What’s Cookin’: The freshest way to prepare your fish after a day at sea

On a recent fishing trip into Mexican waters, off the coast of Ensenada, we had an amazing time reeling in some serious fish.

Former world champion surfer CJ Hobgood had a killer day on the boat off the coast of Mexico. Photo: Courtesy of Idarado/Traeger

Sitting out in the middle of the ocean, searching for kelp paddies and pouncing on them at first sight, it was an experience that we’ll never forget. (One of the other boats even decided to head north in search of some bluefin in the middle of the night.)

However, at the end of an unbelievable day where our arms were like noodles after pulling in yellowtail (and even some impressive dorado), you need to remain savvy with the way you plan to prepare your catch after all that hard work.

Thankfully, we were in the company of the crew from Traeger Wood Fired Grills, who took the reigns and sliced us up one of the tastiest dishes we’ve ever had.

Fishing editor at Field and Stream Magazine Joe Cermele and expert sportfisherman Duane Diego were stoked on this one. Photo: Courtesy of Idarado/Traeger

We spoke with chef and culinary director at Traeger, Mathew Domingo, and we convinced him give us the low-down on one of the freshest ways to prepare your fresh-caught fish: Yellowtail and bluefin sashimi with citrus miso sauce and serrano salsa (adapted from Nobu Matsuhisa’s recipe).

INGREDIENTS

It’s all about technique. Photo: Courtesy of Idarado/Traeger

Fresh-caught Fish
• 1/4lb Yellowtail, cut into a block, then sliced into 1/8″ thick strips
• 1/4lb Bluefin, cut into a block, then sliced into 1/8″ thick strips

Den Miso
• 6 1/2 tbsp. sake
• 6 1/2 tbsp. mirin
• 10 ounces white miso paste
• 3/4 cup sugar

Citrus Miso Sauce
• 1/3 ounce grapefruit zest
• 1/3 ounce lemon zest
• 1/3 ounce lime zest
• 2/3 cup Den Miso
• 2 tbsp. rice vinegar

Serrano Salsa
• 1/3 cup finely chopped serrano peppers
• 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
• 2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
• 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
• 1 tbsp. olive oil
• 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
• large pinch salt

Preparation

Presentation is, of course, a key element to the experience. Photo: Courtesy of Idarado/Traeger

To make Den Miso
Put the sake and mirin in a nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil for 2 to 3 minutes to evaporate off the alcohol. Over medium heat, add the miso paste to the pan a little at a time so that it blends into a smooth sauce.

Turn up the heat and add the sugar in two or three batches and continue stirring so the mixture does not burn. When the sugar completely dissolves, remove the pan from the heat and leave the mixture to cool to room temperature. (Note: This will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.)

To make Citrus Miso Sauce
To make the sauce, zest the citrus and then finely chop the peel. Mix this into the miso and then add just enough of the vinegar to get a consistency that will coat the back of a spoon.

To make Jalapeno Salsa
Simply combine all the ingredients and mix well.

Fresh wasabi is the cherry on top. Photo: Jon Perino

Bonus: To make Toro Miso
Season the fish with black pepper. Heat a nonstick skillet until very hot and quickly sear each side of the fish, making sure the outside is completely seared and that no red meat is visible. Plunge it immediately into ice water to stop the cooking process, then drain and pat dry with paper towels.

Flood the base of a serving dish with the sauce. Slice the fish across into slices 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick and arrange them so that they overlap in the middle of the plate. Spoon a little of the salsa over the top and garnish with the fava beans.

Note: Be sure to plunge the toro immediately into ice water after searing to prevent it from overcooking.

Final Touch
To spread a sauce evenly around the base of a plate, put the sauce in the middle and carefully tilt the plate so it runs to the edges.

Time to ring the dinner bell. Photo: Courtesy of Idarado/Traeger

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