Saturday March 22, 2008
nobu's black cod with miso
As a frenzied fan of Nobu's culinary mastery, I've visited his restaurants in LA, Miami, and of course NY. From a quick search online I see he has 15 restaurants including hot spots in Tokyo, Melbourne, the Bahamas, Hong Kong, Vegas and Aspen. Nobu New York, the flagship restaurant of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, has been a pioneer for Japanese cuisine since its opening in 1994. Nobu partnered with actor Robert De Niro, producer Meir Teper, restaurateur Drew Nieporent, and managing partner Richard Notar to bring his modern Japanese to Tribeca. Nobu draws upon his classical training at sushi bars in Tokyo and his life abroad in Peru, Argentina, and around the world to create a whole new trend in Japanese cuisine. The resulting dishes, including Tiradito Nobu Style, Yellowtail with Jalapeno, Squid Pasta, and Black Cod with Miso, make Nobu the innovator of new style Japanese food.
So without further ado, here is one great recipe from master Chef Nobu.
Nobu's Black Cod with Miso
Note: I had a hard time finding Hajikami so I served this with a very seasonal side dish: Fiddlehead Ferns. Also, Nobu's instructions say to leave the fish marinating in the Miso paste for 2-3 days. Given my more immediate needs for a culinary seduction meal now....I tried this with a 8 hour marinade, hoping it would work out fine. It was a big hit--seduction mission accomplished!
4 black cod fillets, about 1/2 pound (230g) each
3 cups (800g) Nobu-style Saikyo Miso (see below)
1 stalk hajikami per serving*
Nobu-Style Saikyo Miso
3/4 cup mirin*
1/2 cup sake
2 cups white miso paste*
1 cup sugar
*All Asian ingredients: mirin, white miso and hajikami, can be found in Japanese markets and select specialty stores, or you can try Asian Food Grocer. Hajikami garnish pickled ginger shoot; if you can't find this you can subsititute it with regular sliced pickled ginger may.
If you can't find Hajikami there is a recipe for it below. I takes 12 hours to pickle the ginger.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the mirin and sake and boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol. Add the miso paste and stir with a wooden spoon until it dissolves completely. Add the sugar, raise the heat to high, and stir continuously until it has dissolved completely. Remove the pan from the heat and leave at room temperature until the mixture has cooled completely.
marinating the fish (suggested time: 2 - 3 days)
Pat the fillets thoroughly dry with paper towels. Slather the fish with Nobu-style Saikyo Miso and place in a nonreactive dish or bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave to steep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
cooking the cod
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and preheat a grill or broiler. Lightly wipe off any excess Miso clinging to the fillets but don't rinse it off. Place the fish on the grill, or in a broiler pan, and grill or broil until the surface of the fish turns brown. Then bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
plating the dish
Arrange the black cod fillets on individual plates and garnish with hajikami. Add a few extra drops of Nobu's Miso sauce to each plate.
hajikami ginger pickled in sweet vinegar (ama-zu)
Remove any sand and debris and cut the ginger into 6-inch (15-cm) lengths. Briefly plunge the ginger into a pot of boiling water to which rice vinegar has been added (1 Tbsp. per 1 quart/liter water). Drain and sprinkle thoroughly with sea salt. Let cool to room temperature. Leave for 12 hours to pickle in ama-zu which has been diluted 100% with water.