|Posted on October 21, 2011 at 9:50 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted on August 26, 2011 at 10:05 AM||comments (0)|
1 pounds Halibut fillets, skinned, cut to make 4 pieces
Fresh-ground black pepper
8 large fresh grape leaves, blanched and dried, or brined grape leaves, drained and dried.
1 tablespoons cooking oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 cloves garlic, minced
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon capers, drained (optional)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or other herbs of your choice
Light the grill or heat the broiler. Season the fish with salt and pepper and baste it with olive oil. Overlap two or three of the grape leaves and put a piece of the fish in the middle. Fold the leaves to envelope the entire fish, so all the meat is covered. Brush some of the olive oil over the packet to seal the leaves and keep them from sticking to the grill. Repeat with the remaining fish, grape leaves, and oil, making eight packets in all.
Grill or broil the fish packets, turning once, until just done, about 8 minutes in all for 3/4-inch-thick fillets.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the garlic, lemon zest, capers, lemon juice, parsley, and salt and pepper. To serve, spoon the sauce over the grape-leaf packets.
|Posted on February 20, 2011 at 1:19 AM||comments (1)|
|Posted on February 2, 2011 at 2:16 AM||comments (2)|
As I was gettig ready to leave Sado Island in Niigata last week, I came upon the most beautiful string of fish. I crossed the snow covered street to take a closer look. It was Himono-salted dry fish. The fish had just been salted that morning and hung to dry.
I grew up eating a lot of Himono, having lived near the seaside of Kamakura as a child. When I walked by the local fishmonger's shop on my way to school, I would always find him cleaning fish. He made himono first thing in the morning. I would watch him while I waited for the bus to come. He split and gutted the fish one by one, and dropped the innards into the stone tub right next to his cutting board where the fishmonger kept his gold fish as pets. These gold fish were fed so well, they were as big as Koi.
To make himono, the fish are soaked in a brine and then laid flat on a large screen to dry in the open air. The sun and the wind aid in the drying. This method of drying retains the umami of the fish, without drying the meat out. Kamakura was famous for mackerel Himono, Aji-no-himono. It was my favorite way to eat fish.
|Posted on May 30, 2010 at 8:56 PM||comments (0)|
I haven't grilled a whole fish in awhile, but when I saw this wild Isaki (Grunt in English), I could only think of cooking it whole. I couldn't see wasting any part of this gorgeous fish. it was a rare find. In fact, I have never seen an Isaki in Los Angeles, but it was waiting for me at Granada Market. I wanted the fish but then I knew Sakai was leaving for his show in NY and it would be an awfully big fish if I had to tackle it myself. Mr. Mukai, the owner, said, "It is in season. Eat it for good luck!" So even though this whole fish cost $30, I decided, it's cheaper than going out for sushi. I will cook it for lunch. Sakai will have some good luck, and I could use some luck, too.
Mr. Mukai goes to the central market in downtown everyday. Every Tuesdays and Wednesdays, fish come in from Japan. So if you let him know what you want in advance, he will try to get it for you. I have known him for more than 25 years, and he only recommends me fish that he think is fresh. Someitmes that freshness is good enough for sashimi; other times, it's good enough for grilling. There are different degrees of freshness but in LA, getting any fresh fish is difficult, so I often buy fish from him, and know what he means when he says, eat it as sashimi, or grill it! This Isaki was best on the grill.
Although Isaki (Grunt in English) can be caught year round, the best season for this fish starts when the rainy season begins in Japan and continues throughout the summer. It likes warm water and they usually live along shore lines with many rocks. The meat is fatty, even though the taste is very light and delicate. I used some tarragon that I had left over from when I served Morel mushrooms. The fish was delicious. We ate it all.
|Posted on December 14, 2009 at 6:29 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted on August 23, 2009 at 1:22 AM||comments (0)|
EBI NO SUNOMONO
Shrimp is one of the most popular and easy to find seafood in the world but I have had my set of hit and misses, especially with boiled shrimp. The texture of boiled shrimp can often be rubbery and the flavor blah. I would avoid ordering shrimp coctails at restaurants because they almost always disappoint. I think shrimp deserves better.
Recently, I found a way to boil shrimp and make it come out with a lot of flavor and texture. What I do is coat the shrimp in a little potato starch (katakuriko) before boiling it. You can use other starches like kuzu or cornstarch. The Chinese have used this technique for centuries.. They coat cornstarch on both meat and seafood. You don't need a lot. In fact, you need to use just enough to put a thin coat. I did it with this vinegared shrimp. My shrimp looks a little prettier on the plate and the shrimp has much better flavor and texture.
|Posted on June 7, 2009 at 11:17 AM||comments (1)|
Octopus and ginger. This combination is wonderfully refreshing. The photograph I took of the Octopus arms made them look huge but in reality they were rather small. Just enough to make two of t hese salads.
VINEGARED OCTOPUS AND CUCUMBER
|Posted on March 30, 2009 at 1:42 PM||comments (0)|
It's nearly the end of March and I am very happy that my website is up and swimming. The last story of the month shall be on Black Cod. Itook a nice birthday hike in the Temescal Canyon with my neighbor Ellen. After the hike, she treated me to hearty breakfast at thevillage restaurant in Pacific Palisades. 2 plus 2 - is what I always get at this place. That's a double order of everything from pancakes toeggs and turkey bacon. I felt Tarafuku! Later,we wandered over to the Farmers Market for fish and produce. I boughtsome beautiful strawberries, scallions, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, dried apricots and figs and was tempted to keep going until I saw Ellen waiting in line to buy fish.
Today, people seem tobe in the mood for fish. The Black Cod looked irresistible. I bought the large fillet of Black Cod. In my recent trip to Europe, I had salted cod, Bacalao in a croquette in aBarcelona Tapas bar. Cod fish and chips in London. Cod is such aubiquitous fish and always tasty. But there is something you should know about America's Black Cod. It is called cod but it is not reallya true cod. It is also called sablefish but it's neither a sablefish.The flavor and texture of Black Cod has very little in common with a true cod like Link Cod or Rock Cod. Black Codis a softer, fattier fish. Apparently, the scientist who categorize fish just cannot determine where to place this poor big fellow. For the time being, it is labeled Cod for the mere reason that it is a commercially eaten fish.
In Japan, the black cod gets a break. It has its own name, even its own set of Chineese characters, Fish and Snow?? Tara-its pictographs look and sound as beautiful as Snow White. Beauty is so subjective.
|Posted on March 30, 2009 at 1:41 PM||comments (0)|
When you have eaten to your heart's content, the Japanese describe that state to be Tarafuku. Tarafuku means cod's belly. Cod is known to have a huge appetite. It can grow into an enormous fish weighing as much as 200 lbs. Some fish!
|Posted on March 28, 2009 at 11:13 AM||comments (0)|
Tara no Miso Zuke
Black cod marinated in a miso-sake pasteis very tasty. Miso firms the fish and gives the fish a nice sweet smoky flavor. You can prepare this dish couple days in advance. When I marinate the fillets, I like to use cheese cloth to line the fillet so the miso-sake marinade doesn't come in direct contact with the fish. You have less mess to deal with and the fish will not burn easily. This method also allows you to use the marinade more than once. If you cannot find Black Cod, try any kind of firm fish, including Link Cod and Rock cod, Mahi Mahi, Alaskan halibut.
Makes 4 servings
4 black codfillets, each weighing about 6-8 oz
2 cups of Miso-Sake Marinade (see Basic Recipe)
Cheese cloth (optional)
1. Sprinkle the cod lightly with salt. Let stand for 1 hour. Rinse off the water and pat dry. The fish will take the marinade better with pre-salting but this step is optional.
2. In a non-reactive dish, put half of the miso marinade to cover the bottom of the container. Place one halfof the cheese cloth on top of the miso marinade. Lay the fillets on top of the cheese cloth so the fish does not come in direct contact with the miso marinade. Take the remaining half of the cheese cloth and cover the fish. Then smother the fillet with the rest of the marinade. Leave the fish in the marinade for 2-3 days. Remember, the longer you keep in the marinade, the stronger and saltier the flavor.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. Lightly wipe marinade off the fish using your hands or paper towel or wash off and wipe dry. Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil large enough to wrap the fillet. Cook the fish for 5 minutes on each side or until the fish is nearly cooked. Unwrap the foil and broil the fish until it is toasty on the surface and fish flakes easily. Becareful not to burn the fish.
4. Serve immediately.
|Posted on March 28, 2009 at 2:42 AM||comments (0)|
Miso Sake Marinade
This is a marinade that can be used for marinating firm white fish. Black cod works best but also link and rock cod. The marinade can also be used for marinating beef and pork.
You can adjust the sweetness of the marinade by adding more or less sweet sake and sugar.
2 cups White miso (Saikyo is preferred) or light brown miso
1.5 oz sake
1.5 oz mirin
1 Tbls sugar (optional)
In a non-reactive container, mix miso, sake, mirin and sugar. The marinade should be smooth enough to be able to spread easily. (The consistency is softer than peanut butter). If you need to make it softer, add more mirin or sake.
Keeps in the fridge for about a month and can be re-used, especially if you use a cheese cloth to line the fish. I double lined the cheese cloth. Use enough cheesecloth so you have enough cloth to envelope the fish. With the cheese cloth lining, the fish is easier
to lift out of the marinade. When ready to use the fish, wipe or wash off the marinade
with a paper towel or clean cloth to wipe. Now you are ready to grill the fish.
See the recipe for Cod in Miso Marinade.