Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Nairagi with Ginger-Miso-Butter Sauce

After reading multiple books over the past several months about eating local and sustainable food (Plenty; In Defense of Food; Animal, Vegetable, Miracle; How to Pick a Peach etc.) in an effort to be at least a bit more of a localvore, I have been trying to become more familiar with all of the fish that are available here in Hawaii. Being a Northwest girl, I am most comfortable and secure in cooking with my beloved salmon and halibut. I do a lot with Ahi (tuna) and occasionally steam or bake some Opah (moonfish) but that generally is where my comfort level ends. Since the seafood department was featuring fresh, local Nairagi this weekend. I decided to buy some and try something new.

Nairagi is not a fish I knew much about before. It turns out to be a striped marlin, sometimes called “Au”, with a texture a bit more firm than tuna and a fairly mild flavor. The seafood guy said it was a fairly versatile fish--good raw, grilled or sautéed and that since it’s flavor is pretty mild, it lends itself well to sauces. I have been craving the flavor of miso and decided to sauté the fish and top it with a quick Ginger-Miso-Butter Sauce I threw together.

Unfortunately, midway through my sauce-making, I realized that I had a red or dark miso rather than the white miso I thought I had in my refrigerator so the sauce is not as it attractive as it would be with a lighter color miso. The white miso would also make a lighter, slightly sweeter sauce but still, even using a dark miso, the sauce's flavor was good. For the Nairagi, I just lightly coated a medium pan with oil and cooked it over medium heat for about 5 minutes per side.

Ginger-Miso-Butter Sauce
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 Tbsp White Miso paste
1 Tsp freshly grated ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine or chicken stock
1 tsp shoyu

In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt butter and stir in miso paste and other ingredients until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Spoon over cooked fish or vegetables.

The Nairagi was delicious, moist and tender and the sauce complimented it well. I will definitely cook this fish again.

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