Friday, September 24, 2010

Miso-Crusted Sea Bass with Lemon Beurre Blanc and Sweet Soy Drizzle

During my time with The Pebble Beach Company I had the opportunity to spend a few months working in Roy's Restaurant at Spanish Bay, a concept created by Chef Roy Yamaguchi. I was inspired by his signature dishes and enjoyed tasting daily menu additions that our Executive Chef would create based on a set of Japanese-Hawaiian fusion flavors. I never met a dish I didn't like during my time there. The Sous Chef, Pablo, remained patient as I quizzed him day in and day out about the ingredients in his dishes and the processes in his kitchen.

During one of Chef Roy's many visits to Spanish Bay he graciously signed two of his cookbooks for me, one of them being Roy's Fish and Seafood : Recipes from the Pacific Rim, an awesome collection of recipes featuring French-influenced sauces and techniques, together with Pan-Pacific and Hawaiian traditions. I decided to whip up a Roy's-inspired dinner last night after spending the morning reading through the cookbook. The result was delicious. I made a Miso-Crusted Chilean Sea Bass with Lemon Beurre Blanc and a Sweet Soy drizzle.  I served the fish alongside steamed pork potstickers (I used Annie Chun's organic potstickers) and thai jasmine rice. 

This recipe was originally created for Sablefish or Black cod but I went with Chilean Sea Bass as it is a little less "fishy" and has a wonderful firm, meaty texture. Sea Bass also has that slightly sweet flavor that is similar to the richness in shellfish that I love. In the book (and on the Roy's Restaurant menu) the title of the recipe calls for "butterfish" which in Roy's case, refers to a style of presentation rather than a specific species of fish

Miso-Crusted Butterfish with Lemon Beurre Blanc and Sweet Soy Drizzle 
Serves 4

Ingredients for Miso Marinade and Butterfish:
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups white miso (shiro miso)
1/2 sake
1/2 mirin
4 (6-ounce) butterfish or sable fish (black cod) fillets

Ingredients for Lemon Beurre Blanc:
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, chopped
1/4 salt
White Pepper

Ingredients for Sweet Soy Drizzle:
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup sugar

1. Prepare the marinade and fish. Combine sugar, miso, sake, and mirin in a saucepan and whisk to blend. Bring to boil over high heat, then decrease the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, transfer to a shallow dish, and let cool completely. Add the butterfish and refrigerate overnight.
2. To prepare the beurre blanc, combine wine, vinegar, lemon juice, and shallot in a saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and cook to reduce the liquid until it become syrupy. Add the cream and cook to reduce by half. Decrease the heat to low and gradually add the butter, stirring slowly; do not whisk. Take care not to let the mixture boil, or it will separate. When the butter is incorporated, season with salt and pepper to taste and strain through a fine-mesh sleeve into a double-broiler (or bowl in a saucepan of warm water..whatever you have on hand) to keep sauce warm.
3. To prepare the sweet soy drizzle, combine soy sauce and sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium low heat until the sugar dissolves. Continue to cook for about 15 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup.
4. Heat a dry saute pan or skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove fish from marinade and seat  for 3-4 minutes on each side, until opaque throughout. Transfers to plated and pour the beurre blanc around the base of the fish. Spoon the drizzle over the top and serve with rice.


  1. you make my heart happy...nicely done. now...what to pair it with? perhaps riesling? or break out and stainless steel? or what about a chablis? soooo many little alcohol...

  2. believe it or not I paired it with a bottle of 2009 organic Pacific Rim Riesling. DELISH!!! alcohol was only 10.5% but I had a couple of margaritas before dinner so it worked out just fine =)