Broiled, miso-glazed red snapper with asparagus

Miso made easy

Originally appeared in the August 5, 2010 edition of the Southside Times.

We all know the old adage:  “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  Well, the Japanese have a similar motto for the ingredient, miso—a fermented soybean paste used as a main component in soups, sauces, and dressings.  When used to brush on grilled foods, it belongs to a culinary category known as Dengaku.  Read more after the jump:

Developed in Asia, miso is cherished in eastern cuisine, and its production is a complex art, comparable to cheese- and wine-making.  Miso typically comes in two forms:  light and dark.  Light miso is white or yellow, has a shorter fermentation, and is sweeter; dark bean paste is red, fermented for a longer period, and usually saltier.  But even among these two varieties, the characteristics vary greatly by region.  In Japan alone there are over fifty types of miso, the most popular being rice miso, once produced exclusively for the aristocracy.

Miso’s available at several grocery stores, and can be purchased at international markets such as Saraga, located at the corner of Stop 11 and Madison Avenue on the southside.  The sweetness of the white miso is an ideal pairing with the sweet flavor and delicate texture of red snapper—good luck keeping anyone away.

Broiled, miso-glazed red snapper with asparagus

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon water
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lb medium asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 (5- to 6-oz) red snapper fillets with skins (1-inch thick)

1.  Preheat broiler.  Lightly oil a 17- by 12-inch shallow baking pan.

2.  Whisk together miso, sugar, lime juice, water, and pepper in a bowl.

3.  Toss together asparagus, oil, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl.

4.  Arrange fish, skin sides down, in baking pan and spread miso mixture evenly on top.  Arrange asparagus in one layer around fish and broil 5 to 6 inches from heat until fish is just cooked through and asparagus is crisp-tender, about 8 to 12 minutes.

5.  Serve fish and asparagus with sliced lime wedges.

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Published in: on August 5, 2010 at 10:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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