I usually do not buy white fish since it usually lacks flavors. I made an exception one day, when I saw a cod filet. I thought I could make “fish and chips”. When I presented this idea to my wife, her response was considerably less than enthusiastic. So, I decided to make several small Japanese style dishes. The first one I came up with was this clear soup with cod and tofu.
This should be garnished with “Mitsuba*” ミツバ but I did not have any so I used young Italian parsley which looks like Mitsuba but the flavor is totally different. I also added frozen yuzu peel (which has a nice yuzu flavor and is much better than the dried variety).
*I tried to grow this in a pot from seeds last winter but it was not successful.
I first cut the cod filet into bite-size chunks and sprinkled on some sake and a small amount of ginger juice (from freshly grated ginger root) and let it sit for 10 minutes. I then dried the surface with paper towels and dredged with potato starch (left upper in the picture below). I had dashi broth simmering (right upper, this was made few days ago using a dashi pack). I seasoned it with salt, light colored soy sauce, mirin and sake. I season it lightly to bring up the dashi flavor. I dusted off the excess starch and gently placed the pieces in the simmering broth (left lower). The starch made the broth thick and viscous. I let it cook gently for about 2 minutes and then added small blocks of silken tofu (from Japan which I bought at a Japanese grocery store) (right lower).
Instead of “mitsuba”, I just took two springs of Italian parsley we had growing in a pot. I held the leaves and cooked only the stems in the simmering broth for 20-30 seconds. I then tied the stems into a loose round knot.
I placed the cod and tofu in bowls and poured in the hot broth and garnished it with the Italian parsley and Yuzu peels (first two pictures).
I think this was a qualified success. There several things I could have done better. I should have made a better broth from kelp and bonito flakes. Probably I should not have used potato starch. I sort of liked the thickened broth and slippery surface of the cod but this appears not to be something my wife appreciated. Although the cod has a nice texture not much of its own flavor and finally, nothing replaces the smell and flavor of “mitsuba”.