By Rosie Hawthorne on October 16, 2020
My son came home the other day with a mess o’ mahi mahi and I’m one happy Mama. There are so many ways to prepare mahi – one can bake it, grill it, blacken it, sauté it, fry it, and I’ve done them all. Today, I’m taking the fillets and marinating them in a miso paste-based sauce, then reducing the marinade and using it as a flavor-enhancing glaze for the sautéed fillets. Add a few sides, say some wild rice and a stir-fried vegetable mix, and you’ve got quite a palatable meal.
In case you’re not familiar with the Japanese staple miso paste, it’s a thick, savory paste made from fermented soy beans. The soybeans are inoculated with a type of mold, called koji (which is also used to make sake) and blended with other grains, then it’s allowed to ferment. The longer the fermentation, the darker the paste and the more complex the flavor. Miso gives you a boost of sapidity, namely that fifth basic taste component, along with sweet, sour, salty, and bitter, called umami. Umami is salty, earthy, rich, intense, multi-dimensional, and kinda funky. Basically, it’s what makes your mouth water.
Now, on to some mouth-watering mahi mahi.
Combine all ingredients. For the ginger, I buy whole roots, then slice into 1-inch cubes, and freeze. Whenever a recipe calls for ginger, I nuke the cubes for about 20 seconds, then I can squeeze by hand to release the juice. You can either mince the pulp or use a garlic press. Pour the marinade into a ziplock bag.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and film it very lightly with peanut oil and a tablespoon of butter. The butter is for flavor; the peanut oil is to reduce the smoke point of the butter. Remove fish fillets from bag and shake off excess marinade, saving the marinade. Add the fish to the hot oil and cook about 2-3 minutes each side until done. (It will easily flake with a fork.) Place fish on warm serving platter and cover. Pour the reserved marinade into the pan, heat until bubbly, and cook until reduced by about half. Pour over top of the mahi mahi fillets and add a sprinkling of sliced scallions.
I served the glazed mahi mahi with a side of wild rice and a quick stir fry of bok choy, mushrooms, onions, garlic, and sesame seeds. Rosie Note: If you don’t have mahi, this marinade would work equally well with pork or chicken. Enjoy!
For any culinary questions, feel free to e-mail me at RosieHawthorne@gmail.com. Bon appétit! For more Rosie’s Recipes on the Outer Banks Voice click here