The older I get, the more nostalgic I tend to be about days gone by. Especially when it comes to TV.
I’m finding myself a little misty-eyed as I watch this old episode of Fishing Tales with Mike Sakamoto, a super local Hawaiian fishing show and favorite of my grandpa’s in the ’80s. Grandpa would whistle happily along to the “Let’s Go Fishing” theme song as he was in the kitchen cooking dinner–at times preparing fish that he had caught himself fishing that day.
I don’t pretend to be as talented of a fish cook as my grandpa, but I do like to experiment with a “fresh catch” from the Berkeley Bowl now and then. Here are three of my latest endeavors: 1) Classic Misoyaki Butterfish, 2) Baked Sockeye Salmon with Capers, 3) Lazy Ono (wahoo) with Scorched Tomatoes.
1. Misoyaki Butterfish is a no-brainer. You’ll see this served at many restaurants these days as Miso Black Cod. I can’t say I really care which fish it is, I just love any fatty oily white fish marinated overnight in miso, sake and sugar, broiled until lusciously caramelized. Your chopsticks will slide elegantly between each flaky layer of fish, right into your mouth. The secret is to wipe off all of the marinate before you cook it, otherwise caramelization will not occur!
2. I found this recipe for Baked Sockeye Salmon with Capers on Epicurious–it was all an elaborate excuse to utilize my new iPad in the kitchen. I had purchased two lovely vibrant pink filets of wild sockeye salmon from Berkeley Bowl and dug through my pantry to cobble together a recipe. While not the most gourmet recipe, you can’t really mess up impeccably fresh salmon with a bit of garlic, evoo, and capers.
3. I was tired and hungry after work one evening, when I happened upon Trader Joe’s frozen Hawaiian Ono (wahoo) steaks. I improvised a quick pan sear, then scorched some grape tomatoes in the crusty pan. I buttered up the pan juices and poured the lot of buttery brine over my pasta. Happiness!
1. misoyaki butterfish
japanese comfort food at its best
* 1-2 lbs filets of butterfish (makes enough marinade for 2 lbs, but I made just 1 lb for 2 people and really slathered it on)
* 3/4 cup white shiro miso
* 2 T red miso (optional or use more white)
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup sake
* 1/4 cup mirin
* 1 tsp soy sauce
Combine miring, sake, and sugar in a small pot. Bring to a simmer stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, until all the alcohol burns off. Remove from heat, and add soy sauce to stop boiling. Slowly add the miso and mix until sauce is creamy. Do not ever boil miso. Once the sauce is cool, coat all sides of your fish and place into a glass baking dish or ziploc bag. Marinate for at least 24 hours for thin filets, or 2-3 days for thicker black cod steaks.
Preheat oven to 450-degrees. Wipe the marinate completely off of the fish (this is important to achieve caramelization, and bake 5-8 minutes. When fish seems almost cooked, broil for an additional 2-3 minutes until well caramelized. Serves 2-4.
2. baked sockeye salmon with capers
salty, briny, garlicy
* 2 lbs wild sockeye salmon filets
* 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 2 tablespoons capers
* 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
* salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375°.
Wash the fish in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Coat a baking dish with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Lay the salmon down in the pan, skin side facing down. Distribute the capers and garlic slices between the filets. Sprinkle with a liberal quantity of salt and black pepper. Pour the remaining olive oil over the fish. Put the dish in the preheated oven and cook for 16 minutes. Let it stand for a few minutes before serving. Serves 4.
3. lazy ono with scorched tomatoes
simple evening din din from trader joes into your belly
* 1 or 2 ono (wahoo) steaks about 1/2 inch thick
* large handful of grape tomatoes
* olive oil
* knob of butter
* salt and pepper
* cooked pasta
Drizzle olive oil all over the ono steak, then sprinkle on salt and fresh cracked pepper on both sides.
Preheat a pan on med-high and cook the steaks 4 to 5 minutes each side. Ono is a quick cooking fish, so be sure not to over cook it! Once the ono is cooked, remove and plate it with the cooked pasta.
Add grape tomatoes to the pan you cooked the fish in, and roll the tomatoes around until they’re scorched on all sides. I like to squish a few of them to create a juice that deglazes the fish crusties in the pan–rub the brown fond with a spatula until mixed with the tomato juices. When the tomatoes are soft, add a knob of butter. Once melted, pour everything over your fish and pasta. Serves 1.