Miso-Marinated Broiled Flounder

Hiramé no Miso-Zuké Yaki

In the days before refrigeration, fresh fish fillets were often kept from spoiling by placing them in a paste made of fermented soybeans. The mildly tangy taste that resulted from this ancient method is obviously appealing to modern Japanese, too, since they continue to crave miso-zuké, or “fermented bean paste-marinated” fish. You’ll come to love miso-marinated fish, too, for its convenience (pick up several extra fillets at the fish market and enjoy them days later) and its fine flavor.

Ingredients

  • 12-14 ounces fillet of flounder

Reusable Marinade

  • 2-3 cups shiro miso (light fermented bean paste)
  • 2-3 tablespoons mirin (syrupy rice wine)
  • 2-3 tablespoons saké (Japanese rice wine)

Method

  1. Cut the flounder into four to six portions. Slicing it on the diagonal will help to even out the thickness of the pieces.
  2. Blend the marinade ingredients, and use half the mixture to line the bottom of a glass or ceramic pan just large enough to hold the fish in a single layer. Lay a double or triple layer of cheesecloth over the marinade. Lay the fish over the cloth, and then cover the fish with more cheesecloth. Spread the remaining marinade on top, to completely cover the cloth. Cover the entire arrangement with clear plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 36 hours. (Or leave at room temperature for up to 2 hours before cooking.)
  3. Preheat the broiler to medium-high. Remove the fish from the marinade, and place the fillets on a rack (disposable foil broiling pans are fine) 2-3 inches from the source of heat. Broil the fish for 3 minutes, then flip the fillets and broil for 2-3 more minutes. Check the progress and adjust the heat accordingly. The cooked fish will be golden brown, with a slightly crusty surface and succulent, firm flesh within. Probably a total of 7-8 minutes is necessary to achieve this.