Reproducing Nobu's Miso Cod at home

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Much has been said, replicated, adapted, of Nobu Matsuhisa's miso cod, so I randomly searched online for a recipe, which I got
here. In fact, Keiko previously wrote about her own miso cod here as well. Impressed with the delicate and floral-nuttiness of Keiko's cod, I too, wanted to create my own. What I wanted to do especially, was to obtain the Saikyo miso. From, "Saikyo miso (西京味噌) is a golden yellow miso that was traditionally made in the Kyoto/Kansai region. It is naturally sweet - the sweetness comes from the sugar produced as a byproduct of the fermentation process, similar to amazake (甘酒)."
Keiko's was honest-to-goodness Saikyo miso, but since it is very expensive and hard to find here in Boston, I  ended up making it using white sugar instead.

Line-up to make "Saikyo miso": Soy sauce, mirin, my favorite cheap but good nigori sake and basic white miso:
1/2 cup sake, 1/4 cup mirin, 4 tablespoons white miso paste, 3 tablespoons sugar

Combine all ingredients together and slowly reduce sake into a paste. *Save some miso for plating later on! Do not reuse marinade that has been in contact with fish unlike you want a possible tummy ache. 

Many recipes called for wiping off of the sticky paste at the end of the marinating process, so yours truly improvised a layer of sterile gauze over the fish before the marinate was applied. Therefore, at the end, all that needs to be done is to peel off the gauze. At times, like this, I do feel a little smart.

Application. Done. 

Most recipes called for a 24 hour period of marinating. But I did mine for 3 days, hoping to get more intense flavor.

Removed the gauze and popped the cod into an oven at 400 deg F and baked the fish for 15 minutes.

Thoughts. I think that there is too much of a good thing. Because I over-marinated, my fish was a little too salty and I ended up having it with okayu/rice congee instead of rice. The meat was smoky but because of the salt, a little too tough for my liking. Arrgh. Taste-wise, it was spot on :)


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