Saturday, November 3, 2007

A rose by any other name . . .

Sablefish, Black Cod, Butterfish, Alaska Cod. Whatever name you prefer, it's a great fish, and it couldn't get a better rating from the Monterey Bay folks. Even Daniel Boulud recognizes the fish's greatness here. If you click on that last link, you'll see that my people were ahead of their time, along with the Japanese. And sorry for the title, I still haven't gotten over the last post.

As usual, the fish came from Kate's at the West Side Market, and the snow peas came from the veggie section of the Market. While I prefer the produce at the North Union markets, I was already at the Market, and you generally can't beat the prices or the breadth of the selection. Of course, caveat emptor, here more than most places.

The meal was very satisfying, with sweetness coming from the sauce/marinade and the rice, sour from the same place, salty from soy sauce, and savory from fish.

For the rice, you can go here and find the link. I enjoy sushi rice very much.

Fish (adapted from Kate's recipe--unsurprisingly, Kate's Fish is owned by Kate)
- Fish
- Soy sauce, one part
- Honey, two parts
- Vinegar, splash
- Ginger, minced
- Salt and pepper
- Oil (I mixed sunflower and toasted sesame oil, about 80%/20%, respectively.)
- Mix all ingredients except the fish and oil
- Marinate fish in fridge for around half an hour
- Turn on broiler
- Heat up broiler safe pan
- Lightly oil the hot pan
- Place fish on pan (reserve marinade)
- Place pan about six inches from flame and cook until it's done to your liking (the fish will flake easily and have a great texture)

- Snow Peas, washed and still a bit wet
- Ginger, minced
- Soy sauce
- Salt and pepper
- Oil (Here I mixed sunflower, toasted sesame oil, and a little chile oil.)
- Preheat a pan--get it very hot (I used a carbon steel wok.)
- Add oil to hot pan
- Add peas, ginger, salt, and pepper and mix well
- Move peas around relatively often
- When peas are about done add soy sauce
- When peas are to your liking place on plate
- Reduce fish marinade in pan while it's still over heat
- When the marinade is well reduced (It will be much thicker off the heat than it is in the hot pan. Be careful not to over reduce.) add it where you'd like (I put it on the peas.)
- Plate everything together and enjoy

It's a great mix of flavors, and everything can be adjusted to taste--the salt, sugar, and vinegar in the rice, the ratio of the things in the marinade, and the oils. I wouldn't go too much sweeter though, as the fish has a lot of sweetness on its own. Added spiciness might be nice.

I know I missed the wagon with this one, as Miso Black Cod long ago joined the ranks of braised short ribs as a ubiquitous restaurant offering. But like short ribs, there's good reason for its commonplace--it's hard to screw up, and it's good. This really is a great fish, and it's a shame I took so long to join the crowd.

Here's another shot of the dinner.

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