Yelloweye rockfish poached in miso soup with black beens, sweet corn and summer squash. The broth is sweetened with honey and spiced with a Jamaican-style rub for a little heat to balance out the sweet.
In Japan, I was served a dish featuring carp cooked in sweetened beans. It was good, though a bit sweet to my tastes. Later, I began catching kurosoi, a black rockfish (genus Sebastes) common in northern Japan. After broiling a couple of them, I knew I had a good candidate to try in a spicier bean dish.
Two pound rockfish such as this yelloweye are perfect for a whole-fish-for-two dinner. A small zucchini, cut in half, scored, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with herbs de provence, makes a nice side dish.
A variety of firm, white-meated fish work well in this dish. Any of the rockfishes in genus Sebastes, black seabass, small stripers, snappers and porgy (sea bream) would be good choices. Any leftover broth from this dish can be served the following day as an excellent soup.
Rockfish in Sweet and Spicy Beans with Miso
For two diners…
- One rockfish (or other fish with firm, white meat) weighing about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds with scales, gills and entrails removed.
- 1 pound of black beans
- 1 cup of red miso soup broth (make it a little stronger than usual)
- 1/2 tbsp Jamaican rub or other spicy seasoning featuring hot peppers. Cumin and oregano may be included in the seasoning, or may be added separately.
- Several cloves of garlic, chopped coarse
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped coarse
- sweet corn (one ear’s worth – about 1 cup)
- 1 yellow squash (summer squash), sliced into circles, circles cut in half (optional)
- sea salt to taste (the miso will add quite a bit of salt)
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- hot chili pepper, sliced thin or chopped fine – just a little for additional heat (optional)
- two tablespoons honey
- two tablespoons olive oil
- Thoroughly clean the fish, pat dry with paper towels, and set aside.
- Over medium-low heat, prepare the miso broth in a pan large enough to hold the whole fish (an oblong poacher works best for this, but any large, round pan that has a lid will do).
- Stir in the honey until dissolved.
- Add the beans, onions, corn, spices (including slices of chili pepper), olive oil and freshly ground pepper. Taste. Add salt and more spices, if desired. Cover with a lid and bring to a simmer.
- Add the fish, working it down into the broth.
- Cover with a lid and maintain a simmer, reducing heat if necessary, and cook for about 7 minutes. Using two spatulas, carefully turn the fish so that both sides are cooked in the broth. Add the summer squash at this time. Continue simmering on low heat for another 10 to 13 minutes. The fish will be all but falling apart when done. (Cooking the first side for a shorter time before turning the fish will mean that the fish is firmer and therefore easier to turn over.)
- Carefully remove the fish to a serving platter. Arrange beans and vegetables around the fish and serve piping hot.
And don’t forget a colorful seasonal salad!