.. Now, where was I going with this? Oh yes, Roys Misoyaki Butterfish. Misoyaki translates literally as "grilled miso" but refers to the practice of marinating meats, fish or tofu with a light, salty-sweet miso-based mixture before grilling, broiling or pan-frying them. Anyway, this dish is prepared by marinating the fish for up to a couple of days in sake (Japanese rice wine), mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine), sugar and white Shiro miso paste (a thick, salty paste made from fermented soybeans). Then, it is seared until cooked through producing a golden, caramelized crust on the outside and sweet, buttery flavor and delicate flaky texture on the inside. This fish justs melts in your mouth like buttah!
Since I truly love this dish and cant afford to eat at Roys every night, I decided to try and replicate it at home. I was surprised to find several recipes online allegedly for Roys version. I also found many other recipes on the web for Misoyaki Butterfish and Black Cod. Never one to leave a good recipe alone, I took a little from one, some from another, threw in a few tweaks of my own and and came up with my own version.
Instead of butterfish, which is impossible to find around here, I used some beautiful wild salmon. Since salmon is also an oily fish, I felt it would translate well to the recipe. You could also use sea bass, halibut or Atlantic cod in this recipe with great results. I also added some fresh orange juice to the marinade, thinking that the sugar in the juice would help give the salmon even more caramelization. Another tweak I made to the marinade was to add a tablespoon of red Aka miso paste too. Red miso has a deeper and saltier flavor than its white counterpart, which I thought would be a nice contrast to the sweetness of the other ingredients.
After mixing up my miso marinade, I let the salmon swim in it for 24 hours. Even though, some recipes advocate letting it sit for up to three days, I wasnt comfortable with keeping fresh fish in the fridge that long.
After I seared the fish in a hot cast iron skillet, I finished it off in the oven for a few minutes until just cooked through.
Let me tell you, this dish was To. Die. For.! It was seriously the best salmon Ive ever made. I have to say that my Misoyaki Salmon could definitely give Roys butterfish a run for its money. And the best part is that I can have it anytime I want. And now, so can you!
Misoyaki Samon (Inspired by Roy Yamaguchi and several others)
Note: Both mirin and miso paste can be found at Publix and Whole Foods, as well as Asian markets.
4-6 fresh wild salmon fillets (about 1-1 1/2 pounds)
1 cup sake
1 cup mirin
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups white Shiro miso paste
2 tablespoons red Aka miso paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1. To make the marinade, combine mirin, sake, orange juice and sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Continue to simmer for 3-5 minutes, until the alcohol burns off.
2. Remove from heat and whisk in soy sauce, white and red miso paste until until mixture is creamy. Set aside to cool.
3. When marinade is cooled, pour it into a big zip-lock bag with the salmon and seal. Gently massage the marinade into the salmon, coating the fish well. Marinate in the fridge for 1-2 days.
4. When ready to cook the fish, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
5. Take fillets out of the plastic bag and wipe off the marinade. Pat fish dry.
6. Heat oil in a large fry pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Sear salmon fillets 2-3 minutes on each side, until they start to caramelize. Remove the pan to the oven and bake until fish is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
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