Lemon-Broiled Sea Trout

Masu no Remon Yaki

Most Japanese homes have small kitchens with no oven, but with a broiler-like unit for stove-top cooking instead. The Japanese often broil fish on it for dinner. This recipe’s technique combines skillet-searing with a final broiling, and is particularly well suited to cooking meaty fish fillets such as sea trout, rockfish, and tautog (blackfish).

Ingredients

  • 1 fillet of sea trout, 10-12 ounces, skin still attached

Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons saké (Japanese rice wine)
  • ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 6-8 thin slices lemon

Method

  1. Rinse the fish under cold water and pat dry. Cut the fillet into two pieces. Combine the lemon juice and rice wine in a glass or other nonmetallic container, and marinate the fish, flesh side down, at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. (If you are refrigerating the fish, it should marinate for at least 1½ hours and up to 5 hours.)
  2. Lift the fish from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet. Over medium-high heat sear the fish, flesh side down, for 1½ minutes. Flip the fish carefully with a spatula, and continue to cook over high heat for another minute.
  3. Transfer the fish, skin side down, to a disposable foil broiling pan. Lightly paint the fish with soy sauce, then lay three or four lemon slices, slightly overlapping, on each piece of fish. Lightly paint the lemon slices with the soy sauce.
  4. Place the fish under a preheated broiler and cook for 2 minutes, or until the lemon slices look lightly toasted. Flip the lemon slices over and paint them again with a bit more soy sauce. Broil for another 2-3 minutes. Carefully remove the fish with a broad spatula and serve, dribbling on a few more drops of soy if you like.

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