Sablefish recipe from Chef Frank Pabst

Sablefish
Caramelized with Soy and Sake
Serves 4

Soy-sake marinade
½ cup sake
½ cup water
½ cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp mirin


Orange-tamarind sauce
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 small carrot, sliced
1 rib celery, sliced
½ onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
¼ jalapeño pepper, sliced
1-inch piece of ginger, sliced

1 tsp mustard seeds 1 tsp black peppercorns 1 sprig thyme 1 bay leaf ¼ cup balsamic vinegar ¼ cup concentrated orange juice 2 Tbsp tamarind paste 4 cups chicken stock 8 kumquats, sliced and seeded zest of ¼ orange, julienned, for garnish


Caramelized sablefish

4 sablefish fillets, 6 oz each, skin on 1½ cups soy-sake marinade 10 oz green beans 2 Tbsp unsalted butter 2 cups canola oil, for deep-frying 4 Tbsp flour pinch of cayenne pepper 4 shallots, thinly sliced on a mandolin

Tamarind is a tart fruit that is used in chutneys and pickles, and is often ground to obtain a paste. It is available in many Asian food stores. This recipe also calls for mirin, a sweet cooking wine. Find it at an Asian supermarket.

Soy-sake marinade – In a small saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer until sugar is dissolved and alcohol has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow the mixture to cool, then refrigerate until well chilled.

Orange-tamarind sauce – In a large saucepan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add carrot, celery, onion, garlic, jalapeño and ginger and sweat for 5 to 10 minutes until fragrant. Add mustard seeds, peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf, vinegar, orange juice, tamarind paste and chicken stock and cook until liquid has reduced by two-thirds, 20 to 30 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Add kumquats. Will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 7 days.

Caramelized sablefish – Combine sablefish and soy-sake marinade in a resealable plastic zip-top bag and refrigerate overnight.

Heat a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add beans and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the beans to a bowl and toss in butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat canola oil in a deep fryer or a deep pot to 300˚F. Mix flour and cayenne in a bowl. Toss shallot slices in this seasoned flour to dredge, then fry them in the oil until golden and crisp, about 30 seconds. Remove the shallot slices from the oil and allow to drain on paper towels.

Remove the sablefish fillets from the refrigerator and allow them to warm to room temperature.

Turn the broiler on. Transfer the sablefish, skin-side down, to a cast-iron pan and place it on the lowest rack under the broiler for 5 to 10 minutes until deeply caramelized. (The cooking time will depend upon the thickness of the fillets.)

To serve – Arrange a quarter of the green beans in the centre of each of four plates. Using a metal spatula, lift each fillet from its skin and place the fish on the beans. Sprinkle each dish with a quarter of the fried shallots and finish with a quarter of the orange-tamarind sauce and some orange zest.

Suggested wine – A pinot noir that shows good acid and fruit, such as one from Dundee Hills in Oregon.


From the book Blue Water Cafe Seafood Cookbook.© 2009 by Frank Pabst. Publisher Douglas and McIntyre, an imprint of D&M Publishers Inc. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. Photography by John Sherlock.

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