Miso Cod with Buttered Mushrooms

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I work at an Asian restaurant in Bellingham called Dashi Noodle Bar.  With locally sourced produce, it melds Japanese, Korean and Chinese flavors with Northwest cuisine.  The concept of the restaurant is that when you approach the counter you make a choice in three columns:  Topping, noodle and broth.  It is relatively simple and allows the customer to be creative and make exactly what they want.  Cool right?

There are various types of customers, and I could rant about them for days–I will spare you.  One type of patron that I’m not particularly fond of is the guy who comes in with his wife and can’t order for himself.  I will look at him directly and say, “Which noodle type would you like?  Ramen?  Udon?  Rye ramen?”  He then looks at his wife, and she answers for him.  “He wants ramen.”  Maybe this is just because I am a die-hard foodie, but God forbid I ever spend the rest of my life with someone that doesn’t know what kind of noodles he likes.

My favorite kind of customer is the kid who waltzes straight up to the counter and confidently orders beef topping with ramen noodles and Konbu-Bonito (Seaweed and Tuna) broth.  Oh and he would also like an egg on top.  Meanwhile, his parents are looking up at the menu in a haze, unable to decipher the different broths.

One day a young girl came in with her mom and ordered a full portion of 5-spice tofu with rye ramen, mushroom broth and ginger bacon.  I looked at her mom and said adoringly, “Girl after my own heart…”

I thought of these instances because this recipe makes a drool-worthy piece of fish.  I’m not sure if it’s that special of a recipe, or if black cod is inherently flawless. Regardless, I have been meaning to make this recipe since I was in middle school…I’m not kidding.  I clipped this recipe from Everyday with Rachel Ray in 8th grade and stuffed it into my recipe binder.    Thanks to my dad and OrcaBay Seafoods, I had a black cod fillet in my freezer.  Yum.

Makes 4 servings/Adapted from Everyday with Rachel Ray

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar (I recommend using 1/2-3/4 cup instead)
  • 1 1/4 cups white miso
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • Four 6-ounce black cod fillets (You can also use salmon)
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms, such as oyster and shiitake, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Steamed white rice

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the sugar, miso, sake and mirin.  Bring the marinade to a boil, then remove from the heat, transfer to a shallow dish and let cool completely.  Add the fish, covering it with the marinade, and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the garlic in the butter until golden.  Add the mushrooms and cook until golden, about 10 minutes.  Add the lemon juice and the soy sauce, and season with salt and pepper.

(Either bake at 400 on a parchment lined cookie sheet for approximately 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the fillets or grill as follows.)

Cover a grill thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray and heat to medium high.  Grill the fish, turning once, until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.  Serve it with rice and buttered mushrooms.

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