French and Japanese cuisines can make a great pairing. The result of their respective techniques and ingredients fused together on a plate is simply heavenly. This black bass dish is homage to two of my favorite culinary heroes: Morimoto whom I met 15 years ago on my birthday at his Philly restaurant and Eric Ripert whom has profoundly inspired me with his philosophy and superb approach to preparing fish.
- 1 pound black Sea Bass (4oz portions)
- 1 cup dashi
- 1/2 cup sake
- ginger (2 slivers 1/8 inch thick)
- 1 leek (sliced 1/2 inch pieces)
- 1 carrot (1/2 inch pieces)
- 2 dozen clams
- 2 bunch maitake or oyster (cleaned and broken down)
- 2 tbs white miso paste
- 2 tbs cold unsalted butter
- 4 brussel sprouts (separated and blanched)
Clean the clams thoroughly and break down the bass into 4 0z portions. In a medium sauce pan over low heat, add the ginger, leek, carrot and sweat ~ 8 minutes until softened. Add the clams and increase the temperature to medium-high. Immediately add the sake, bring to boil and let it reduce by half. Mix the clams around in the pan often. Add the dashi and cover until clams open. Remove the cooked clams and set aside to cool.
Next, you need to whisk in the miso through a strainer. Cook 10 minutes over simmer. Separate the clams from the shell and then remove the nasty bits. Place into small bowl with 1/4 cup of the broth. Add the mushroom and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and set aside. Cut the butter into 8 cubes and whisk 1 cube of butter into the sauce at a time until finished. Season with pepper.
Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium-high. Season the bass with salt and pepper. Add 1 tbs of canola oil into the pan and place the fish skin side down. Cook for 3 minutes, flip and cook for another 2 minutes or until done.
I hope you enjoy this dish. The cuisines of Morimoto and Ripert are extremely inspirational. I highly recommend purchasing these two brilliant cookbooks and trying out some of the recipes if you don’t have the chance to eat in their restaurants: