When it comes to making fish, I have almost zero experience. Touching uncooked fish skin gives me the willies, but I'll eat sushi until I have to be rolled out of the restaurant. Growing up, I didn't like any type of fish--not even fish sticks. The only seafood I ate was shrimp. After my first stint abroad, I came to love salmon. From there, fish became a favorite dish.
Last week, we bought a container of miso paste for a recipe. The recipe called for 2 tsp, but the smallest quantity of miso we could buy was 14-oz. With an abundance of miso paste, I decided we had to have an Asian inspired night.
The first dish to build was the miso. Using Paleo Takeout: Restaurant Favorites Without the Junk, I made the dashi--the basic Japanese broth. I journeyed to the closest Asian supermarket to buy the kombu (dried kelp) and katsuobushi (dried, fermented, and smoked fish flakes). I enjoyed my adventure and came home to make the dashi. Making dashi reminded me of steeping tea. You boil the ingredients and let them steep.
I made the dashi in advance. Because it takes 30 minutes and makes enough for two batches of miso, I saved time by making it ahead.
Miso and salmon was on the menu for Wednesday night.
Tuesday after work I went to Sprouts to buy the salmon and veggies. There were two pieces of salmon at the seafood counter. I wanted four so we'd have enough for leftovers. The fish stock was pretty low overall. I opted for three pieces of trout and grabbed the zucchini and squash I needed.
I'm always hesitant to cook fish. If it's overcooked, the entire dish is ruined. I set my oven to 400º, put some olive oil, salt, and pepper on the fish, and baked it for 25 minutes. It was perfect. While the fish cooked, I finished the miso and sautéed the veggies. To 1 quart of dashi, I added 2 Tblsp of miso paste and wakame (dried seaweed). The meal came together nicely.
With this dinner, I overcame my hesitation to cook fish. Although it won't be something we eat all of the time--fish is pretty pricey--it was a magnificent meal that I'll definitely replicate.