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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

You Say Sustainable, I Say Delectable!

In an age of instant everything, the idea of being able to access whatever food our heart desires whenever we want, has indeed been a perk of our modern lives, particularly for us who live in colder climes.

Advancements in transportation, bio-science, and agricultural practices have exposed our palates to exotic flavours and delights we could only have dreamed about or read about in books about faraway places. However, the availability of new foods from the four corners of the earth has also come with another dark side. Global demand for certain foods has accelerated the depletion of these natural resources to the brink of extinction.

One case in point is a once-favoured fish, Chilean sea bass. Once featured prominently on the menus of many restaurants in this city, it is near impossible to find it today. In particular, Chilean sea bass has become the poster child for raising the awareness of the overfishing of certain stocks with several prominent Toronto chefs even removing this and other overfished species from their menus.

Chilean sea bass rose to be a favourite fish of mine because it possesses an intense rich buttery flavour. I think black cod, also known as sablefish, is a great substitute, and it’s a fish I can enjoy ethically for now.

Here is the simple way to prepare this wonderful fish. It’s very flavourful and super quick. This fish could be accompanied by a side of brown rice and stir fried vegetables topped with toasted cashews.

The Miso Glaze works well for other fatty fish like salmon.

Black Cod with Miso Glaze

Serves 2

2 fillets of black cod (sablefish)
1 tbsp miso
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp butter

sprinkle of black sesame seeds

1. Clean and pat dry the fillet.
2. Pre-heat broiler.
3. Whisk the miso, mirin, rice vinegar, and soy sauce together in a separate bowl until a thick smooth paste forms.
4. Heat a skillet at medium high, add butter until it is hot and sizzles.
5. Place fillet on the skillet, skin side down. Resist the temptation to move or touch the fish. Cook for about 5-10 minutes or until skin crisps up and the bottom of the fish starts to become opaque.
6. When the fish is cooked most of the way through, spoon miso paste over the top of the fillet.
7. Place under broiler until the fish is cooked and the miso glaze is golden. It happens quickly so don’t go answer your phone while your fish is in the broiler.

Weekday Meal Prep:
If you are serving this with rice and vegetables, the first thing is to get the rice cooking as it takes the longest and your vegetables prepped before you start cooking the fish so all the components of dinner are ready at the same time.


Anonymous said...

Hi There,

What is Mirin?

If I can't find this product, what can I use in it's place?

Thank you.

Hungry Gal said...

@ anonymous

Mirin is a low-alcohol rice wine. It adds sweetness and shine to the miso (hence the glaze :) )

Mirin can be found in a Japanese grocery store or an Asian grocery store with a well-stocked Japanese section.

To substitute, I would use a tsp of sugar (brown, if you have it) and a tsp of rice vinegar. It will be just fine! Bon appetit!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I look forward to trying this recipe.

Hungry Gal said...

@ anonymous

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Please report back and let me know how it turns out! Cheers!

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