Sablefish Caramelized with Soy and Sake

February 26, 2009

Tamarind is a tart fruit that is used in chutneys and pickles, and is often ground to obtain a paste. It is available in many Asian food stores. This recipe also calls for mirin, a sweet cooking wine. Find it at an Asian supermarket. 

SOY-SAKE MARINADE
1⁄2 cup sake
1⁄2 cup water
1⁄2 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp mirin

SOY-SAKE MARINADE: In a small saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer until sugar is dissolved and alcohol has evaporated, about two minutes. Remove from the heat, allow the mixture to cool, then refrigerate until well chilled. 

ORANGE-TAMARIND SAUCE
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 small carrot, sliced
1 rib celery, sliced
1⁄2 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1⁄4 jalapeño pepper, sliced
1 -inch piece of ginger, sliced
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
1⁄4 cup concentrated orange juice
2 Tbsp tamarind paste
4 cups chicken stock (page 184)
8 kumquats, sliced and seeded
zest of 1⁄4 orange, julienned, for garnish

ORANGE-TAMARIND SAUCE: In a large saucepan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add carrot, celery, onion, garlic, jalapeno, and ginger, and sweat for 5 to 10 minutes until fragrant. Add mustard seeds, peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf, vinegar, orange juice, tamarind paste, and chicken stock, and cook until liquid has reduced by two-thirds, or 20 to 30 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Add kumquats. Will keep refrigerated in an airtight containter for up to seven days.

CARAMELIZED SABLEFISH
4 sablefish fillets, 6 oz each, skin on
11⁄2 cups soy-sake marinade
10 oz green beans
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups canola oil, for deep-frying
4 Tbsp flour
Pinch of cayenne pepper
4 shallots, thinly sliced on a mandolin

CARAMELIZED SABLEFISH: Combine sablefish and soy-sake marinated in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight. 

Heat a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add beans and blanch for two to three minutes. Transfer the beans to a bowl and toss in butter. Season with salt and pepper. 

Heat canola oil in a deep fryer or deep pot to 300 F. Mix flour and cayenne in a bowl. Toss shallot slices in this seasoned flour to dredge, then fry them in the oil until golden and crisp, about 30 seconds. Remove the shallow slices from the oil and allow to drain on paper towels. 

Remove the sablefish fillets from the refridgerator and allow them to warm to room temperature. 

Turn the broiler on. Transfer the sablefish, skin-side down, to a cast-iron pan and place it in the lowest rack under the broiler for 5 to 10 minutes until deeply caramelized. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fillets. 

To serve: Arrange a quarter of the green beans in the centre of each of the four plates. Using a metal spatula, lift each fillet from its skin and place the fish on the beans. Sprinkle each dish with a quarter of the fried shallots and finish with a quarter of the orange-tamarind sauce and some orange zest. 

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