Misoni is a classic Japanese way to cook fish, simmering in miso sauce. In Japan, Mackerel (Saba in Japanese) is commonly used for Misoni. I use Salmon here because Mackerel in Australia is not as fatty as the Japanese one, and I believe that fatty fish matches this miso sauce more.
I use the tail side of Salmon in this recipe. This is just because the fillet can be soaked in the sauce completely while it is simmering and it looks more authentic (as we normally use a fillet of Mackerel – flatter!). But, as long as the fish is fresh, I think that the body side of Salmon would be nice as well.
The key for Misoni is a preparation for fish which is called “Shimofuri”. This is to clean fish and remove the fishy smell. When you do the preparation properly, the dish will not be fishy.
Ingredients – for 2 serves
2 fillets of Salmon – tail side
80ml Cooking Sake
1 Tablespoon of Mirin
1 Tablespoon of Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
1cm cube of Ginger – cut into fine strips
1 Tablespoon of Miso
½ Spring Onion – finely chopped
Preparation – Shimofuri
- Boil a generous quantity of water (not included in the above ingredients).
- Score a cross on the surface of salmon skin. Place the salmon fillets into a large bowl. Cover the salmon with aluminium foil.
- Pour boiled water in the bowl. The foil protects the salmon skin from the hot water (the skin is often torn by hot water)
- Remove the foil. Add cold water to the bowl to make the water temperature right, so that you can pick the salmon up by hand.
- If there is any blood on the salmon, clean it in the water.
- Once it is cleaned, remove the salmon from the bowl and dry it with paper towel gently.
- In a small saucepan, combine water, cooking sake, mirin, sugar, say sauce and ginger. Bring it to boil. Make sure that the sugar is dissolved completely.
- Place the prepared salmon fillets in the saucepan – skin side up.
- Once it is boiled again, reduce heat to medium – low. Remove scum if any.
- Add miso to it by dissolving it gently with some of the stewing liquid.
- Cover it with Otoshi-buta (a drop lid)*. Simmer for 5-8 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat. Leave it and let it cool down for about 20 minutes**.
- Remove the salmon fillets from the saucepan and plate them.
- Put the saucepan back to the heat.
- Bring the remaining sauce to boil. Reduce heat to medium once it is boiled. Keep cooking the sauce until it becomes thick and shiny. It will take about 3-5 minutes.
- Pour the sauce over the salmon. Garnish with spring onion. Serve while it is warm.
*Otoshi-buta / drop lid
Otoshi-buta is a lid which is smaller than the dimension of the saucepan. The lid floats on top of the liquid in a pan. Otoshi-buta helps heat to be distributed and flavour to be observed into each ingredient evenly. It also assists ingredients with holding in the position, so that they can keep their shapes. Otoshi-buta is commonly made by wood, but if you do not have one, you can substitute it with aluminium foil.
<How to make Otoshi-buta with aluminium foil>
Cut aluminium foil that covers a saucepan that you are using. Make a circle shape by tucking the edge, so that it can be fit inside of the saucepan. Make a cross incision in the middle that will work as a vent during simmering.
**This is for the flavour to penetrate into the salmon. In Japan, it is said that flavour penetrates to ingredients while they are cooling down.