SAKE MISO MARINATED CHILEAN SEA BASS with WASABI POTATO PUREE
When a local haunt shutters after nearly twenty years and it just so happens to be owned by the handsome, generously spirited celebrity chef, Ming Tsai, there is real cause to wonder if a dish that has graced the menu for two decades might really be recreated at home. Ming credits his signature sake miso black cod as one of the dishes that cemented his career. It is this fish that helped catapult this Ivy League graduate with a mechanical engineering degree into a coveted circle of James Beard award-winning best chefs in America status. The consummate teacher, Ming, shares this recipe in his first cookbook, BLUE GINGER. Over the years, the recipe has undergone some minor changes: in an effort to cook sustainably, Ming swapped out the original fish used in this plate, Chilean sea bass, for a fatty succulent butterfish (a.k.a. sablefish or black cod). This recipe veers only from Ming's in that it is simplified even further by serving on its own without sushi rolls and a sweet soy sauce substituted for Ming's soy syrup glaze. So yummy is this fish it just may become part of the regular family dinner rotation, or at the very least a not soon to be forgotten meal for social gatherings.
FOR THE FISH
1. In medium nonreactive bowl, combine the miso, mirin, sake, ginger, oil & sugar. Stir to blend. Add the bass, turn to coat and marinate, covered & refrigerated overnight (or for at least 4 hours).
2. Prepare the grill, (or heat a heavy cast iron skillet in a 500 degree F. oven for 20 minutes).
3. Wipe the marinade from the fish with a paper towel and season with white pepper.
4. Grill the fish, turning once, until just cooked through, about 10 minutes (or move the hot skillet to the stovetop and turn the heat to high and add the fish).
5. Remove the fish to ia serving platter or individual plates and serve with wasabi mashed potatoes, sweet soy sauce and wasabi oil.
FOR THE POTATOES
1. Put the potatoes in a large pot, fill with cold water and 1 tablespoon of sea salt. Boil until tender (a knife should slide easily through the chunk and the potato should not be falling apart).
2. Pour the potatoes into a colander and drain excess water completely.
3. While the potatoes are cooling a bit, warm the milk and the butter in a MEDIUM SIZED HEAVY BOTTOMED POT.
4. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, push them through a potato ricer and into the butter and milk mixture. Stir in the wasabi and taste for seasoning.
FOR THE FISH
1 cup light miso (shiro-miso, mellow miso)
1/2 cup mirin
1/2 cup sake
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1/2 cup safflower oil
1/4 cup sugar
4 (5" x 3") 7 ounce pieces skinless and boneless Chilean sea bass (cut from the fillet)
Finely ground white pepper
Sweet soy sauce
Wasabi oil (1/4 cup wasabi powder, 1 tablespoon mirin, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 cup safflower oil blended)
FOR THE WASABI POTATO PUREE
2 russet potatoes, peeled & cut into even chunks
4 Yukon Gold potatoes peeled & cut into even chunks
8 tablespoons of butter
1 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon prepared wasabi