For Chef Matt Zdeb, the ladder to success was a tiny step stool that he often climbed to cook with his Polish Grandmother Betty. He was nine years old, and cooking with his Babcia (grandmother) started what would be a life-long passion for beautiful cuisine. Zdeb, a popular chef in the Valley for years, is the executive chef at SumoMaya in Scottsdale, where Mexican-Asian fusion encompasses flavors and techniques from 27 different countries and regions. I wanted to kick off the new year with a recipe for you that really “sets the table” for an elegant yet simple, rich-tasting yet healthful and ever so flavorful dish using just a few ingredients. Chef Zdeb’s Seared Sea Bass with a Sake-Soy-Miso Glaze was the recipe on top of my list, and thankfully Chef was willing to share it (even though it is a signature dish at SumoMaya!) If you prefer a piece of fish other than sea bass, Zdeb recommends salmon. The ingredients are readily available at most grocery stores and below I’ve listed a few specialty stores for items like miso. May your 2015 be filled with good health and happiness, just like Chef Matt Zdeb’s amazing seafood dish, and in honor of Grandmother Betty Zdeb, "NA-ZDROWIA!" ("To your health!").
Seared Sea Bass with Sake-Soy-Miso Glaze
- 1 pound sea bass or salmon filet
- ⅔ cup sake (drinkable rice wine)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ⅔ cup Mirin (cooking rice wine)
- ¼ cup soy sauce (omit for gluten free)
- ¼ cup (2 oz) light colored Miso paste (Japanese soy-based seasoning)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Combine sake, sugar and mirin in a large sauce pot.
- Bring to a simmer and heat until sugar dissolves and incorporates.
- Mix in soy sauce and miso until smooth.
- Continue heating until mixture reduces by one-fourth.
- Make a slurry by stirring together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl.
- Stir this into the pot to thicken the sauce.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat oil in a medium, non-stick sauté pan over medium.
- Sprinkle the sea bass with salt and pepper to taste and carefully place in pan.
- Sear both sides until golden brown. Remove from heat. Place fish in a baking pan.
- Brush with the sauce.
- Place in oven for 4-5 minutes, or until fish is thoroughly cooked.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions before serving.
Note: Sea Bass with Miso Glaze served at Sumomaya with sliced pickled onion, cherry tomatoes and half of a grilled lemon.