26-oz barramundi fillets, cut in half or thirds, depending on size
Olive oil or vegetable oil
Baby bok choi, sliced in half
2 cups lemongrass dashi (see below)
Ramen or Buckwheat soba noodles, cooked
Chopped chives for garnish
Red chiles, thinly sliced, for garnish
1 piecelemongrass, sliced in half lengthwise
16-inch piece of kombu
2 cupsloosely packed bonito flakes (katsuobushi)
Murmurs of “Oooh-mami” heard ’round the table.
Taking its cue from the famous Nobu, this Miso-Glazed Barramundi with Ramen Noodles might remind you of Chef Matsuhisa’s revered black cod at first blush. Our version is not strictly a soup, nor a noodle-palooza, yet marries these comforting elements of Japanese farmhouse cooking with naturally buttery barramundi and baby bok choi. Whether you’re branching into new types of seafood or have long been a fan of traditional Asian homestyle cuisine—this dish is perfect for impressing yourself—and any guests lucky enough to dine at your table. Recipe, food styling and photography by Linda Schneider of Wild Greens and Sardines.
Step 1Bring the sake and mirin to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol. Reduce the heat to low, add the miso paste, and whisk to combine. When the miso has dissolved completely, raise the heat to high and add the sugar, whisking constantly to ensure that the sugar doesn’t burn. Remove from heat once the sugar is fully dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
Step 2Pat the barramundi fillets dry with paper towel. Brush the fish with the miso marinade, place in a non-reactive dish or bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes or up to three days.
Step 3Heat a skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Lightly coat with oil. When very hot, add the baby bok choy (cut side down) and cook until nicely browned. Flip and cook another minute. Remove and set aside.
Step 4Add a tablespoon of oil to the skillet and cook the fillets until they brown and blacken in spots, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until the other side is browned, another 3 minutes — or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily.
Step 5Bruise the lemongrass with the back of a chef’s knife to release its aromatic oils. Steep the kombu and lemongrass in 4 cups of water over medium heat until the water comes to a rapid simmer (don’t let it come to a boil).
Step 6Remove the pan from the heat and add a 1/2 cup of cold water. Cool the liquid for a couple of minutes, then add 2 cups dried bonito flakes. Do not stir.
Step 7When the bonito flakes have settled near the bottom (about 3 minutes), strain the mixture using a fine-mesh strainer or a sieve lined with a paper towel and discard the flakes. Again, do not stir the stock, as it will cloud the dashi, which should have a light golden color.
To Serve:Ladle the dashi into a bowl. Top with noodles, bok choy, and miso-glazed fish. Garnish with chives and red chiles. Dashi will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Cooking Tip: What’s the deal with dashi, and where can you find its ingredients? An Asian grocery store is your best bet for finding both kombu and bonito flakes. Whole Foods Market stores also reliably carry these ingredients. For hints on how to use dashi beyond miso soups, see this Kitchn post.
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