| Prep Time: 10 mins
| Cook Time: 25 mins
| Total Time: 35 mins
You may need: Dried Garlic Powder
Many Japanese dishes often appear deceptively simple. Just a few ingredients are selected to provide complex layers of flavor. This recipe features seared black cod, a white fish with a velvety texture and large, yet delicate, flakes and a rich, buttery taste. The sweet and salty broth, however, shines brightest and delivers umami from the Shiitake mushrooms with a citrus background from Sansho pepper.
This month we ship you a special single spice: freshly ground Sansho pepper from Japan. Sansho, a berry of the Japanese 'prickly ash' shrub, is related to the better-known Sichuan pepper but has more pronounced citrus notes of yuzu and grapefruit. Similar to Sichuan pepper, Sansho also provides a slight tingling sensation on the tongue and is commonly used to flavor Japanese eel dishes and umami broths. Sansho is a powerful spice so use it sparingly. 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon is enough to provide a citrus background to this recipe. If you sprinkle directly as a condiment, sample a few grains before adding more to any portion. Shiitake mushrooms may be purchased dried online and in many markets.
See udon recipe to make the Dashi broth.
You can use any flaky, white fish for this recipe. We suggest a few different varieties in the ingredients list. Ask your fishmonger what is freshest and has a similar texture.
Leaving the skin on the fish helps to cook the filet with falling apart. Cook skin-side down first to firm up the flesh before flipping.
To create the "strings" of scallion that we used as garnish, use a sharp knife to slice open the green part of the scallion. Use two fingers to hold the scallion flat on a cutting board and cut matchstick wide slivers running down lengthwise.
Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don't sweat it if you don't have them.
Add 1 cup water, soy sauce, mirin, shallot, 1 clove of garlic (sliced), and sansho pepper to a small sauce pan. Bring broth to a boil then reduce heat to Med-Low, cover, and simmer for 5 mins. Turn off heat.
Heat a skillet on Med-High. When hot, add in sesame oil, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and 2 cloves of garlic. Fry garlic until golden (~2 mins). Stir in all mushrooms and cook for 3 mins.
Using a strainer, pour broth into the mushroom mixture in the skillet. Cover and reduce heat to Low.
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a separate skillet or sauté pan on Med-High. Pat fish dry and season with salt and black pepper to taste (optional). When oil is hot, add fish skin-side down. Cook for ~5 mins until skin is crispy. Carefully flip the fish and cook for 5 more mins. Remove from heat and serve fish over mushroom broth in small bowls. Garnish with scallion, bonito, and a pinch or 2 of sansho pepper (optional - go lightly with sansho).
The star of this dish is the rich, umami broth . You can easily substitute many different kinds of fish into this recipe for a similar result.
We understand that not everyone has access to a market that sells Asian ingredients like beech mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, or Mirin (rice wine). However, if you can plan ahead, you can order these online on Amazon or Walmart. Also, you can substitute any mushrooms you like, such as portobello, button, or crimini mushrooms into the dish.
For those on a low-salt diet, you can cut down on the amount of soy sauce by half and substitute with a no-salt broth of your choice.
To make a vegetarian version, substitute in firm tofu for the fish and try adding other vegetables like asparagus, baby bok choy, or broccoli. You might get best results if you cook the vegetables/tofu to your liking before adding to the broth.
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