Blackened Cod

Blackened Cod

This dish was inspired by one of my favourite restaurants in Dubai, Okku. Blackened cod is a Japanese dish that is marinated in a combination of miso, mirin and sugar that penetrates the fish before being grilled hot and fast under a salamander grill. The salamander produces intense heat that causes the marinade to caramelise which gives the cod it's blackened appearance. Obviously, I can't see many people having a salamander grill but thankfully a conventional oven grill works nearly as well. The fish is served with the reduced marinade that is fairly rich so a little goes a long way. I served the fish serve with soft noodle but basmati rice would be a worthy alternative.

When buying the cod ask your fishmonger for the thickest part of the fillet to ensure it cooks as evenly as possible. The fish is brined before adding the marinade as this provides a firmer texture by extracting water content while also slightly seasoning the fillets. As with most marinades, it's always better to aim for 24hrs but in the real world  I am am well aware this isn't always feasible. I only marinated for 2 hours which produced decent results however, I think the longer the marinade the more the cod will blacken due to the longer time the fish has to absorb the sugar.

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SWANKINGREDIENTS

Serves 2

For the Brine

  • 500 ml water
  • Salt 7 Tablespoons

For the Cod Glaze

  • Cod Fillets 2
  • Mirin 4 Tablespoons
  • Miso 5 Tablespoons
  • Brown Sugar 3 Tablespoons
  • Water 150ml
  • Milk 10ml
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Fresh Chilli To garnish
  • Spring Onion To Garnish
  • Sesame Seeds To Garnish

For the noodles

  • Soft noodles 2 nests
  • Dark Soy Sauce 4 Tablespoons
  • Olive Oil 2 Tablespoons

 

 

METHOD

 

1. Brine the cod fillets by adding 7 Tablespoons of salt to 500ml of water. Pour into a dish and add the cod. Place in the fridge for 45 mins. This will season the fish as well as giving it a firmer texture by drawing out water content. 

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2. The next step is to make the marinade. Add the miso paste, mirin, brown sugar and water to a sauce pan and put on medium heat. Continually stir until the marinade has reduced to the point it coats the back of the spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. (If you are short on time place in the freezer). Pour most of the marinade over the fish reserving about a quarter to serve with the finished dish. The cod needs to marinade for a least 2 hours or preferably overnight.

 

3. Place the remaining marinade back on the hob on low heat, add the milk and stir until reduced to a thick paste like consistency, about 10 minutes. Add the juice of half a lemon which will add a sour note reducing the richness of the sauce. Place to the side until ready to serve.

4. After 24hrs the marinade will have done its job in penetrating the fish. To cook crank your oven grill to max temp and allow it to get as hot as possible. Place the fillets on parchment paper and cook directly under the heat for around 10 minutes until the top of the fish starts to caramelise.

 
 

5. Cook the noodles as per packet instructions, around 3 minutes in boiling water. Drain well and add to a wok or frying pan along with the olive oil. Fry for 1 minutes then add the soy sauce and stir well.

6. Serve the fish once heavily caramelised along with the soft fried noodle, reduced sauce from the marinade and garnish with fresh green onion, chilli and sesame seeds.