Cod Braised in Dashi, Sake, Miso and Mirin with Enoki Mushrooms. OK this is a whim and a prayer kind of thing but it worked. I wanted some kind of Asian noodles and the Mother-in-law request was for seafood. I was on a conference call and somewhat daydreaming about dinner. So all in at once.

The flavors here are pretty light but complex. The Dashi adds a nice smoky note and the sake and mirin add just the right touch of acid. So now at this point many of you are going “What the hell is he talking about?” “Dashi? What?”

Dashi is a broth made from dried smoked shaved skipjack tuna. The shaved fish also called bonito. As a broth it has that great indefinable meaty and lightly smoky flavor that you will immediately recognize as Japanese. Well if you eat Japanese or even sushi. I do not make my own Dashi. I could but I am not crazy. I just buy the stuff in a box. Hon Dashi. Tastes great and it is always there. Just like the miso. The sake tends to disappear.

If you have not found your local pan Asian grocery start looking. All of the ingredients that you need will be waiting patiently for you to come and get them. Including the enoki mushrooms. Please don’t buy these at some high-end organic wholly overdone store. Save a few bucks and shop at the local Asian mart.

The technique: Braising a light flakey fish is this light broth is about as low-fat of a way that you could possibly cook. The key is to get the broth hot and just lightly bubbling. Braising is, well not boiling.

This is a delicate dish. But it is pretty simple to prepare. Just take a look at the links so you know exactly what you are looking for at the store.


3 cups dashi stock
1 cup sake
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons miso paste

12 ounces enoki mushrooms
8 baby bok choy heads
1 LB cod fillets
12 ounces wonton noodles (wide cut)
Spring onions
1 Lime
Toasted sesame oil
Chili oil


Add the dashi stock, sake, mirin, soy sauce and miso paste to a soup pot and bring to a low boil.
Add the mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes.
At five minutes add the bok choy and cook for five minutes and remove to a plate.

Start heating a large pan with a lid.

Add the stock and the mushrooms and bring to a low boil.

Add the fish fillets and cook at as low of a boil that you can get out of your cook top for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil the wonton noodles per the package directions and set aside.

To plate the dish, place ¼ of the noodles in the bottom of a bowl.
Place a fillet on top.
Add the bok choy on the side.
Add about ¾ cup of the braising stock and mushrooms over the top.
Top with a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of green onions and cilantro.

Drizzle a bit of chili oil and sesame oil over the top and serve.

{ 1 comment }

Steak Tartare: Deconstructed Fajita Style

I love steak Tartare. And I love the flavors of Fajitas. So what do you get? Steak tartare: deconstructed fajita style.

What the heck does that mean? If you had been here to eat it you would know. Sometimes you just have to show up.

So basically this is chopped steak with cilantro, onion, tomato, and chilies with olive oil and lime on a chip. Good yeah?

I wanted some steak tartare but had a garden full of really great peppers. Sandias, Marconi, poblanos, Big Jims, jalapeno, Thai reds… They just called out for something other than the standard salsa and chili.

I also had a sirloin steak and a new kitchen gadget, the Nomiku immersion circulator made for sous vide.

“What the heck does that mean? Again? Really?”

Really. The Nomiku device circulates hot water around sealed food and slowly “cooks” it to a proper temperature. By cooking slow and low the method can turn a sirloin into a filet. And for the tartare application I get a great compromise. Cooked steak with a raw mouth feel that does not cost a fortune.

For more about sous vide cooking, check this Facebook page for a practical guide.

For a less practical guide, or how I learned, the low rent method you can try this here.


1 LB sirloin all fat trimmed – about 1 inch thick
¼ cup finely diced onion
¼ cup finely diced tomato
¼ finely diced green peppers (all jalapeño or a mix to taste)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 diced avocado
Juice of ½ lime
¼ cup olive oil
Coarse sea salt
Fresh Pepper
Good tortilla chips (fresh would be best)


Heat a large pot (8 to 12 quarts) of water to 131 degrees with the sous vide device. Or fill the pot with hot tap water and place on your smallest burner at the lowest temp. Check the temp after ten minutes or so and the temp will probably be around the right temp. Just play with the heat.

Place the steak in a ziplock bag and partially close. Place the bag into the water and work out all of the air and seal.

Let the sirloin cook in the bath for 2 hours. Or more – at this point it will be cooked but be very rare. Pull the bag from the bath and put into an ice bath.

Once chilled, finely dice up the steak about the size of this __ square. Mix with the rest of the ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste. Chill until it is cold.

To serve, place a spoonful on top of a chip and top with avocado. Lightly sprinkle some sea salt on top and serve.



Meatballs in Red Sauce

Thumbnail image for Meatballs in Red Sauce January 7, 2014

The reason for meatballs in red sauce is not to top spaghetti. The real reason is the meatball sub. Growing up, I didn’t have many of these and I am not sure why. It was more likely that we would have meatloaf sandwiches. Mom made great meatballs but I guess my brother made sure that […]

Read the full article →

Homemade Prosciutto – Part Three – The Cure

Thumbnail image for Homemade Prosciutto – Part Three – The Cure October 29, 2013

OK, here we go. First, if you and went and bought a whole bone in shoulder, well, don’t follow this recipe. Chuck that thing on the smoker and get back to us in 12 hours. We need to start out by mixing the cure and trimming up the pork. Here is what you will need […]

Read the full article →

Homemade Prosciutto – Part Two

Thumbnail image for Homemade Prosciutto – Part Two October 22, 2013

A while back I just showed some cured ham and the place went nuts. The homemade Prosciutto gets almost 50% of the hits on the site. Go figure. So starting Saturday or so, A step-by-step week-by-week cook… well cure along will get underway. Start looking for those free range shoulders now and order your pink […]

Read the full article →

Vietnamese Style Bahn Mi Burger Recipe

Thumbnail image for Vietnamese Style Bahn Mi Burger Recipe October 3, 2013

This Vietnamese style bahn mi burger recipe was a lark. I usually ask my kids what they want for dinner and they usually reply with the ever helpful “I dunno.” Is there punctuation for apathy? Anyway, I wanted bahn mi sandwiches. But as it turned out, they both answered hamburgers. So here we are. Bahn […]

Read the full article →

Roasted Italian Sausage and Grapes Over Polenta

Thumbnail image for Roasted Italian Sausage and Grapes Over Polenta September 13, 2013

This recipe for roasted Italian sausage  and grapes over polenta is nothing new. I just haven’t made it in about 20 years. Not since Chicago. The kitchen there was almost smaller than our bathroom and one or two pot dinners were required. So for a small city kitchen, this is ideal. But this has been […]

Read the full article →

Cucumber & Smoked Salmon Rolls with Dill & Cream Cheese.

Thumbnail image for Cucumber & Smoked Salmon Rolls with Dill & Cream Cheese. July 6, 2013

This cucumber and salmon roll recipe with dill and cream cheese is a pretty simple and quick appetizer. The fresh dill fronds make a great display on the plate. Instead of cream cheese you could substitute sour cream or goat cheese. Ingredients: 8 oz smoked nova salmon thinly sliced. large cucumber – the seedless English ones […]

Read the full article →

Whole Smoked Rib Roast – Prime Rib Recipe.

Thumbnail image for Whole Smoked Rib Roast – Prime Rib Recipe. June 15, 2013

Mmmmmm…. meat. Smoked meat at that. I told myself that I would keep all the smoking and curing off the blog but this was just too good. The whole rib roast gets 4 hours in the smoker and then finished to your desired doneness on the grill. This is a pretty easy recipe. And the […]

Read the full article →

Pan Seared Scallops with Sage and Capers

Thumbnail image for Pan Seared Scallops with Sage and Capers May 26, 2013

Pan seared scallops with sage and capers over arugula is a great spring dish. It’s what I would be eating if I could have found some dry scallops. But alas, Richmond is an oyster town when it comes to fresh shellfish. I can find wet packed scallops, but they are full of sodium tripolyphosphate, a […]

Read the full article →