Citizens, of all the delicious fish in the Japanese culinary repertoire, Gindara (miso-cured and glazed black cod) reigns high in the firmament of all finned feasting!
The sablefish has many names: in English, common names for it include sable (USA), butterfish (USA),black cod (USA, UK, Canada), blue cod (UK), bluefish (UK), candlefish (UK), coal cod (UK), coalfish (Canada), beshow, and skil(fish) (Canada), although many of these names also refer to other, unrelated, species.
The sablefish is found in muddy sea beds in the North Pacific at depths of 300 to 2,700 m (980 to 8,860 ft) and is commercially important to Japan.
The white flesh of the sablefish is soft-textured and mildly flavored. It is considered a delicacy in many countries. When cooked, its flaky texture is similar to Patagonian toothfish (Chilean sea bass).
The meat has a high fat content and can be prepared in many ways, including grilling, smoking, or frying, or served as sushi. Sablefish flesh is high in long-chain omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. It contains about as much as wild salmon.
This particular dish’s cooking method is known as “Saikyo Yaki”. Saikyo in Japanese means “West City” and it’s actually the old name for Kyoto.
This specific cooking method is named Saikyo because the recipe utilizes Saikyo Miso (sweet white miso) which originated from the Kyoto area. The traditional Saikyo Yaki recipes include just three ingredients: Saikyo Miso, mirin, and sake.
My recipe for Gindara is closely based on superchef Nobu Matsuhisa’s version, as it was he who popularized this delicious recipe outside Japan. Citizens, it remains one of my great favorites and is not difficult at all to make!
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