I made this last night after being inspired by a dish at Yoshi's in Oakland the other night. I was there to see Nik Bartsch's Ronin, the amazing Swiss minimalist jazz band, and had dinner there first. For those in the Bay Area that don't know the system at Yoshi's, here's the trick...if you buy a standard ticket, you pay a $2.00 service charge and it's open seating, it's $11.50 for service charge if you want a reserved seat. But...if you eat there that evening, you arrive early after paying only for a standard ticket, and they reserve a seat for you when you check in. The food is excellent and there are 2 good sake flights, one of them for only $10.00. I would recommend skipping the sushi, or just getting a piece or two, then diving into their more modern cooked Japanese cuisine. It's well worth it. I had a 6:45 reservation and the timing was perfect. I got a nice relaxed meal and a perfect seat 3 rows from the front in the center.
Miso-glazed Salmon in Broth with Spinach and Marble Potatoes (sorry no photo!)
for the salmon:
2 seven-ounce Salmon Filets
1 Tbs. best-quality Miso (I used Organic White: "Maruman" Mutenka Nama-Miso AKA from Japan -very dark)
1-1/2 tsp. Corn Oil
1/2 tsp. low sodium Kikkoman soy sauce
For the broth:
2 cups Dashi (see note** below)
1 tsp. Soy Sauce (low sodium Kikkoman)
2 Tbsp. Mirin (I used Morita Yuki)
2 Tbsp. Memmi Noodle Soup Base (also Kikkoman)
1/2 lb. Marble potatoes
3 oz. tiny wild mushrooms with long stems and tiny tops
2 small handfuls of cleaned baby spinach leaves
2 Large Soup Bowls (I used big serving bowls from Heath Ceramics)
Preheat the oven to 450°
Cook the marble potatoes for 10 minutes, or until completely tender in salted boiling water. Drain and set aside in a warm spot.
Rinse and dry salmon well.
Combine miso, oil, and 1/2 tsp. soy in small bowl.
Brush 1/2 of the glaze onto each filet and set aside.
Warm up the Dashi to a simmer. Add soy and the soup base. The soup base adds body and complexity. Keep at a simmer while the salmon cooks and you warm up your soup bowls. Add potatoes and mushrooms when you put the salmon in the oven so they get hot, but not overcooked.
Spray your baking dish with the cooking spray. Add the salmon filets. Bake the salmon 3 minutes or so, then put under a broiler for 4 minutes or so until the miso browns a bit. The fish shouldn't cook more than 7 minutes or so total .
When you have a minute or so to go on the fish, put a handful of spinach in each bowl and divide the broth between the two bowls. When the salmon is done, gently place on top of the broth and vegetables. Serve at once. We use chopsticks and spoons for this dish. Best served with cold Sake.
**Dashi note: Dashi is the universal broth base of all Japanese cooking. It only takes a few minutes to make from scratch and it's way better than using instant. Buy small 1/2 oz. packages of dried bonito flakes to keep on hand as well as some dried Konbu seaweed.
To make Dashi the old fashioned way, put a 2" piece of Konbu in a 1-1/2 qt. saucepan and add 1 quart of water. Just before it boils, remove the Kombu and discard. When the water boils, add one packet of dried bonito flakes and boil for a minute, then turn off the heat. When the flakes settle to the bottom, pass through a fine sieve into a clean container. Keeps a day or so in the 'fridge.