IMBB? - Misoyaki Butterfish
When this month's theme of FISH was announced by Wena, I was really excited about participating. After all, I love fish. As I pondered over what dish I should make, my first thought was to make something representative of where I'm from, Hawaii. The only dish that came to mind was poke (POH-kay), which is raw fish that's combined with and marinated in a variety of different ingredients. With that not seeming exciting enough, the next dish I that came to mind was misoyaki butterfish.
Misoyaki butterfish seemed a perfect choice. Why? Well, it combines Japanese flavors (sake and miso) into a uniquely Hawaiian dish. I haven't seen this served anywhere outside Hawaii except at chef Roy Yamaguchi's restaurants around the country. So with that settled, I decided that I needed to make some preparations.
To make the marinade you will need the following ingredients:
1/3 cup sake (Japanese rice wine)
1/3 cup mirin (Sweet Japanese rice wine)
1 cup granulated sugar (or sugar to taste)
1 cup white miso (soybean paste)
grated ginger (optional)
Since I'm a firm believer in using local products whenever possible, I use locally made miso. This one is made by Hawaiian Miso & Soy Company. This miso is great for marinades (like this one), for miso soup, or as a base for salad dressings.
To prepare the marinade, add the sake and mirin to a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Boil for approximately 10-15 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Next, turn down the heat and stir in the sugar and miso. Cook until it turns a pale caramel color. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Next comes the fish. The fish I'm using is known locally as butterfish. This name, butterfish, is a bit of a misnomer. You see, the real butterfish is similar to a pompano in size and shape. So what exactly is butterfish? According to some food labels that are actually found on the fish, they are known as black cod, but then that name too is a misnomer because the fish we call butterfish is actually a type of sablefish. Yikes...how confusing! But the real reason why I think we call this butterfish is because of the oily flesh, which melts in your mouth like butter when cooked.
Since this fish is not available locally, it's very hard to get this fish fresh. Most often times, the fish is flash frozen...and that's exactly how I bought this fish, frozen.
To prepare the fish, it first needs to be defrosted. Once that's done, the fish should be rinsed in some cold running water and then patted dry with a clean paper towel. Now the fish is ready for the marinade.
Using a filet that's about 6-ounces, I keep the skin intact, then place into a Ziploc® bag. I add the miso marinade and then let this sit in the refrigerator for 48-72 hours.
**72 hours later**
Now you're ready to cook your misoyaki butterfish. Remove your filet from the Ziploc® bag.
Add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil to a skillet which is on medium-low heat. You don't want the heat to be too high, as the miso will burn and then taste a bit bitter. What you really want to happen is the sugar to slightly carmelize and give it a nice golden brown color. Add your fish to the pan...
Cook for about 4-5 minutes before turning...
After letting it cook for another 4-5 minutes, you're ready to serve.
Tonight, I'm having the fish with rice topped with furikake (prepared seaweed), organic green salad with homemade li hing mui (which is a type of dried preserved plum) vinaigrette, and a couple of pieces of Okinawan sweet potato.