WFD: Sake Kasu Black cod, Udon, Shitake and Pea Vines. Oh, and a good helping of Sake.

September 29, 2007


Fridays are a different kind of day for me. They are the only day when I am without Danika, my wife. Yep, we work together, and live together. And no, we don’t want to kill each other by the end of each day. We met working together in the film industry, and it would just seem strange now not to be together through the day (and obviously the evenings too). With the birth of Drake, our son, Danika decided to work from the office 3 days a week, and spend two days at home with Drakey. We are lucky enough to be working for a great company, and I get to work from home on Wednesdays. It works fantastically for us. I could never imagine a day when we weren’t together – until these Friday’s came along. Friday is “the other day” that Dani is at home, and unfortunately I have to work from the office. It is just plain odd. I am used to just swirling round in my chair, and seeing her sitting there working away since we share an office, and sit only a few feet apart. The call of “fancy a cuppa?” (would you like a cup of tea?) goes unanswered on Friday. It is just different, and is going to take a lot of getting used to, and in all honesty I doubt I ever completely will.

So what made this Friday a “shed load of Sake” day? Drake has had an ear infection for the past week or so (bloody daycare), and that has meant he really hasn’t been sleeping good. It isn’t like he sleeps great anyway, but things are worse now. Normally from 7pm to 2pm he sleeps straight, but then after that he will be up quite a bit. He generally goes to sleep pretty quickly too – he has his dinner, a bath, nursing, then bed. Works pretty well. It might take 20 minutes to get him off to sleep, and he is good for a while (until 2am at least!).

Last night was different.. We were hungry, he was tired. I had picked up some stuff for dinner at Uwajimaya’s im Bellevue for dinner, and was really looking forward to cooking. Course, when you have a 9month old nothing ever really goes to plan. Take tonight for example. It took nearly two hours of nursing and rocking to get the little fella to sleep. That was unexpected! Putting him in his crib is a challenge too. He can be fast asleep in your arms, but yet wake right up as soon as you put him down. It took a while. And did I mention we were hungry?

So to make a long story longer, he woke up after about 20 minutes, and started crying. Right now because of his ear infection we don’t let him cry much. Thankfully, he stopped crying, started “singing” and went back to sleep.

So. The Sake is now warming. But what is for dinner? Sake Kasu Black Cod. What on earth is that you ask? Well, it is black cod that has been marinaded in the sediment (sake kasu) of Sake. This sediment is normally mixed with some sugar and water (and sometimes rice wine vinegar). The cod is coated in it, and left to marinade for 24 hours. You can mix this marinade up at home. Uwajimaya sells the Kasu paste, so no problems there. Mutual Fish, and also Uwajimaya also sells Black Cod marinaded in the Kasu also. Sure, you pay a few bucks more, but it does save you some time (and the extra cost is about the same as a carton of kasu).

To go with this I just simply boiled some Udon noodles. As a dressing for noodles I reduced some soy sauce, sake, ginger and honey together, just until it starts to thicken. This is a really great sauce to go with the Kasu Black Cod, and works well with rice or noddles.

Finally some veg. Whilst at Uwajimaya I saw that they had pea vines for sale. I have never cooked pea vine before, and thought they would look pretty nice against some Shitake mushrooms. The vines are great – leafy, with a good stem, with a great curl to them. Should stir fry up nicely I thought. I was right.

 And the sake. A few glass got done this evening. It tasted fantastic, and was a good end to the week.


Sake Kasu Black Cod, Udon, Shitake and Pea Vines. Soy, Ginger, Honey reduction.

2 fillets of Kasu Black Cod – 1lb total.

Udon noodles

Soy sauce

2 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated


Handfull of Pea Vines

2 handfulls of Shitake mushrooms

Start by bringing a large pot of water to the boil. Boil the noodles for 10 minutes (or as per packet), and then strain into a sieve. Run cold water on them until completely cooled.

Meanwhile, heat your oven’s broiler on high. Brush off excess marinade from fish, and place fish in a non-stick baking pan, skin side up. Cook for 7 minutes under the broiler. When the skin is crispy, flip the fish so that the flesh side is pointing up. Put the fish back under the broiler, until the flesh side is nicely caramelised – about another 6 minutes.

 Whilst the fish is cooking, lets make the dressing, and stir fry the vegetables. In a small frying pan or saucepan add 1/2 cup of soy sauce, the grated ginger, 1tblspoon of honey, and the ginger. Add to this a good splash of sake. Get this going over a high heat, and boiling fast. You want to reduce it by about half.

In a wok over a high heat, add the pea vines, and a little oil. Stir fry until the leaves are starting to wilt. Add a splash of sake to this. When most of the sake has cooked off, add the sliced mushrooms. Stir fry until cooked. Transfer these onto a plate, and cover with foil to keep walm.

In the same wok, throw in the noodles, and a little oil. Stir fry until warmed through, and slightly browned if you wish.

When the fish is done, remove from under the broiler.

Put a little sauce on a plate. On top of this put a heap of the noodles, and then the fish. Along side place the mixture of pea vines and shitake mushrooms.

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  • lynn hilla January 24, 2009 at 2:36 am

    this recipe sounds wonderful, i am making some version of it this sunday for chinese new year dinner, thanks