Mummy’s Day Lunch: Miso Cod with sautéed Asparagus and Oyster Mushrooms

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Cod = expensive = restaurant-quality dish.

I’m sorry for falling victim to one of the biggest culinary clichés ever. I’ve been trying real hard to resist the “Cod” current that seems to have taken over every contemporary European restaurant, but it seems I’ve failed terribly 😦 Inspired by ONAKA’s concept of fusing Asian and Western elements, this dish is a fusion between Nobu Matsuhisa’s signature Black Cod with Miso and one of my dishes a while back (the Miso Aubergine).

I like that the saltiness slight spice of the miso sauce cuts through the oiliness of the cod; while pungent garlic and crunchy asparagus adds an extra textural contrast to the dish. What many people don’t know, is that miso is an extremely good source of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and most importantly probiotics. Probiotics are important to maintaining a balanced and healthy intestinal tract, yet the consumption of probiotics are often overlooked. Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut and miso contains high levels of probiotics.

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It looks – and certainly sounds – fancy, but this dish is really pretty straightforward. Not only are preparations kept to a minimum, the non-stick quality of Tefal’s pans ensured the success of this dish. For one, flipping the cod while pan-searing could cause it to drastically reduce in size as it leaves chunks of flesh behind on a normal pan. Tefal’s non-stick cookware however ensures that the cod flips well and sears evenly.

But wait. The best part of this dish is that if you are a confident and calm cook, both components could be cooked at the same time! This means no more frustration over how-to-keep-my-veggies-warm. The cod was left to pan-sear on Tefal’s Comfort Touch Frypan, while the vegetables were simultaneously sautéed in their Comfort Touch Sauté-pan.

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Simple; elegant; and tasty – I think it’ll suffice to say I’ve re-established my status as Mummy’s Number 1 child *fists air*

Miso Cod with sautéed Asparagus and Oyster Mushrooms (serves 2)

Miso sauce (makes more than required)
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons white miso paste
1 medium chili
5g nugget ginger
3 teaspoons roasted sesame oil

2 fillets of cod, not overly thick
1 package fresh oyster mushrooms, cut into small chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful of baby asparagus, diced*
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Using your mortar and pestle, pound the ginger nugget along with the chili to a fine paste. Alternatively, blitz them together if you own a food processor. Mix in the remaining ingredients for the miso sauce.

2. Rinse the cod fillets and pat them thoroughly dry with paper towels. Slather the fish with miso sauce and place in a dish or bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave to steep in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to overnight, depending on the amount of time you have on hand.

3. When you are ready to cook, pre-heat both the sauté-pan and frying pan over high heat.

4. Reduce the heat to medium-low for the frying pan, and lay the cod fillets on the pan, cooking lid-on for 5-7 minutes depending on the thickness of your cod.

5. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a pre-heated sauté-pan, then add the sliced garlic and sauté over medium heat till it is lightly browned. Toss in the asparagus and sauté for 1-2 minutes, before throwing in the mushrooms and sautéing a few minutes till its tender.

6. Meanwhile, brush the cod fillets with a little more of the miso sauce while it sears, before flipping it over. This time leave the cover off, cooking for 3-5 minutes. Occasionally brush the fillets with the miso sauce.

7. Take the sautéed vegetables off the heat and begin plating. The cod fillets should be ready as you finish plating the vegetables. Place the fillets over the vegetables, before drizzling a little of the remaining miso sauce over the dish.

*If baby asparagus are not available, normal asparagus could be used in place. Simply increase the time to sautéing it to 3-5 minutes.

Vegetarian – replace the cod with big portobello mushrooms, slices of halloumi, or eggplants as in my Miso Aubergine

No cod – other oily fishes like salmon and trouts could be used. Alternatively, seafoods and crustaceans like prawns, squids, crayfish and lobsters could be used in place. This recipe works best with seafood as they have a naturally succulent flesh that meat does not.

No asparagus – replace with other tougher vegetables like vegetables, corn kernels, broccoli, or even beans and chickpeas.

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