2. Pat fish dry with paper towel. In a container, coat the fillets with marinade and keep refrigerated for one hour up to overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
Place fish skin-side up on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, gently brush off excess marinade to prevent burning. Bake or broil for 8-12 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets. Garnish with toasted sesame and scallions.

For the Soba and the Miso Sesame Dressing: 

1. Bring a pot of water to boil, submerge the noodles and cook through, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix miso paste and sesame oil and dilute the mixture with some warm water. 

2. When soba is cooked, drain and toss in the dressing while still hot until the strands are well coated.

For the Fiddlehead Ferns:

If boiling: Bring a pot of salted water to boil, boil the greens until barely tender, about 6 minutes. 
Prepare a cold water bath. When the ferns are cooked, dunk the ferns in cold water to stop the cooking.

If sautéing: boil the ferns, drain, and sauté briefly with olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Enjoy this quick, easy, and tasty meal!


鱈魚柳 2 件 (各約200克) 
蕎麥麵 100 克 (一人份量計)
蕨菜  (菜類可隨喜好)
黑白芝麻  少量
蔥花  少量

白味  1 大湯匙
清酒  1 湯匙
味醂  1 湯匙
日本豉油  1 茶匙
白糖  1 茶匙 

噌  1/2 湯匙
麻油  1 茶匙
溫水 適量,稀釋用

1. 先將醃料拌勻。鱈魚柳洗淨抹乾後加入醃料放在雪櫃醃一小時或以上。
2. 預熱焗爐至 200C / 400F。
3. 醃好的魚柳放在鋪了烘培紙的焗盤上。
4. 輕輕拭去多餘的醃料,然後放入已預熱焗爐中,視乎魚柳厚度焗約 8-12 分鐘。
5. 烤好了上碟再撒上芝麻及蔥花即成。

1. 噌和麻油拌勻加入少量溫水稀釋。
2. 滾水煮蕎麥麵約 5 分鐘至軟硬適中,瀝水後同醬汁拌勻即成。

1. 蕨菜可用加了鹽的沸水浸燙後過凉上碟,或瀝乾後再落油清炒。 

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