Sunday, July 11, 2021

What’s Cooking?

It’s been one of those weeks; I can’t take any more affairs of state, stories of cultural suicide or tales from the dark side. I’ve no capacity today for the arrogance and contemptuous intolerance of the woke amongst us.

And since man cannot live on outrage and anger alone I give you…food! Vicarious food, so completely calorie and guilt free.

Starting with a report back on last Sunday’s diversion, the vinegar free refrigerator pickles. I tasted them after 2 days as the recipe said you could and found them to be a bit meh. Then they got lost and forgotten in the frig till yesterday. I’m happy to report that they are quite surprisingly delicious. I only made them because I had all the ingredients on hand and thought they sounded interesting. After a 6 day swim in the saline/sugar brine I declare them a triumph of so little effort I will gladly make them again and again.

picklesPretty, with the pink peppercorns, and tasty too

I even made Raj a little jar of his own with de arbol chilis because he likes spicy – he said they were great but I wouldn’t know because …spicy.

frig picks hot

I didn’t think I’d care for a non-vinegared pickle but I’m a convert. After 6 days they still retained good crunch and cucumber flavor along with all the other good things in the jar with them. I give them 4 1/2 stars.

Also from yesterday: blueberry pancakes on the deck. Because Michigan blueberries were in the market this week and the morning was cool and beautiful. And because Jettie sent us some delicious Canadian maple syrup – which is divine. Thanks BlueDog!

blueberry pancakes

Yes, with bacon and scrambled eggs because Raj gets no carbs without protein when I’m in charge.

The next is from a few weeks back: seabass marinated in the world famous Nobu miso marinade. I happened to splurge on sea bass when Costco had it but I usually make this with either halibut or far more reasonable cod. They are all fabulous. Not hard but you do need to plan ahead as the fish needs to marinate for a day or two (I’ve let it go as long as 4 days, which might even be better, but your fish will shrink more). I cut the filets in smallish pieces to get more marinade coating.

gindarasea bass gindara

Nobu-style Miso Marinade


  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 (8-ounce) black cod fillets (or regular cod, halibut, or salmon)



  1. Two to 3 days beforehand, make the miso marinade and marinate the fish. Bring the sake and mirin to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol. Turn the heat down to low, add the miso paste, and whisk. When the miso has dissolved completely, turn the heat up to high again and add the sugar, whisking constantly to ensure that the sugar doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat once the sugar is fully dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Pat the black cod fillets thoroughly dry with paper towels. Slather the fish with the miso marinade and place in a non-reactive dish or bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
  3. To cook the fish: Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat an oven-proof skillet over high heat on the stovetop. Lightly wipe off any excess miso clinging to the fillets, but don't rinse it off. Film the pan with a little oil, then place the fish skin-side-up on the pan and cook until the bottom of the fish browns and blackens in spots, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until the other side is browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until fish is opaque and flakes easily.

Adapted from Nobu: The Cookbook

Recipe Notes

Instead of cooking the fish on the stovetop, you can do this on an outdoor grill or under the broiler in your oven. I did this batch under the broiler, but warning: it does smoke!  So turn on the fan and open the windows. If doing on the grill be sure to oil the grate really well and maybe leave the pieces larger for easier turning.

sea bass meal

Serve with anything you like – it plays well with many things from macaroni salad to sticky rice. I served it with a compendium of things I had on hand: Japanese quick pickles, seaweed salad, leftover brown rice, asparagus served cold with Japanese Kewpie mayo and avocado. Sort of deconstructed sushi.

I also did a Thai yellow chicken curry last week because I had a bumper crop of Thai basil that had to be harvested. I don’t have a real recipe for this, it’s just a can of coconut milk, 2 tbls brown sugar, 2 tbls fish sauce, 2 heaping tbls yellow curry paste (Mae Ploy) – green is good too, but much spicier – boil together for 5 minutes. Add cubed potatoes and cook about 5 minutes, add cubed chicken thigh meat, green beans, slivered onions  (and sliced hot Hungarians if you like your curries really hot) and cook until chicken is done. You can add or delete any veggie you want or have on hand, bell peppers, asparagus, sweet potato, eggplant – my favorite with chicken and the green curry – are all good.

Stir in a large handful of Thai basil leaves just before serving over rice.

thai chicken yellow curry with basilThe leftovers, because I forgot to take a “before” picture

So, what are you guys cooking?