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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Me So Crazy for Misoyaki Salmon!


Okay, okay! You can stop groaning over the cheesy title of this post. Admit it. It made you look, didn't it? Besides, I prefer to think of it as a clever play on words. To each his own, I guess. This is what happens when you're working on an accumulated sleep deficit. After a blissful summer of sleeping in until eight or nine every morning, the harsh reality of a new school year and a 6:00 a.m. wake up time stings a little. My body is still running on summer vacation time, which means staying up way too late at night. It's going to take a few weeks to get used to it.

Back to the food. We all dine out at restaurants from time to time, some more than others. Although, I love to cook, I also really enjoy not having to do it all the time, especially on weekends or special occasions. The problem I run into is, that so many times the food just isn't that good. I really resent it when I've paid twenty or thirty dollars for a meal at a "fine dining" establishment that I could have made better and cheaper for myself, at home. I suppose that this is the burden that we, as "foodies", must bear.

On the other hand, every so often I find a restaurant that really does live up to its hype, and I'm pleasantly surprised. A couple of years ago, we were fortunate enough to have one such place open up practically in our own backyard. While Roy's Hawaiian Fusion is a chain restaurant (and I usually hate chains), I have found the quality of food and service there to be exceptionally good. It's a little too pricey to be a weekly hangout, but it is definitely one of my top choices for special occasions.


One of my favorite items on Roy's menu is their Misoyaki Butterfish. What exactly is butterfish? Actually, I'm not sure. My research on the subject yielded conflicting results. Some sources say that butterfish are small, bony fish weighing just over a pound, with thin, deep bodies similar to flounder. Others profess them to be in the pompano family. Still others say that butterfish are a fish called black cod, which is actually not even a codfish at all. Then, there are those who say that butterfish/black cod are actually a type of sablefish, which has a high oil and fat content. Are you confused yet? Most agree, however, that these sablefish are probably called butterfish because of all that oil and fat they have.

Hmmm..... Now, where was I going with this? Oh yes, Roy's Misoyaki Butterfish. Anyway, from what I've gathered, this dish is prepared by marinating the fish for up to a couple of days in sake (Japanese rice wine), mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine), sugar and white "Shiro" miso paste. Then, it is seared until cooked through producing a golden, caramelized crust on the outside and sweet, buttery flavor and delicate flaky texture on the inside. This fish justs melts in your mouth - like buttah!


Since I truly love this dish and can't afford to eat at Roy's every night, I decided to try and replicate it at home. I was surprised to find several recipes online for Roy's exact (I think) recipe. I also found many other recipes on the web for Misoyaki Butterfish and Black Cod, including some great ones by other food bloggers. Never one to leave a good recipe alone, I took a little from one and some more from another and came up with my own version.

Instead of butterfish, I used wild salmon, because it looked so beautiful that day (and because I couldn't find butterfish). Since salmon is also an oily fish, I felt it would translate well to the recipe. You could also use sea bass, halibut or cod in this recipe with great results. I also added some fresh orange juice to the marinade, thinking that the sugar in the juice would help give the salmon even more caramelization. Another tweak I made to the marinade was to add a tablespoon of red "Aka" miso paste too. Red miso has a deeper and saltier flavor than its white counterpart, which would be a nice contrast to the sweetness of the other ingredients. This idea came courtesy of Kirk at mmm-yoso!!!


After I mixed up my marinade, I let the salmon swim in it for 24 hours. Even though, some recipes advocate letting it sit for up to three days, I wasn't comfortable with keeping fresh fish in the fridge that long. After I seared the fish in a hot cast iron skillet, I finished it off in the oven for a few minutes until just cooked through.

Let me tell you, this dish was To. Die. For.! It was seriously the best salmon I've ever made. I have to say that my Misoyaki Salmon could definitely give Roy's butterfish a run for its money. And the best part is that now, I can have it anytime I want!

So, are you a snooty foodie like me and think that your food is just as good or better than most restaurant fare?

What's your favorite restaurant dish?

Have you ever tried to recreate it at home? If so, how did turn out?

Talk to me!


Misoyaki Samon (Inspired by Roy Yamaguchi and mmm-yoso) (Printable Recipe)

4-6 fresh wild salmon filets (about 1-1 1/2 pounds)

1 cup sake

1 cup mirin

1/2 cup orange juice

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups white "Shiro" miso paste

2 tablespoons red "Aka" miso paste

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon cooking oil

To make the marinade, combine mirin, sake, orange juice and sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Continue to simmer for 3-5 minutes, until the alcohol burns off.

Remove from heat and whisk in soy sauce, white and red miso paste until until mixture is creamy. Set aside to cool.

When marinade is cooled, pour it into a bog zip-loc bag with the salmon and seal. Gently massage the marinade into the salmon, coating the fish well. Marinate in the fridge for 1-2 days.

When ready to cook the fish, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Take filets out of the plastic bag and wipe off the marinade. Pat fish dry.

Heat oil in a large fry pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Sear salmon filets 2-3 minutes on each side.

Remove the pan to the oven and bake until fish is cooked through.

Serve plain or with the sauce of your choice.


For some other great miso fish recipes, check out these other great blogs:

Miso Fish from Nook & Pantry

Broiled Halibut with Orange and Miso Glaze from Closet Cooking

Sakana-no nitsuke from Gild the Voodoolily

Black Cod with Miso from Rasa Malaysia

Broiled Chilean Sea Bass Collar in Miso Broth from Julie's Kitchen


Ivy said...

This salmon recipe look really good. I am always looking for new ways to spice-up my salmon at dinner. :)

PaniniKathy said...

Thanks so much for this recipe - I absolutely love the misoyaki butterfish at Roy's! I've had miso glaze on salmon and black cod and it's got to be my favorite fish preparation. I've wanted to make it at home, but I can never seem to find white miso (I went to my local Ranch 99 to no avail so next time I'll head out to the Japanese market).

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

That dish looks incredible! I am always looking for new ways to do up salmon. This one looks like a winner!

Lori said...

I didn't used to be a food snob, until I married my husband. He honestly does cook everything better than we can get at a restaurant. We'll be in the mood to go out, but as we go through the options (and there are many, in Manhattan!), we'll cross them off -- nope, it won't be as good as at home. The only exception is a place that serves a LOT of different things at once, that would be unreasonable to do at home. Japanese food at Nobu, for instance. Dim sum. To do all that, just for the two of us, too much trouble. I don't have a favorite, that list would be too long!

This is a wonderful looking meal! You might see it turn up on my blog (linked to you, of course!), as soon as my sweet chef is up to cooking.

Loving Annie said...

I don't like seafood much, but you made that look very pretty. If I was ever tempted to try it, that might be it...

Jojo said...

Wow. That looks so delicious! I've always wondered how one makes misoyaki salmon, and now you've dropped the recipe right into my lap. I am definitely giving this one a try over the weekend. Thanks!

J.Danger said...

I loved your title! It was cute! I love finding new ways to make fish- especially the kind that my kids wont know if fish!


Jen of A2eatwrite said...

What a great recipe! I love this kind of marinade for fish. Ina Garten had a similar recipe but yours looks richer - in a perfect way.

Also,are you getting used to school days in terms of your children or in terms of you teaching?

Mike of Mike's Table said...

I've never had this dish before, but that lead photo totally sold me on it. This looks spectacular (big understatement)--time for me to get some miso paste and salmon! I love that crisp looking sear on the salmon

Bridgett said...

This looks absolutely delicious but I have yet to have any luck with cooking salmon. The flavor always comes out horrible for me! I will have to give it another go, I think.

KirkK said...

Hi Susan - Those look positively wonderful! Thanks so much for the link and the mention.

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

Looks really good. I totally agree about the restaurant thang. We ate out all the time in CA and NE and the food was GREAT. Move to Little Rock and we RARELY go out because food is usually horrible. Only a few choice places that serve consistently good food and they are BOTH DIVES. Go figure.

Brilynn said...

That looks awesome!

I always have such a hard time when I go out to eat cause with the amount it costs I figure I could have bought and made a huge meal that would have been just as good...

Anonymous said...

Very nice. I recently put about five pounds of salmon in the freezer. The thing was caught last weekend while I was camping. I'll need plenty of new salmon ideas to use it all up and this one is right up my alley. Many thanks.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Bookmarking this to try real soon, as soon as I can get my hands on wild salmon. For reasons that have everything to do with overfishing, we're having a poor sockeye catch this year. We, here, in Vancouver, BC. Unbelievable, huh? Makes me upset, but this recipe makes me happy too.

Manggy said...

I love replicating restaurant dishes I like! I have a bookmark folder that's scary-huge. It's usually the ingredients that do me in (case in point: buttahfish). The salmon looks soo good! Now you don't have to go to a pricey chain! ;)

I am usually very kind in my opinion of restaurants and very critical in my opinion of my own food, but honestly speaking I think my food does give restaurants a run for their money (cocky!!!)-- it's just the effort I don't want to make each day. But my desserts beat out almost all of them, heh ;)

Proud Italian Cook said...

I totally understand what you mean!Although we have some great resturants here in the city, by the time you drive down there, pay 30 dollars to park, and eat your meal, you've spent a fortune!We do it, but not so often, I'd rather run over to Whole Foods, spend 16.00 on some scallops or whatever, and cook it up myself. I hate when I go to a resturant and nothing is seasoned, like veggies, it drives me up a wall! Lately we do breakfast out on the weekends, because frankly, it's hard to screw up eggs!

Proud Italian Cook said...

It's me again! With all my ranting I forgot to tell you how stunning that salmon looks, it caught my eye immediately!

Olga said...

oh wow, that looks so pretty! wish I was having that for lunch.

Maven said...

This recipe looks so incredbly good.

I relate to you on the sleeping in - why can't it always be summer?

We eat a lot of salmon in my house so I will definitely try this one. Have a great weekend.

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

Sticky......when you get a chance check out my post from yesterday. I did a variation on the vermont cheddar bread from artisan bread in 5 min. a day and Jeff Hertzberg LEFT A FRIGGIN COMMENT ON MY SITE....THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK. HOLY CRAP! On my crappy sheotty little blog that barely gets 3 comments a day.

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Hi Everyone! I'm so glad you like my salmon recipe. It really is a great one. The hardest part of making it was waiting for the fish to marinate ovenight! I'm really enjoying all of your comments. Hopefully, when my schedule gets back to normal, I can go back to responding to each one individually.

PaniniKathy- I found both my white and red miso at Whole Foods. If you have one nearby, you might try there.

Lori- I agree. If I'm up for sushi or another thype of ethnic food, I'll usually go some place that specializes in it. Hope your chef feels up to cooking soon!

Jojo- Your very welcome!

Jen- Interms of my daughter. My teaching days are over. I used to be a children's choir director.

Kirk- Thank YOU for the inspiration!

Brilynn- Thanks! I agree. I'm getting cheap in my old age. ;)

Rainbowbrown- Fresh caught salmon? I'm so jealous!

Manggy- Lol! My folder is pretty huge too.

Obsessive- NO WAY!!! That is friggin' awesome! I'm coming over to see.

Colloquial Cook said...

Hi there! The salmon looks lovely - I might have skipped a step, but once you get the salmon out of the ziploc and pat it dry, do you not use the marinade at all to baste the fish afterwards?
Thanks a lot!

Anonymous said...

“Talk to me!”

OK, you got a deal, because we agree on a lot of points:

“I really resent it when I've paid twenty or thirty dollars for a meal at a ‘fine dining’ establishment that I could have made better and cheaper for myself, at home.”

Totally agree.

“I suppose that this is the burden that we, as foodies, must bear.”

Totally disagree . . . my wife and I will NOT eat at a restaurant unless traveling or for business purposes.

“So, are you a snooty foodie like me and think that your food is just as good or better than most restaurant fare?”

Absolutely agree . . . except that our food is BETTER than most restaurant fare. That’s because we cook our food with a touch of LOVE instead of a heavy dose of THE BOTTOM LINE.

Your photos are magnificent, by the way!

Kristen said...

Oh that salmon... incredible! My mouth is completely watering.

Jen Yu said...

Oh Ma Gah! That looks awesome. You are awesome. I know I have been a bad commenter/blogging pal, but I read you on my feeds... And you punished me for it - punished me with these pictures of that gorgeous looking fish. Please! Stop!! No wait - don't stop - I LOVE THE FISH.

More, please! xxoo

PheMom said...

I don't even like salmon (I want to though, I really do!) and you even made me want that recipe! Yummy looking!

Hillary said...

I can see why! That is one beautifully glazed salmon!

Dawn said...

That glaze is just pristine. Wonderful coloring. And I'm sure it tasted even better. I love this.

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Colloquial- Some recipes that I found do baste with the marinade, especially the ones where the fish is baked. In my recipe, the fish is seared in a frying pan, so I wanted the fish dry. I only baked the salmon for a few minutes at the end to finish it off.

d0cchuck- You're absolutely right! You gotta have love to make great food! So glad you like my photos. Thanks!

Jen- Don't be silly! You've been on vacation. And, you could never be a bad blogging pal. I've been terrible at keeping up lately myself. I'm always either too busy or too tired. Maybe I need a vacation! (or a B-12 shot!) ;)

Kristen, PheMom, Hillary, Dawn - Thank you so much! I'm really glad you all like this one. I'd love to try it with sea bass next, but at $26.00/pound, I will have to wait!

SiHaN said...

that salmon looks good!!! just like the one i would normally get at a japanese resturant! GOOD WORK!

Nanc Twop said...

Oh... you've lured me in again...

'are you a snooty foodie like me and think your food better restaurant fare?'

Yes! Our homemade > cafe fare.

'What's your favorite restaurant dish? '

I've been fond of Thai shrimp dishes recently.

'Have you ever tried to recreate it at home?'

Just had our herb-boiled shrimp tonight, yum!
And btw, your salmon dish looks delish.

'Food -glorious Foooood' :-)

Lunch Buckets said...

The line between cheesy and clever can be oh so dangerously thing sometimes .... the salmon's a no-brainer though - delicious!

Ginny said...

Delicious!!! My boyfriend really wants us to try recreating dishes we enjoy when we go out to eat...I have the same problem takes alot to truly satisfy me at a restaurant...and I never order dessert because most of the time I know I can do better!

Heather said...

Yikes, I hadn't looked at my old sakana-no nitsuke post in ages. Ah, the days before I discovered the white balance button on my camera.

Yours is some damn attractive fish. That caramelization made me squee myself a little.

Anonymous said...

I love miiissoo and your salmon makes me crave it even more now haha. I'm not good enough to recreate restaurant dishes yet >_< but I have been stealing recipes from other blogs and this one seems like a top candidate thhxx ^^

Peabody said...

LOL, I like the cheesey title. Roy is good for being a chain. If only I could get my hubby to eat fish. I usually only order it out.

Sarah said...

This looks fabulous; I LOVE, LOVE, LUUUUV miso salmon! I have mixed feelings about whether my food tastes better than restaurant food, depending on the dish. Sushi, for example, will never be as wonderful coming from my kitchen as it is from the place up the street. However, when I cook I always know what's in my food, which I like.

Hope you guys have dried out from Fay. We received 3 inches of rain in 45 minutes here in Fort Lauderdale yesterday :(

Caviar and Codfish said...

Oh this looks fantastic.

And, in my food snobbery, I think that at-home food can't be compared with restaurant food - they are two different animals. There's something about good home-cooked food that you just can't get in a restaurant (and vice versa.)

I will certainly be trying this salmon this weekend!

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

This title cracked me up also because my husband is always saying phucky sucky five bucky.

cover your eyes if you are offended commenters.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I don't know that I'm a snooty foodie, but I'm definitely cheap and hate paying huge prices for food I know I can make at home. And I get downright angry if I know it would have been better if I'd made it!

Kevin said...

That misoyaki salmon looks great! Misoyaki salmon is so easy and yet so tasty!

theminx said...

Yum! I love Roy's, and I really don't consider it a chain. Yamaguchi seems to have a decent amount of hands-on with his restaurants, and the only thing making it a chain is that they all share the same name.

Anyway - love his misoyaki butterfish, and the same at Morimoto in Philly is pretty great too.

Katerina said...

This looks amazing! One of the restaurants in Vancouver makes a dish like this with Black Cod which is really good so I will have to make this.

mikky said...

that salmon looks soooo good... this recipe is a definite must try for me... thanks for sharing... :)

taste memory said...

that salmon looks perfectly crispy + sweet!

Debbie said...

This is my new favorite Salmon recipe. Thank you so much for posting it!!! :)