From the category archives:


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.

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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.


8 oz smoked nova salmon thinly sliced.
large cucumber – the seedless English ones work well
1 green onion
Pepper and salt
1/4 cup cream cheese
FResh lemon juice
Fresh dill sprigs

A good vegetable peeler, sharp knife, mandolin or slicer. A deli slicer really does make this simple and consistent.


Slice the onions into thin strips and then into 1 ½ inch segments.

Cut of ends of cucumber.
Slice it the long way as thin as possible – 1/16th inch.

Lay a slice of cucumber on a board.
Sprinkle with pepper.
Lay a slice of salmon parallel and on top of cucumber.
Place a few slices of onion and sprigs of dill perpendicular to the salmon and cucumber.
Dot both ends with cream cheese.
Roll it up into a sushi shape.

Drizzle fresh lemon over the top of the cucumber and salmon.
Sprinkle kosher salt over the top.

Chill and serve.


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 […]

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Baked Clams

Thumbnail image for Baked Clams March 3, 2013

Sorry Mom, but I kind of changed the recipe. But only a lot. While I love my Mom’s baked clams, over the years I have fiddled with it into the recipe below. They are much lighter with less bread crumbs. Plus I added bacon and cheese. I know the cheese is a blasphemy, but I needed […]

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Spiced Shrimp & Fish, Spinach & Hashbrowns

Thumbnail image for Spiced Shrimp & Fish, Spinach & Hashbrowns January 28, 2013

I have mentioned that I am a big fan or reading cookbooks. I just don’t often cook from them. Some of the best combinations I come up with are mash-ups of other recipes. I tried to go back and find the inspiration for this but the current set of books that in the kitchen did […]

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Pan Seared Salmon with Butternut Squash Sauce

Thumbnail image for Pan Seared Salmon with Butternut Squash Sauce September 27, 2012

My daughter Ally was going to “test” me Chopped style but only came up with salmon, potatoes and pumpkin. She was just being lazy. And really she just wanted salmon and mashed potatoes for dinner. So as they say, she stacked the basket in her favor. The pumpkin was just a random request but a […]

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Junk Food: Fried Potatoes With Octopus

Thumbnail image for Junk Food: Fried Potatoes With Octopus August 28, 2012

Yes, fried potatoes with octopus. And tinned octopus at that. I only make this at the beach. At first, it grosses everyone out. I guess I need more Portuguese or Spanish folks at the beach. But, once it hits the plate, it’s hoovered. This is the ultimate foodie junk food. I really feel that I […]

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Shrimp with Red Peppers in a Smoked Paprika Sauce

February 22, 2012
Thumbnail image for Shrimp with Red Peppers in a Smoked Paprika Sauce

Back to cooking then. Well I wanted to make shrimp gumbo. But when I got home, there was no celery for the trinity of peppers, onions and celery that is the anchor of  creole food. I would have gone back to the store but I was also out of the okra I put up in […]

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