MISO BLACK COD EN PAPILLOTE
Summer has arrived in full force with the temperatures in South FL almost getting a heat index of 100F and accompanied with the regular humidity all you want to do is enjoy the favored coolness of your aircon home. With the heat comes a lack of desire to prepare food that is complicated and doesn’t heat up your kitchen.
There are some virtuous and effortless recipes that are so packed with flavor, you wonder why you didn’t think of them sooner. Such is this one. White flaky fish marinates for a short 30 minutes and since it’s delicate the flavors absorb superbly well. You’ll find that it’s packed with umami and the perfect dish for busy, lazy weeknights when time constraints and the summer heat are tangible. The en papillote technique works superbly well here, the rendition is an unctuous and succulent piece of fish dish that’s as swoon worthy as it’s healthy. Ensure the fish is very fresh and not frozen.
1 TSP white miso paste
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 TSP sesame oil
1 TBSP olive oil
1 TSP lemongrass paste – Gourmet Garden
1 TSP ginger paste – Gourmet Garden
1 TSP fresh chopped Thai basil – or regular basil
1 TSP clover honey
1½ TBSP Mirin cooking wine
1½ LBS of white flaky fish – halibut, black cod, rock fish or tilapia
½ LB of fresh shitake mushrooms – sliced roughly
1 PKG of baby spinach or chopped Bok Choy
Thin lemon slices (optional)
½ cup of chopped scallions – garnish (optional)
1 TBSP black or white toasted sesame seeds – garnish (optional)
PREHEAT OVEN TO 400F
Whisk the ingredients together to make the marinade. Cut the fish filets to 4 portions and marinade them for 30 minutes in the fridge. Take them put and allow them to sit out to remove some of the chill from the fridge.
Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper approximately 14”x 14” and place the shitakes and spinach down first and spoon a bit of the fish marinade on top. Add a piece of cod on top of the veggies and ladle about 2 TBSP of the marinade over the fish. Place some slices of lemon next to the fish and grab the top of the paper, roll downwards and close the sides tucking the paper under or tie the ends with some kitchen twine, ensuring the packages are closed tightly so juices don’t escape, but not too tightly. Place the packages onto an oven tray and bake for 12-14 minutes until the fish is no longer transparent and flakes easily with a fork. Remove the contents carefully from the packages and serve over fragrant, tender jasmine rice or serve the whole package as is.
En papillote is a standard, classical French cooking technique of steaming fish in parchment paper and since anything retro is making a big splash in the food arena, it’s a fool proof way of cooking delicate fish. The flavors have to prevail because you are steaming, hence whatever condiments used need to infuse into the dish, so the rendition isn’t bland.
The take here is Asian, but any manner of flavor groupings works here. I’m using black cod, as it’s a very buttery, melt in your mouth fish and excellent for this dish.
Gourmet Garden has a variety of condiments such as basil, ginger and lemongrass fresh pastes that come in a tube and are sold in the produce section of most supermarkets.