We love Sable fish!!
A simple marinade recipe for sable fish (black cod); sake kasu is the “lees” that remain after the fermented rice mash has been processed during the sake making process. It is a natural flavor enhancer for meats, fish and soups, available at Japanese food stores (see sources below).
Ingredients (enough for 4 servings (almost two pounds) of black cod (each fillet 1 inch in thickness) : 1/2 cup of sake kasu (sake lees – you can find it available at Japanese food store in the refrigerated section*), 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup mirin, 1 to 2 Tablespoons coconut brown sugar (my preference), 2 Table organic white miso paste, sea salt for seasoning
- Using paper towel, pat the fish dry completely.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine sake kasu, miso, water, mirin and sugar, slowly whisk and blend until the mixture is smooth.
- Fill a large zip lock bag with the marinade, carefully place the fish and make sure they are completely covered with marinade. Put the bag and lay it flat on a prep tray (I used stainless prep trays, available at Japanese stores). Seal and refrigerate for 1 (minimum) to 2 days.
When you are ready to cook the fish:
- Preheat the broiler.
- Remove sable fish from marinade, using paper towel, carefully wipe the fillets dry without breaking them. Do not rinse with water!
- Lined a rimmed baking sheet with aluminium foil
- Place the fish skin side down, lightly season with sea salt
- Broil until the surface is nicely browned and fish begins to flake, about 5 minutes. Keep an eye closely and make sure you don’t burn the fish!
- Turn the fish gently to brown the skin, 2 to 3 minutes.
- To test if the fish is done, I used Japanese metal chopsticks (thin skewers will do) to poke the fish gently. If it slides in smoothly, it’s done.
- Remove the bones before serving.
***Instead of broiling, I baked the sable fish (parchment paper lined rimmed baking tray) at 400 degrees, it took 10- 12 minutes to cook through. Sear the fish first if you want the “browning” effect.
FYI: I served the cod with a shiitake and shimeji mushroom dashi “jus” with sea asparagus and Shanghai bok choy, seaweed flakes and green onion (recipe will be posted at later date).
*Osake Artisan Sake Maker sake kasu, available directly from their store in Granville Island (Vancouver) or online, It is also available at Fujiya (912 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC)
For sea salt: I met the wonderful team from Vancouver Island Salt Company a couple of months ago through Dinner Party YVR; my personal favourite is their smoked sea salt. Their products are available at finer food stores, check out their website, eat and shop local!
For sable fish: My go to place in Granville Island, Seafood City; owner Brian and his crew will take good care of you! They carry condiments also which go well with seafood; I got a bottle of Jonny Hetherington’s Habanero pineapple hot sauce which I used for my spicy sweet and sour sauce, something very tasty to try and “think outside of the box”.