A Sake Parcel
I had read somewhere that the slightly sweet-tasting sake is commonly used in marinade and in sauces, and decided that therein laid the opportunity to lay waste to that bottle of sake (and the answer is NO, if you're thinking that I will be kind enough to hand-deliver or courier that bottle over to you).
I found this recipe in one of those cookbooks touting authentic simple Japanese fare. Read through it, and thought to myself, "wait a minute, this sure sounds like the way the French steam-bake their parchment paper parcels of fish marinated in white wine with tomatoes etc...".
- preheat oven to 375F (or about 190C) - important to do this step first, since the rest of the preparation is a breeze
- recipe recommended white fish fillets - so I went for grouper fillets, which are particularly good for steaming as the flesh has a wonderful slightly sweet taste and stays firm when cooked (this particular fillet that I used was about 2 and a half inches wide, but I would suggest slicing the fillets into 1 and a half inch wide for better and faster cooking)
- place parchment paper on top of aluminium foil, brush the parchment paper with a little bit of olive oil, and place fish fillet in the center
- here, I deviated slightly from the recipe which only called for 1 tablespoon of sake to be drizzled over each fillet - thinking that it might just be too 'sake-concentric' for us, I sprinkled a bit of ground black pepper, drizzled a dash of yuzu ponzu (which is basically Japanese soy sauce flavoured with juice from the yuzu citrus fruit) followed by about 3 tablespoons of sake for my thicker slab of fish fillet
- place some enoki mushrooms on top of the fish fillet, and fold the edges of the parchment and foil together into a parcel
- pop into the preheated oven for about 15 minutes (maybe 10 minutes or so, if your fish slice is thinner)
- if you like, serve garnished with some dried bonito paper-thin strips or flakes.
No more than 30 minutes to get this dish onto the dinner table, and that is assuming you take a long time to wash the fish fillets, the enoki mushrooms and cut those pieces of foil and parchment, and of course, not forgetting the time needed to preheat the oven. Sheesh, if I had known how absolutely bloody easy it was to make this healthy dish, I would have opened that bottle of sake many many moons ago!