Miso Black Colin

Among many fish whose names are familiar to us, cod is being overfished and depleted. This is a fact and a cause for very real concern. There are many other fish similar in taste and texture to cod that are sustainable and which you can eat with a clear conscience (for a full list, check the Marine Stewardship Council website at www.msc.org). One of them is pollack. An English supermarket, obviously fearing that the public would be turned off by the name pollack— which seems to me to be a perfectly reasonable name—chose to rechristen the fish colin (the French name for hake).Yes. So here is a recipe for Miso Black Colin, and imagine the posh diners at Nobu ordering one of those please.


For the marinade:

1 cup/150 g white miso paste
2 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)

4 pollack fillets (about 7 ounces/200 g each)

Put all of the marinade ingredients into a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring until all the sugar has melted. Bring to a boil, stir, and take off the heat. Leave to the side until totally cooled.

Wash and dry the fish. The next step is up to you, but I tend to put the marinade into a couple of resealable plastic bags, put two fish fillets in each, shake them up to make sure the fish is saturated with the miso, then leave in the fridge overnight. You can also just put the fillets in a shallow dish, pour the marinade on top and leave, covered, in the fridge for a few hours, but the overnight magic is worth it.

Preheat the broiler so that it’s searing hot and put the fish on a broiler pan, pouring any excess marinade on the top. Broil for about 3 minutes on each side. Serve with some rice and a salad of cucumbers and shredded green onions.

Very Fond of Food cookbook coverExcerpted from Very Fond of Food by Sophie Dahl. Copyright © 2012 by Sophie Dahl. Photographs Copyright © 2012 by Jan Baldwin. Excerpted by permission of Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.