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Sablefish with Miso Glaze

4 app  
24 hrs  
Miso glazed sablefish is the signature dish of celebrity chef and restauranteur Nobu Matsuhisa - also famous for refusing to remove endangered bluefin tuna from his menus. Lets face facts here. This is a chef's dish - and a Japanese dish to boot. That's two strikes. It's tiny, delicate and fussy - but it's also totally delicious. It's actually rather easy - but takes care and delicate handling. Unfortunately, unlike a celebrity chef, you don't have a kitchen full of Guatemalan illegals to do this for you.

Sablefish (1)
-- Marinade
Shiro Miso (2)  
-- Garnish
Prep   -   (12 to 24 hrs - 20 min work)
  1. Cut SABLEFISH fillets into the size you'd like, compensating for shrinkage (see Note-1).
  2. Mix all Marinade items thoroughly. Reserve a little of the marinade for garnish on the plate if you want to do the fancy chef thing (See Note-4).
  3. Massage Marinade into Fish. Marinate in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours, turning now and then.
Run   -   ()
  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Shake excess marinade from the Sablefish and set it (the fish) on a rack, skin side up (if skin-on), and slip into the broiler. Roast until skin starts to bubble and get crisp (if skin-on). You have about 45 seconds between done and burned. If no skin, it should just be nicely browned. Flip over (easier said than done) and broil until nicely browned on the other side (See Note-3).
  3. Very carefully free the fish from the rack and hoist onto a warm dish. Garnish as desired (see Note-4) and serve immediately.
  1. Sablefish:   Commonly sold as "Black Cod". This weight is for fillets which may be skin-on or skinless as you desire. If you start with a whole fish you'll need one about 2-1/2 pounds to get a pound of fillet. Japanese markets (a disappearing breed) sometimes have fillets, though I hear they may be cut a bit small, and of course they will be very fine - and very expensive. Note that the tiny serving in the photo started out at 3-1/2 ounces and was larger, but thinner. For more detail see our Sablefish page.
  2. Shiro Miso:   Shiro (white) miso is not actually white, but a light beige. For details see our Miso Page.
  3. Method:   Different writers give different methods. Common is to use an indoor grill for the browning, then slip into a 400°F/200°C oven to finish. Others broil or use a grill pan, and at least one pan fries, but almost all finish in the oven. Perhaps my broiler isn't as hot as whatever they're using, but by time I've got the fish browned on both sides it's done through and threatening to disintegrate into flakes if I look at it hard. Do whatever works for you - but you'd better do a test run (or two) before an important presentation.
  4. Garnish:   Fancy chefs serve this on a plain white dish much too large for it, decorate the dish with an arc of drops of reserved marinade in order of descending size, and something green - or some other chefly artistry. It is then presented at the table to be swooned over. Some pickled ginger (the pink stuff) is a lot easier, and actually goes really well with the fish - but I suppose you can't get a worshipful write-up in the gourmet press with something simple and practical.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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