Japanese Miso Cod

by feastonthecheap on April 20, 2009

miso-codMary Anne here. My daughter loves Japanese food, particularly Miso Cod. She asked me recently if I could create this special dish on the cheap, since it’s pretty pricey when served in a restaurant. Given the $25 price tag, it doesn’t quite fit the budget these days.

My research revealed that there are few variations on this dish and that the base for it lies in the actual Miso or Soybean Paste. Nobu, the London and NYC-based restaurants, appears to have been the originators of this particular recipe, and naturally, I added a few of my own touches.

I used the only Miso I could find (it was yellow and different recipes call for a spectrum of Miso “colors” from red or yellow to white.) I quickly learned that a “less is more” approach to dressing the cod was the way to go – too much miso and it loses the delicate flavor that makes this dish so delightful.

The end result was declared a resounding success by the Japanese food enthusiasts in my family, and better yet, it was a snap to prepare. The fishmonger I went to told me that Tilapia is also a great alternative to Cod, and generally runs about one dollar per pound cheaper.

I served this with the Thai Spinach and Mango Salad and the Vegetarian Soba Noodles. Great combination and easy on the wallet given all the leftovers!

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Japanese Miso Cod
Serves 4

Ingredients:
¾ cup Mirin – $2.59
½ cup Sake – $7.99
2 cups (16 oz. package) Miso *(available in Asian grocery stores) – $5.99
1-cup light brown sugar  – from stock
2 lbs fresh Cod Filets (try to get the pieces in equal thickness) – $14.74
Pinch cayenne or to taste  – stock
¼ cup toasted sesame seeds – from stock
Pickled Ginger (optional, but highly recommended) – $3.69
Grand Total assuming un-stocked Asian Pantry: $35.00
Per serving: $8.75 (a far cry from restaurant pricing!)

Directions:
1. In a medium saucepan over medium flame, bring the Mirin and Sake to boil. Boil for 20 to 30 seconds. Add the Miso paste, stirring until thoroughly melted.

2. Increase the flame to high while adding the brown sugar. Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved.

3. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

4. When the Miso mixture is cooled, pat the fish filets dry with a paper towel. Pour the Miso into a glass bowl (don’t use metal!) saving about ¼ cup of sauce to use as garnish.

5. Place the filets in the Miso, covering both sides. The sauce is very thick and adheres nicely. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate in refrigerator overnight.

6. Preheat the broiler according to manufacturer’s instructions. Line the broiler pan with tin foil (easier clean up) and place the filets on the prepared pan.

7. Blot up any excess marinade with a paper towel. The filets should have a nice coat but shouldn’t be oozing marinade.

8. Broil under flame (about 4 inches from heat source) rotating pan once so filets brown evenly, between 6 and 10 minutes.

9. Meanwhile, gently reheat the Miso glaze reserved the day before.

10. Sprinkle the filets with sesame seeds. Serve with Pickled Ginger and a bit of the reserved Miso Sauce, but taste first to determine how much sauce is needed.

11. Warm up some of the leftover Sake to serve with dinner.