Soused Grilled Black Cod

Tara no Kasu-Zuké

Keep this recipe in mind when you are shopping at your local fish market and you want to set aside something for later in the week. Black cod, found in the Pacific Northwest, is the fish of choice for kasu-zuké preparation. In fact, it was seeing “Kasu Cod” on the menu at Cafe Sport in Seattle, Washington, that reminded me of this dish that I had enjoyed so much while living in Japan. The recipe I’ve given here is an adaptation of the restaurant’s version, with compliments of the chef, Tom Douglas.

Ingredients

  • 4 small black cod steaks, about ounces each
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt

Marinade

  • 1 cup saké kasu (lees)
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓-½ cup water

Method

  1. Rinse the cod steaks under fresh cold water and pat them dry. Salt the fish evenly, all over.
  2. Mash the lees and place them in a glass or ceramic container (I like to use a glass loaf pan). Add the brown sugar and water, and stir together to make a lumpy paste.
  3. Push two thirds of the paste to the side, and smooth out the remaining third on the bottom of the container. Place two pieces of cod on the paste. Cover the cod pieces with half of the remaining mixture. Lay two more pieces of cod on top of the lees mixture, and cover the fish with the remaining lees paste.
  4. Cover the container snugly with clear plastic wrap, and allow the fish to marinate for at least 4 hours at a cool room temperature, or in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
  5. Just before broiling, scrape off the lees paste (refrigerate it and reuse it up to three times within a month). Place the cod steaks on disposable foil broiling pans and broil 3-4 inches from the source of heat for 4-5 minutes. Flip the fish and broil for another 3-4 minutes, until golden and slightly crusty around the edges.

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