I’m still on a mission to use up the food in my freezer, and to avoid going to the grocery store. This new mission has forced my creativity and bent my rules for my Japanese cooking project.
In the freezer, I found a salmon fillet and some bay scallops. The other night, we ate miso marinated lamb chops, and I’ve discovered that the miso marinade can be used a second time. Perhaps marinating red meat after the miso had been used for fish would not be a good idea, but this way ’round worked quite well. Fish should be marinated for a relatively short time, and the bay scallops are even more delicate than fish. I added the scallops to the marinade about 2 hours later than I did the fish.
Now, I realize the sauce recipe calls for spinach, but I had none, so I substituted peas. There were 3 packages of peas in there as well. Yes, I used some for the stir-fried rice with kikurage, but I found another one on a lower shelf! Wonder why I bought so many peas? The peas were an interesting choice: the color was lovely, and the flavor was nice, but I couldn’t purée them as silky smooth as spinach. And the last substitution: Instead of the tama-miso (which I didn’t make), I added a little miso and an egg yolk to the sauce. Oh, and a few bits of sweet red pepper for color in the pictures. Could have used a few more?
Below, for my future reference (I do intend to follow my own rules to make the recipes in this book as directed) and for your pleasure is the recipe as written.
Broiled or Grilled Miso Marinated Salmon With Spinach Sauce
- 1 1/4 pounds salmon or cod fillets, skinned or not, cut into 4 pieces
- 5 teaspoons salt
- 8 ounces Saikyo miso (sweet white miso)
- 1/4 cup sake (rice wine)
- 1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup komezu (rice vinegar)
- 1 Tablespoon minced shallot
- 3 1/2 ounces spinach leaves, 4 medium leaves reserved
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 2 Tablespoons tamamiso (miso-and-egg sauce)
- 6 to 8 Tablespoons virgin olive oil, to taste
☆ Salt the fish on both sides, and rest it on a steel rack set over the pan, for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
☆ In a medium bowl, soften the miso by stirring in the sake and mirin. Spread one-third of the miso mixture in the bottom of a large pan in which the fish can fit without overlapping. Lay a tightly woven cotton cloth or two layers of cheesecloth over the miso in the pan.
☆ Wipe the salted salmon with a paper towel to remove the salt and the liquid exuded from the fish. Place all the salmon pieces on the cloth in the pan, and cover them with another tightly woven cotton cloth or two layers of cheesecloth.
☆ Spread the remaining miso mixture over the cloth, covering the surface completely. Wrap the entire pan with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 5 hours.
☆ In a small saucepan, combine the dry white wine, komezu, and shallot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to very low, and cook the mixture until it is reduced to 1 Tablespoon of syrup.
☆ In a large pot of boiling water, parboil the spinach, excluding 4 leaves, 1 to 2 minutes. Cool the spinach in ice water, and drain the spinach well. In a food processor, purée the spinach.
☆ In a skillet, heat 1 inch oil over medium heat to 320°F. One at a time, add the 4 reserved spinach leaves to the oil, and cook them until they are bright green and translucent, 10 to 15 seconds. Transfer the spinach to paper towels to drain.
☆ Lift the top cloth from the salmon, and remove the salmon from the marinade. Discard the marinade, or reserve it to use as a fish marinade one more time within 2 weeks, after heating it through and adding more miso and sake, or for making miso soup. If there is any miso residue on the fish, gently wipe it away with a paper towel. At this point you can refrigerate the fish, in a well-sealed plastic bag, for up to 3 days, or freeze it for a lnoger period.
☆ Heat a broiler or grill, and the broiler pan or grill rack. With a pastry brush, lightly grease the pan or rack. Transfer the salmon to the pan or rack and cook the salmon, turning once, until both sides are light golden. A 1-inch thick salmon steak needs about 8 minutes total cooking time. Marinated fish burns easily, so you may need to cover the fish with aluminum foil as it cooks.
☆ In a small saucepan, combine the miso-egg-sauce with the reduced vinegar-wine syrup. Place the saucepan over low heat, and cook until the mixture is heated through. ☆ Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, and add the spinach purée. Little by little, whisk in the olive oil. Serve the salmon with the spinach sauce underneath and garnished with the fried spinach leaves.
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