Cookbook Profile

Miso-Glazed Mero
with Shiitake Mushroom Quinoa
and Grilled Pineapple and Mango Salsa

Serves 6

Miso-Glazed Mero


We serve a lot of fish and shellfish at the Golden Door because it is a delicious and versatile source of lean protein and other valuable nutrients, but I, like many others, am always concerned about how the seafood we serve is raised and caught. The excellent Seafood Watch program, run by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, recommends which fish and shellfish to buy and which to avoid, based on whether or not they are raised and/or fished under sustainable conditions. The information is regularly updated and can be accessed on its website (see Resources, page 283 of the book). It also offers pocket-size guides that target specific regions of the country and are very useful to have when shopping.

Mero, used in this recipe, is a species of grouper fished using sustainable practices in deep waters off the coast of the northwest Hawaiian Islands, between Hawaii and Japan. This mero is rated "good" by the Seafood Watch program. The origin of the mero you buy is important because mero from the main Hawaiian Islands, the U. S. Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, or the Pacific off the coast of South America is on Seafood Watch's "avoid" list.

Mero is sometimes confused with Chilean sea bass, which should be avoided because it has been grossly overfished using less-than-sustainable practices. If you cannot find mero, black cod, Pacific halibut, or striped bass are good substitutes. The miso marinade is also very tasty on wild salmon.

For the Miso-Glazed Mero

For the Grilled Pineapple and Mango Salsa

For the Quinoa

Prepare the mero. Grate the unpeeled ginger on the large-holed side of a box grater until you have about lh cup. Collect the grated ginger in your hand and squeeze over a bowl to extract the juice. You should have 1 tablespoon juice; if you don't, grate more ginger and squeeze out the juice until you do. Discard the grated ginger.

Pour the ginger juice into a small bowl along with the mirin, miso, sake, and soy sauce. Whisk together until well blended. Place the mero fillets in a shallow dish or pan big enough to hold the fish in a single layer. Pour the marinade on top and turn the fish over so it is completely coated. Cover the pan and refrigerate for at least

2 hours and up to 24 hours; the longer the fish marinates, the better. Remove the pan from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking the fish.

Prepare the salsa. Prepare a medium-hot grill or heat a grill pan over mediumhigh heat. Spray the pineapple and onion slices on both sides with grapeseed oil. Grill 2 minutes per side, until there are grill marks on both sides and the onion is softened. Remove the pineapple and onion from the grill and let cool to room temperature.

Dice the pineapple and onion and transfer to a large bowl. Add the mango, cilantro, serrano, lime juice, salt, and pepper. (The salsa may be made several hours in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.)

Prepare the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Use your hand to swish it around a few times. Drain and repeat until the water in the bowl is clear. In a medium pot, combine the quinoa with 1-1/4 cups of water. Bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes to steam and finish cooking.

Spray a large skillet with grapeseed oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the scallions, garlic, and ginger to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms soften slightly, 3 to 4 minutes, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons water if necessary to prevent sticking. Serape the mixture into the quinoa and use a fork to fluff the quinoa and incorporate the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.

Position an oven rack at the highest level and preheat the broiler to high; the broiler should be just above the fish so it caramelizes nicely.

Arrange the fish in a shallow pan and top each fillet with a teaspoon of marinade. Broil the fish, checking it often and turning the pan occasionally to prevent burning. When the top of the fish is dark caramel brown, after 5 to 6 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and pierce the fish with a toothpick; it should pass with no resistance. If the fish is not done, reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Return the fish to a low rack in the oven to finish cooking, 3 to 5 minutes.

To serve, divide the quinoa among six plates. Lay a piece of fish on top of or alongside the quinoa. Top the fish with a generous spoonful of salsa. Serve, passing the remaining salsa at the table.


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This page created May 2009