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When I go home to visit my Mom, I always ask for this dish, Chinese Steamed Fish. Mom lives in Los Angeles, where there is an Asian market on every street corner. Most have live fish tanks where you can choose which lucky fella gets to come home with you for a dinner date. Steaming is the purest and the most delicious way to cook fresh fish. We top it with soy sauce, cilantro, ginger, green onion slivers, and pour sizzling hot peanut oil all over the fish. You’ll taste the delicate, sweet flavor of the fish.

“Pick out your own fish to slaughter!?” you ask, squeamishly? Absolutely. My Asian friends know the routine. You arrive at the market early in the morning, when you are most alert and the fish are happy, having just eaten their breakfast. Stand in front of the fish tank.

But hold it.

Before you even start looking at the fish, you must do some simple, but essential calisthenic exercises to maximize your….

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My Sushi for One dinner

Last week I taught a hand-on sushi class with 20 students in the studio kitchen….

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While writing my post on How to Host a Sushi Party, I surfed the blogs for a good 30 minutes…

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Steamy Kitchen has moved!!

Click here to get recipe on the new site.

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Such a simple pairing….eggplant + miso. But I’m still not happy with the results. The miso mixture was way too salty. I’ll share the mistakes I made.

Mistake #1
I made this while on an empty, growling stomach

Mistake #2
I ran out of wine to drink, therefore in a foul mood

Mistake #3
I doubted Master Nobu Matsuhisa‘s recipe

Ahhhh….so you see, I was a bad grasshoppa.

I started trying to get fancy- adding rice wine vinegar and grated ginger. What I should have done was just stick with Nobu’s original recipe for “Nobu Style Saikyo Sweet Miso” instead of wandering off aimlessly on my own.

I should have caught the big glaring clue right in front of me.

If Nobu’s recipe was so incredibly SIMPLE. Then the dish is meant to be SIMPLE.

Now, if I had gotten inspiration from another cook, like, oh…lets say Sandra Lee, and it was simple, then enhancing the recipe would have been a good idea. Because her recipe would have probably started with a can of refried beans.

But come on, why doubt Nobu? Please don’t tell him, ok? I’m sure he’d whack me in the head with a floppy eggplant.

Here’s what I should have done:

Nobu-Style Saikyo Sweet Miso
from his book, Nobu Now

makes 2 cups

3 1/2 fluid ounces Japanese sake
3 1/2 fluid ounces mirin
10 1/2 ounces white miso paste
5 1/4 ounces granulated sugar

1. Put sake and mirin in pot and heat. Bring to boil and allow alcohol to evaporate off.

2. Over medium heat, add the white miso paste, a little at a time. Blend in with a wooden spatula.

3. When you have added all the white miso paste and the mixture is smooth, turn the heat up to high, and add the sugar in two or three lots. Make sure it does not burn.

4. Sitre the mixture until the sugar has compelte dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Stored in refrigerator, it lasts several weeks. This recipe makes enough for this eggplant recipe PLUS you could make this.

If you only want to make enough for the eggplant dish, then I divide the recipe to only yield 1/2 cup.

Do your own math. Still out of wine. Still in foul mood.

Japanese Eggplant with Nobu’s Miso
serves 4 as side dish

4 Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise (or 1-2 large globes, cut into 1″ slices – enough for 2 pieces each person)
1/2 cup of Nobu’s miso mix above
2 tablespoons canola oil

Preheat oven – broiler on HIGH, rack 6 inches from top

1. Brush eggplant slices with a little canola oil, place on baking sheet. Immediately put in oven and broil for 4-5 minutes, until eggplant soft and the tops are golden. Remove from oven.

2. Spoon miso mixure on the eggplant halves. Use a brush to spread the miso evenly on surface. Return to broiler. Broil 2-3 minutes until the miso is bubbly and starting to brown, about 2 minutes. But watch the oven – timing may vary based on your oven. Don’t burn the eggplant!

Garnish with thinly sliced green onions (adds great color and texture)

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