Misoyaki Butterfish

Misoyaki Butterfish

October: National Seafood Month

It is ironic that Islander grew up by the beach but does not like a lot of fish (although she loves shrimp, crabs and lobsters). One of the rare fish dishes that she likes is misoyaki butterfish, a popular food among locals in Hawaii. The recipe is influenced by the Japanese immigrants, who marinated butterfish in sake, mirin, sugar and miso paste (soybean paste). If butterfish is not available, it is fine to substitute with cod fillets.

Our friend Pat S., who is part Japanese from Hawaii, first served misoyaki butterfish to a reluctant and picky Islander. But after tasting this mild fish dish with a great glaze, she can now add it to her limited list of favorite seafood recipes.

Create some converts and let finicky friends try a fantastic fish dish during National Seafood Month by making misoyaki butterfish.

Recipe

(From Pat and Phyllis S.)

  • 1/3 cup sake (Japanese rice wine)
  • 1/3 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 1 cup sugar, granulated white
  • 1 cup miso (soybean paste), white
  • 3-4 thin cod fillets
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

Directions

Prepare the marinade by combining the sake and mirin in a saucepan. Boil on medium heat for 10 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Reduce the heat and add the sugar and miso. Stir well and cook until pale. Remove from the stovetop and cool completely.

Misoyaki Butterfish

In a shallow dish, pour the marinade. Add the fish fillets and coat on both sides. Transfer the fish and marinade to a large zipper top plastic bag and seal well. Refrigerate for at least two days (48-72 hours). Heat the oil in a skillet on medium-low heat. Remove the fish from the container, letting the excess marinade drip back into the bag. Place the fish in the skillet and fry for 3-4 minutes until the coating is caramelized. Turn over and finish frying the fish. Do not burn or overcook the fish or it will not be tender and flaky. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

Misoyaki Butterfish

Notes

  • Mahalo to Aunty Liz for giving us some miso from her restaurant! Also, thanks to our friend Lisa L. for the fish platter.
  • Find a few more fish recipes by searching our blog.

Furikake Mahi Mahi

Furikake Mahi Mahi

October: National Seafood Month

Islander’s brother, Kahuna, often got together with fellow Hawaii club members at his university in the Pacific Northwest. The homesick students would share their favorite island foods with each other, “talk story,” jam on their ukuleles and have impromptu hula dances. It was a nice study break and a chance to connect with others in their culture.

Kahuna would cook his favorite furikake mahi mahi (crispy fried fish seasoned with salt, sesame and seaweed). It was always a popular potluck dish on the mainland as it reminded Hawaii “expatriates” of the “onolicious” furikake mahi mahi plate lunches back home.

Occasionally, Kahuna gets requests to cook the dish for friends and family here on the mainland. We asked him to prepare furikake mahi mahi for our blog post to commemorate National Seafood Month. Mahalo nui  loa to Kahuna for being a guest chef on HI Cookery.

Recipe

(Adapted from Hawaiian Electric Company)

For the furikake mahi mahi

  • Mahi mahi fillets
  • 1 egg white
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup nori komi furikake seasoning
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • ¼ cup peanut oil

Cut the mahi mahi into 3-ounce size fillets. In a plate, combine the furikake and panko.

Furikake Mahi Mahi

In a bowl, mix the egg white, water, milk, flour and cornstarch to make a smooth batter. Dip the mahi mahi pieces into the batter.

Furikake Mahi Mahi

Roll into furikake-panko mixture. Heat the oil in a skillet. Fry both sides of the mahi mahi until golden brown, being careful not to cook and dry the fish. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot with dipping sauce (optional).

Furikake Mahi Mahi

For the dipping sauce

  • ½ cup soy sauce (we used Aloha Shoyu brand)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼  sugar
  • ½-inch piece of ginger, crushed
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water

In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, ¼ cup water, sugar, ginger and garlic. Cover and let stand for at least two hours to allow the flavors to blend together. Simmer in a small saucepan  over medium heat. In a small measuring cup or ramekin, make a thickening paste by mixing the cornstarch with the 1 tablespoon of water. Stir into the sauce mix until thickened. Discard the ginger and garlic. Serve with the furikake mahi mahi.

Furikake Mahi Mahi

Notes

  • Kahuna has cooked furikake ahi (tuna) in the same manner. Read the difference between the fishes ahi and mahi mahi here.
  • Look for nori komi furikake seasoning at Asian grocery stores.

Halibut with Garlic-Lime-

Cilantro Topping

Halibut

October: National Seafood Month

Just for the halibut, we took a weekend road trip from Kenai to Homer, “The Halibut Capital of the World,” when we were in Alaska one summer for Highlander’s work project. It was a misty day driving an hour and a half through the rustic countryside to a narrow strip of land jutting out into the Pacific Ocean. Homer is a sleepy little fishing town nestled along the Kenai Mountains overlooking Kachemak Bay. We were going to eat some seafood at the Salty Dawg Saloon, an historic cabin converted into an eatery, but it reeked of cigarette smoke. So we opted to breathe healthy air and stroll along toward the Boardwalk Fish & Chips restaurant, where we ordered our fresh fried halibut and ate it at a table beside a wide window with a gorgeous view of the glaciers and ocean.

Halibut is one of the milder-tasting, meaty white fish that we both like. So occasionally Islander buys some frozen fillets at our local grocer in Texas and cooks halibut with a garlic-lime-cilantro topping, which always brings back fond memories of our drive through Homer, Alaska. Try cooking this fish dish during National Seafood Month—or just for the halibut!

Recipe

(Adapted from Great Good Food by Julee Rosso)

Ingredients

  • 2 fillets of halibut (cod or other fish)
  • ¼ cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 4 tablespoons cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a glass bowl, marinate the fish fillets in lime juice for an hour. Reserve a few slices of lime as a garnish.

Halibut

Peel and slice thinly the garlic cloves. In a skillet or wok, melt the butter with the olive oil. Saute the garlic slices until brown. Do not overfry or the dish will taste bitter. Remove the garlic slices and set aside.

Halibut

Take the fish fillets out from the marinade (reserve the juice) and dredge first in flour. Shake off the excess flour and coat the fish fillets in panko. In the same skillet or wok where the garlic slices were fried, place the fish fillets. Fry for about three minutes per side or until golden brown. Transfer to a heated platter to keep warm. Return the garlic slices to the skillet or wok. Add the reserved lime juice marinade. Stir in the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. When the cilantro is slightly wilted, remove from the heat. Spoon some of the garlic-lime-cilantro on top of the fish fillets. Serve immediately with extra slices of lime.

Halibut

Notes

  • Search our blog for other Alaska-inspired recipes.

St. Lawrence Fried Fish

St. Lawrence Fried Fish

August 10: Feast Day of St. Lawrence

Having traveled to both sides of the coasts of North America, we try to take advantage of sampling the seafood there. Just last month, for business and pleasure, we were near the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans and ate fresh catch from the Gulf of St. Lawrence (Canada) and St. Lawrence Island (Alaska). So for the Feast Day of St. Lawrence, we fried some fish. Although the recipe calls for any type of fillet, we used halibut, which is a popular fish in both areas. St. Lawrence is also one of the patron saints of Canada, Highlander’s birth country, and of chefs! In honor of the martyr who died for the faith by being burned by a gridiron, have some fried fish on his feast day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Cooking With the Saints by Ernst Scheugraf)

Ingredients

  • 2 small onions
  • 2 small potatoes
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ tablespoon rosemary, crushed and dried
  • ½ tablespoon dill, fresh
  • 2 fish fillets (we used halibut)
  • bacon strips (3-4 strips per person)
  • butter
  • ¼ cup cheddar cheese, grated

Directions

Cut off the stem and root of each onion but do not peel.  Wash the potatoes and prick with a fork but also do not peel. Wrap each vegetable in heavy foil and bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for about 30-45 minutes, or until they are softened. Keep warm on the side.

St. Lawrence Fried Fish

On a lipped plate, mix the flour with the rosemary and dill. Dredge the fish fillets in this mixture. Fry the bacon in a pan and remove when cooked and crisped. Drain on paper towels. In the same pan, fry the fish in the bacon drippings for about 2-3 minutes or until browned and covered in some bacon bits. Be careful not to overcook the fish. Transfer the fish fillets to a plate and serve with the baked onion and potatoes. Add butter and cheese to the potatoes if desired.

St. Lawrence Fried Fish

Notes

  • According to the cookbook author, the name of this recipe comes from the fish that were caught in the St. Lawrence River in Canada and fried on the banks in lots of bacon drippings. It is an outdoor recipe to be cooked over a campfire but has been adapted for the indoor kitchen.
  • Thanks to Lisa L. for the fish platter from Germany.