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Braised Alaskan Black Cod

Braised Alaskan Black Cod

Makes 4 servings

4 black cod fillets with skin on (approximately 7 ounces each)
1 2/3 cup dashi (Japanese sea stock)
4-inch piece (about 2 ounces) fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
6 scallions, ends trimmed and cut into 3-inch lengths
2 cloves garlic, minced
Lemon zest, to garnish

1. Make a small diagonal cut across each fillet on the scale side (this allows the fish to absorb flavor better).

2. Pour the dashi into a large, deep saucepan. Add the fish fillets skin side up and the ginger, garlic, and scallions. Cover the fish with a drop-lid* and cook over high heat for 3 minutes. Then sprinkle the sugar over the contents of the saucepan, reduce the heat to medium-high and continue cooking for 3 more minutes.

3. Pour the soy sauce over the fish fillets, replace the drop lid, and continue cooking over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the mirin and cook for 3 minutes longer. After adding the mirin, while the fish is cooking, repeatedly pour the thickening sauce over the fish fillets to glaze them and prevent them from burning.

4. Carefully transfer the fish fillets to a plate with a slotted spatula and check the fish to make sure it has no residual bones. If the braising liquid is not thick enough, keep cooking it over high heat until it becomes caramelized (but be careful not to burn it).

5. Garnish the fish fillets with the braised ginger and scallions and drizzle with the braising liquid, then top with a bit of lemon zest and serve.