Thursday 23 November 2017

Forkful's easy suppers: Miso glazed fish

Miso glazed fish. Photo: Mark Duggan 
Miso glazed fish. Photo: Mark Duggan 

Aoife McElwain

Fish is something I'm not particularly confident about cooking, though I'm finding my feet (or fins, as it were) as I practice it more.

I have found it tricky to obtain that restaurant-level crispy-skinned loveliness on my frying pan at home, so I've tended to avoid the disappointment by roasting or grilling fish. I really should face my pan-fried fears and just practice getting that crispy skin right. Perhaps I'll work on that next week.

For now, I'm sticking with the grilled fish method.

I'm still on my miso buzz these days, which I've been using as a delicious glaze for greens such as pak choi and vegetables such as aubergines. I wanted to try it out as a marinade or topping for fish, and I was really taken with the results. Miso is a direct ticket to umami town, so if you're into the savoury side of life, it's an absolute essential for you to start cooking with.

Cooking the fish under the grill allows the miso paste to bubble and slightly caramelise, while the fish cooks evenly underneath.

It's such a quick way to cook fish and yields very reliable results. Just make sure you don't have the heat on too high as it can burn the skin without cooking the flesh.

This supper is filling enough on its own for me but a bowl of fluffy steamed or boiled rice would be really nice served alongside this miso fish, with a bit of soya sauce on the side.

Miso glazed fish

Serves 2

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes


4 pieces of sea bass or mackerel

1 tablespoon of miso paste

1 tablespoon of mirin

1 tablespoon of sugar

Juice of half a lime

Half a teaspoon of chilli flakes

1 tablespoon of sunflower oil

Sesame seeds (black or white)

400g of tenderstem broccoli

2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger

1 tablespoon of lime juice



1 spring onion


1. Use a sharp knife to cut the fish fillets into three smaller sections and lay them on your grill tray.

2. In a bowl, mix together the miso paste, mirin, sugar, juice of half a lime, chiilli flakes, and sunflower oil until you have a well blended sauce.

3. Use a pastry brush to evenly spread the miso paste on the fish. You should get through all of the paste so be generous with your coatings of the fish. Sprinkle each piece of fish with a pinch of sesame seeds.

4. Heat the grill to medium to high heat and place the fish underneath it for about 8 minutes for mackerel and about 11 minutes for sea bass. Keep an eye on the fish, as you want the fish to cook through and for the miso paste to caramelise a bit but you don't want the miso paste topping to burn.

5. Meanwhile, put a large pot of water on the boil and add a pinch of salt. When the fish is nearly done, place the tenderstem broccoli in the boiling water for 3 minutes, or until they become a vibrant green colour. Drain and set aside.

6. Meanwhile, make a dressing for the broccoli by mixing together the toasted sesame oil, freshly grated ginger, lime juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle over the broccoli.

7. Arrange the broccoli on a serving plate. Add the grilled fish on top. Sprinkle with more sesame seeds, a pinch of chilli flakes, a sprinkling of freshly chopped spring onions and some lime wedges on the side.

This week's storecupboard essential:

Black sesame seeds: Black sesame seeds are mostly produced in China and Asia, so not exactly a local product but a little goes a long way. Aesthetically, I prefer these to their beige cousins and I like how they taste closer to a coffee bean than a peanut. Pick up a bag in your nearest specialist Asian grocery store.

Photo: Mark Duggan 

Irish Independent

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