Feature >> Gourmet

Black Bass and Bacon Dashi Recipe

It’s an age-old dilemma: serve your valentine a dish as rich as romance, or something to avoid feeling stuffed after dinner?

Black Cod with Bacon Dashi

Photo by Gayle Van Wely

Find balance in this Black Bass with Bacon Dashi, which takes the alluring, smokey flavor of bacon and actually makes it light and healthy. Dashi is a seaweed broth rich in minerals with as much Vitamin C as orange juice. Black cod is a terrific source of protein and healthy fats. Find those recipes below.

for the Bacon Dashi
  • 3 cups water
  • 5 kombu seaweed sheets
  • 3 strips bacon
  • 1” fresh or 1 piece dry galangle ginger
  • 2 tbsp mirin (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp sake (to taste)

for the Black bass
  • 4 6-ounce black bass fillets, skin on
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt
  • white pepper
  • corn starch for dusting on skin

In a saucepan, bring the water to 140° and add the kombu and ginger. After steeping for 30 minutes, discard the kombu (or reserve for another use like a seaweed salad). Add the bacon, keeping the temperature similarly low for another 30 minutes. Discard the bacon and ginger. Next, season the dashi with mirin, sake and/or soy sauce. Pour the sauce into a shallow sauce pan and keep warm until you are ready to use it to poach the fish.

Season the skin side only with sea salt and pepper from well above. Smack corn starch on the skin only. Heat olive oil in a pan on medium high. Sear the skin side only until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes); you should see the sides of the flesh start to turn whiter. Gently flip the fillets into a shallow sauce pan with the bacon dashi broth. Be careful to only submerge the fillets one quarter of the way up their sides. Finish steeping and poaching for approximately another 3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.

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