As mentioned in one of my earlier posts (https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/on-dashi/) one of the applications for dashi is Iron Chef Morimoto’s Sweetfish (Ayu) And Rice from his book, Morimoto: The New Art Of Japanese Cooking, in the section “Recipes To Contemplate”. While it’s obvious it’s pretty difficult to get Ayu here in the Boston area, Morimoto comments that you can substitute any other kind of white fish. When I usually make this, I use Red Snapper from my local Whole Foods. I must mention that I believe there’s a mistake in the recipe published in his book – specifically regarding the amount of usukuchi (light) soy. In the published version, it calls for 2 teaspoons of light soy. The first time I made it according the recipe, the flavoring seemed sort of bland and under salted/under seasoned. The moment I redid the recipe with 2 tablespoons of of the light soy, the dish seem to turn out to what I expected it to be.
So while the snapper was cooking with the rice (like they did in kitchen stadium on Iron Chef Japan), I roasted a little asparagus for two as a side, What I had in mind was oven roasted asparagus dish on the menu at some of the Nobu restaurants (London/Berkeley St and Capetown as of this writing)) – which I assume is served with olive oil, yuzu and dried miso (I’ll get into a write up about dried miso as a future topic).
Once the snapper rice was done, I gently lifted out the snapper from the rice cooker pot and set it aside.
I then scooped out some rice and placed it on the plate as a bed for the fish. Unfortunately, I didn’t have access to kinome leaves. So I garnished the dish with a sprinkling of sansho pepper (both kinome and sansho pepper come from the same plant). And so dinner was a pairing of the Morimoto Ayu/Snapper Rice and Roasted Asparagus With Dry Miso.