Nobu Mackerel And Vegetables With Light Garlic Sauce

So tonight (26 Nov), I thought I might use up any remaining vegetables in the refridgerator. I found broccoli, asparagus and some shiitake.  Immediately, Nobu’s Squid ‘pasta’ with light garlic sauce came to mind.  But I didn’t have squid; I only had mackerel.  But then, I thought, Matsuhisa Aspen has “free range chicken with spicy or light garlic vegetables” on its menu (see http://www.matsuhisaaspen.com/menus/mMenu.html ); so why couldn’t I substitute mackerel for chicken or squid?  The essential recipe can be found online here –

http://events.nytimes.com/recipes/8015/2001/10/10/Squid-Pasta-With-Light-Garlic-Sauce/recipe.html

Sea salt
1 cup broccoli florets in small pieces
6 ounces cleaned squid (3 medium)
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons sake
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons clarified butter
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
4 large shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
6 medium-thin asparagus spears, slant-cut in 2-inch pieces
Shichimi togarashi (Japanese mixed ground spices, sold in Asian stores) to taste

To do this dish tonight (26 Nov), I would crisp skin roast Norwegian mackerel fillets (obviously seasoned with 4:1 salt/pepper mix), roasted at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes and then serve them with the vegetables in light garlic sauce. My wife and my folks aren’t real fans of heated butter, so I thought it would be enough to cook the vegetables in a grapeseed oil/garlic base, toss in the sake/soy and then add the togarshi to each of the servings. Because I was doing this as an entree, I doubled the amount of vegetables, tripled the oil/garlic mix and the sauce mix

I would first mix the sake and soy sauce and set aside. After mixing the sake and soy, I followed that up by blanching the broccoli for about 1 1/2 minutes in salted water, shocking it, draining it and also setting it aside.

Clockwise from top left: sake soy, sliced garlic, blanched broccoli, asparagus, shiitake mushrooms

Searing the shiitake caps

 While the mackerel was in the oven roasting, I got a wok nice and hot (then lowered the heat to 50% max), added grapeseed oil, then the garlic and sautéed until it started to sizzle and the garlic and oil was fragrant. At this point I got the wok heat back to high, added mushroom caps top-side down, seared them briefly, flipped them and added the asparagus and then the broccoli. I seasoned the whole thing with a few pinches (2 or 3) of the 4:1 salt/pepper  mix and stir-fried the wok items for another minute or so. Drizzle sake-soy mixture over ingredients, stir and remove pan from heat. Stir again and transfer to serving dish.

Cooked vegetables assembled with the sauce just added

I then plated portions of the vegetables and sprinkled on the shichimi togarashi. I finished the dish by topping it all off with a roasted crisp skin mackerel fillet

Crisp Skin Mackerel With Light Garlic Vegetables

My wife and my folks seemed to enjoy the dish immensely, so I guess I did a good job with all the ingredients!

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