**This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the affiliate links I will receive a small commission that helps maintain this blog and will not affect the price you pay. All opinions are my own.**
Something special happened to me yesterday. My local grocery store had sea bass. It doesn’t happen often, I usually have to go to more of a specialty grocer to get this type of thing. But I bought it, I had to. And my absolute favorite way to have sea bass is miso glazed. This glaze give the already rich tasting fish a buttery, creamy and yet crispy glaze that is absolutely to die for. I have used this glaze on just about every type of fish and miso glazed salmon is a regular meal for us, but it is a special treat to have miso glazed sea bass. This recipe will work for just about any type of fish though, I do actually recommend trying it on salmon as well.
One trick I use to make sure I can quickly throw together these types of things is that I always keep grated ginger in a baggy in the freezer. Peeling and grating ginger can be a pain, but I do it in a big batch so I always have it on hand. Just peel, your ginger, pulse it in a food processor a few times until finely minced. Spread it out onto a sheet pan and freeze for 2 hours before transferring to a freezer bag. Freezing first on a sheet pan ensures that you don’t get stuck with one giant ball of ginger that would be difficult to measure out and use.
This time I made it I served it with forbidden rice and sesame and lemon roasted bok choy. The fish is really rich and buttery so I like serving it with citrusy veg to balance it out, and I love the texture of forbidden rice too but wild rice would work just as well.
Mix all ingredients together (except the fish). Pour over fish in a ziplock bag, squeeze out air and make sure fish is completely coated. Refrigerate overnight (or at least 30 minutes)
Heat canola or vegetable oil over high heat in a heavy bottomed skillet. Once oil is shimmering, sear each side of the fish for no more than 1 minute, until a crust begins to form.
Move to a sheet pan lined with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.
While fish is in the oven, pour the extra marinade into a pot and heat to a boil, reduce to a simmer then reduce until a thick glaze forms. Baste it onto fish halfway through cooking, serve extra sauce on the side.
While living in Spain during my study abroad semester I traveled, became comfortable communicating in Spanish, deepened my independence, made new friends, discovered new joys and interests, and got very homesick. One of the things I had a difficult time with was the food. While the food in Spain is delicious, it lacked the variety that I have become accustomed to living in Southern California, not only was I used to having Mexican, Italian, Chinese, American, and Vietnamese food all within a few days, it’s also hard to beat the variety of fresh and organic produce available here. I cooked occasionally for my host parents, but I discovered that the food I missed most were dishes I did not know how to make. Things that mom and grandma always made for me like grandma’s Pho, and mom’s spagetti. I began searching for a new comfort food, something that would be the chicken soup of my Spain experience.
It is ironic that the food I found to be my new comfort food is a very traditional Spanish dish with nothing American about it- tortilla. I find it funny that while in Spain I was homesick for America, but now that I have been back for 5 years, I find myself sometimes feeling homesick for Spain. Homesick for the food, the culture, the history, the architecture, the excitement of living somewhere foreign and having probably fewer worries than I will ever have again. The same food that comforted me in Spain, continues to comfort me and remind me of that wonderful time in my life.
The ingredients and preparation seem simple enough, but the key to making tortilla as good as my host mom did is in the details. You may be tempted to slightly alter the recipe, or maybe skip or change a step that seems unimportant, but don’t. The results just won’t be the same, trust me on this. I have been trying for 5 years to make this with less olive oil, without letting it rest, slicing in cubes using a sharp knife and a cutting board, and I tried boiling the potatoes first, don’t do it. Just follow the steps my host mom gave me to a “T.”
One of the steps I regularly skipped until I realized it’s importance is the way the potatoes are cut. I used to watch my host mom make tortilla and think “why doesn’t she use a cutting board, and WHY is that knife so dull?” I knew they couldn’t afford nice kitchen ware, but it seemed a little too simplistic and even outdated to me to do it like that. But, as it turns out, there’s a method to the madness. I could go on explaining the chemistry of starches and how this makes sense, but, to make a long story short, creating the roughest edge possible on the potato is key to getting the right texture so that it crisps slightly but doesn’t brown and absorbs some of the egg. Why do you not want the potato to brown? I DON”T know, but my host mom said so, and I have learned through trial and error to just take her word for it when it comes to making tortilla. This seemingly simple dish is nothing but simple. The method has been refined over decades, and some things are just better left as they are. Delicious.
Using a dull knife (if a butter knife works, then great) slice part way into the potato then rotate the knife to break off a chunk of it, about 1/2" cubish. The pieces should all be odd shaped and have rough edges. Salt generously.
Place the potatoes in a non stick skillet and just barely cover with olive oil, bring to a simmer. After a few minutes, add the onion. Cook until the potatoes are soft but NOT brown.
Drain the potatoes and onion, reserving the oil. My host mom strained the oil through a paper towel and saved it in the fridge for use in another dish, just remember that the oil now has salt in it. Let the potato and onion sit in the colander draining and cooling for about 10 minutes. Take a taste and add more salt if needed.
Meanwhile, scramble 3 eggs with the water. Gently mix the potato and onion into the egg and let it sit for another 10 minutes.
Check the mixture, some of the egg will have been absorbed into the potatoes, so add another if needed to get your preferred consistency. I like mine not as eggy.
Pour about 1 TBS of olive oil back into the skillet and set to medium-high heat. Fill the skillet half way up with potato mixture and cook until halfway set and the bottom is just beginning to brown. Place a plate on top of the skillet and very carefully flip the skillet over and the mixture onto the plate. Slide the potatoes back into the skillet with the uncooked side down and continue to cook until the bottom browns and the egg is cooked. The center should still be slightly soft. Slice into wedges and serve warm.