Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cod Marinated in Sake Kasu (Page 302)

RECIPE #1110

  • Date: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 -- 7pm
  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • Kitchen: Our Temporary California Home
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: A-

I selected this recipe as part of the All Seafood All The Time Plan. I hadn't made this dish yet because I hadn't come across any sake kasu -- the solids that remain after sake is made from fermented rice mash -- but I found it at Berkeley Bowl last week so I took the opportunity to make this dish. (Can I just say that I LOVE how easy it is to find ingredients in the Bay Area!) I started by combining fresh ginger, mirin, sake kasu, soy sauce, white miso, rice vinegar, and brown sugar in a food processor. I used this mixture to marinate black cod, leaving the fish sitting in a dish full of marinade for 2 hours, refrigerated. I removed the fish from the marinade and browned it on one side in a skillet. I carefully flipped the fish, then put the skillet in the oven and roasted it until it was cooked through. This fish was very tasty. It was nicely cooked and the flavor of the marinade was excellent. I liked that it was browned before roasting, as the marinade took on a wonderful flavor when it was slightly caramelized. Of all the seafood we have eaten lately, this was one of the dishes that I have enjoyed the most.

The recipe in The Book is the same as this one, except the one in The Book calls for black cod rather than sea bass, and the one in The Book does not have the curry sauce.

People often ask me what research mathematicians do all day. As someone who is deeply fascinated with the day-to-day details of other people's professions, I understand A) why it's interesting, and B) why it's confusing. I think the idea of a research chemist, for instance, is much easier to get your head around. We all have images of the crazy chemistry professor, in his/her lab, wearing a lab coat and goggles, doing experiments. I don't wear a lab coat. Or goggles. And I don't do "experiments" in any usual sense of the word. The only equipment involved in most pure math research is pencil, paper, chalk, chalkboard, and occasionally, computer. So what do I do all day? I sit at my desk and try to figure things out (and go to seminars, talk with other mathematicians, read papers, teach courses, etc...). The ultimate goal is to prove theorems, develop new mathematics. But it's not as though most mathematicians prove new theorems every day. A lot of time is spent on those proofs. A lot of time is spent trying out ideas that may or may not work. And sometimes things don't work. Math research, like most research, requires a lot of persistence and innovation. One great thing about math research is that it is very mobile. Some people prefer to work in their office, some at home, some at coffee shops. My special gentleman is ridiculously productive on airplanes. I like to work in my office, and also at my desk at home. Coffee shops are usually too distracting. And on airplanes I am too busy being scared half to death to work.

Today, for whatever reason, I was really cold. So after a morning of freezing while working in my usual places, I climbed into bed, under two down comforters, and read math papers all afternoon. I would like to claim that I don't often work in bed, but in reality I do. For whatever reason, I find it very easy to concentrate when laying in bed. By the time I looked at the clock it was past dinnertime and I realized that I was hungry! You know I am deep in thought when I forget to eat!

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