Stacked Flounder Coins in Spiced Miso
Layered Steamed Flounder with Miso Paste & Black Sesame in a Spiced Citrus Miso Broth with Bok Choy, Shitake & Black Fungus
This is a dish that I came up with after some experimentation I have been doing with Asian spice broths. The broth is a complex affair with hints of citrus and four complimenting spices that are wonderful with the light flaky flounder.
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- .750 kilo fresh flounder (a bit more than a pound and a half)
- 1 tablespoon Shiromiso, "white miso"
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds.
For the Miso Broth
- 2 stalks of lemongrass cut diagonally into short pieces (about the length of the tip of your finger)
- 2 Thai chiles finely chopped (with seeds)
- 5 slices of ginger root (slices should be about 1/2 cm thick)
- 1 star anise crushed to a course grind (use a mortar and pestle or crush under a strong glass or side of a Chinese cleaver)
- 2 tablespoons instant dashi powder
- 1200 ml water
- 100 ml ponzu sauce (note that ponzu can be purchased at most Asian markets and often at Whole Foods)
- 150 ml mirin
- 40 ml nam pla fish sauce
- 6 tablespoons Shiromiso, "white miso"
- A small handful of sliced dried shitake mushrooms
- a small handful of sliced dried black fungus
- 3 heads of baby bok choy
- Tangerine zest - for garnish
Preparing the Miso Broth:
- Combine all of the ingredients except the mushrooms, fungus, bok choy and miso into a pot and bring to a slow simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Strain spice husks and pieces from broth (reserve for steaming) and return to the pot.
- Add dried mushrooms and bok choy and return to a very light simmer.
- Continue to cook for no more than 15 minutes and serve.
Preparing the Fish:
- Cut fish into small pieces of approximately the same size - I use a cookie cutter. Fish should be thin no more than 1/2 inch think, make 3 pieces for each serving.
- Bring the butter to room temperature and whisk the butter and miso paste together into a paste
- Smear a thin layer (1/8 inch or so) of miso/butter paste over each piece of fish.
- Stack fish into piles of three pieces of fish each and top with sesame seeds (I used black, but in the future I would use regular sesame seeds to avoid the black staining that the seed gave the fish in the steamer.).
- Place in steamer.
- Steam for approximately 7 minutes in two or three ladles of broth and reserved spice husks. Timing will depend on the thickness of your fish, so you will have to judge the doneness of you fish. Do not overcook.
- Serve dish in a shallow bowl.
- First serve bok choy and mushrooms and 2 or 3 ladles of broth, just covering the vegetables and mushrooms - which are to support the fish (do not let fish submerge in broth as it will overcook and break apart)
- Place fish onto bok choy and mushrooms, garnish with tangerine zest and serve immediately.