Saturday, 15 September 2012

Back-to-Basics : Post #4 - Grilled Codfish and Stir Fry Beans with Miso Paste

Hi all, we are looking at a long weekend coming up, Monday being a public holiday.  Yes, Malaysia has one of the highest number of public holidays in the world, ranking at #7. 

Here are the last two recipes for our Back-to-Basics series for the time being.  I hope you have had the chance to try some of the easy recipes posted here. 

Using miso paste in stir frying is something I learned a while ago.  It gives a nice earthy flavour to the dishes, especially if you are using bland or "greeny" tasting veg such as beans or broccoli. 

The 2nd recipe here is a classic fuss-free grilled  codfish, using just lemon pepper as the main seasoning.  So try to get the freshest piece of codfish you can get.  I first tried this in Australia during our trip there late last year, and was instantly hooked. 

The Land Down Under is truly a place where you can enjoy fresh seafood at its natural sweetest, with absolutely minimal and simple seasonings.  I love it!

Try to get a bottle of this MasterFoods Lemon Pepper - it is a delightfully piquant mix of lemon bits with black pepper - I like it on hot chips, grilled or steam fish, and even salads. 

The best lemon pepper.  During our Aussie trip, I took the
opportunity to stock up on some spices and seasonings which are
difficult or expensive to obtain here - including cold pressed olive oil,
balsamic vinegar, chicken salt (YUM!) and some mixed herbs.
So cheap at Woolsworth!

Grilled Codfish Fusion Style 

  • 1 large slice of cod fish
  • Five slices of ginger, cut into julienne strips
  • Generous sprinkle of lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tspn of sesame oil
  • Dash of salt
  • A squeeze of lemon juice (optional)

1. Rinse the fish and pat dry

2. Sprinkle a generous amount of lemon pepper and a little salt onto the entire fish, both sides.

3. Drizzle the sesame oil and arrange the ginger strips on the fish

4. Line an ovenproof dish with aluminium foil, put the fish on top and grill in a preheated oven at 180celcius for 6 - 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Turn the fish the other side and grill for another 5 minutes. Test for doneness with a fork. 

5. Remove from the oven and let the fish 'sit' for 5 minutes.  Squeeze some lemon juice on top before serving.

Stir Fry French Beans with Egg Plant and Miso Paste
  • 200g french beans, rinsed and cut into diagonal strips
  • 1 medium size egg plant, rinsed and cut into diagonal strips
  • 50g minced meat
  • 2 pip garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tspn oyster sauce
  • 1 tspn shao xing wine
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1 tsp normal oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

1.  Heat both the oils and try the garlic until fragrant.  Add the meat and fry on high heat until just cooked.

2.  Add the french beans and toss for a few minutes, then add the egg plant.  If the mixture is rather dry, pour in 1 tblsp of water.  Toss and cover for 1 minute.  The egg plant should turn opaque by now.  

3.  Pour in all the seasonings and adjust the taste.  Bring to a quick boil, remove from heat and serve immediately.


  1. I love green beans.. yum. Miso paste is great - I like to use it to braise pork ribs too.

    1. Thts a good idea - braise pork using miso! Will hv to try that,

  2. Very good dishes! Miso paste is really great, I like to put in salad dressing. I love codfish but it is too expensive.

    1. Miso paste in salad dressing? I've never heard of it, but sounds very interesting!

  3. Your piece of cod fish is making my mouth water... yummy!

  4. Steamed cod with ginger and green onion is my favorite way of cooking cod but your baked cod with ginger and lemon pepper looks so great that I might have to try that method. I found that simple food like these always win, both in taste and easiness to prepare.

    1. Thanks Holly. I am learning some beautifully simple recipes from your blog too.

  5. one day i got to try stir frying veggies with miso paste. it sounds tasty to me!

  6. Holiday again in Malaysia! I wish I can have a holiday too in Melbourne.

    Codfish plus miso vege... sounds must-eat dish for all beautiful ladies to consume :p

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  8. So happy to see miso in your dish, Esther! :) We love having fish for dinner (doesn't make us feel too full and just right!), and this sounds wonderful!

    1. Nami, i need to learn more recipes using miso, love them!

  9. Hi Chef,

    This lemon pepper can only use in Cod fish recipes?

    I hope to buy seasoning that can use to prepare other food as well.
    Just like miso, besides miso soup I used to braised it with chicken n potatoes and now french beans n brinjals :) Thanks !


    1. Hi Ling, i love all these questions you hv, makes me put on my thinking cap more :) really appreciate your eagerness to find out new things about cooking. Lemon pepper is a very versatile seasoning, you can use it to season your roast chicken, grill lamb, use for other fish too, not just cod fish. Just think of it as a squirt of lemon juice with black pepper la! Oh, it makes a great seasoning on hot chips!

  10. Hi Chef,

    Thanks ! Tried it on ang ko li and pan fry instead.
    They loves it.

    If I were to season with chicken, just sprinkle it will do ?

    I'm a newbie in cooking dishes.. that's why alot of questions to asked...hehe..


  11. Hi Ling, wonderful to hear that your family likes the fish pan fried. Makes you feel so good cooking for them right :) yes, you can sprinkle on chicken too, leave the skin on, it gives a wonderful flavour, and if you have time, roast it with some butter, chopped garlic, thyme and rosemary. I guarantee your family will love it. Oh, by the way, pls call me Esther, no need chef la, i am just like you, a mother who loves to cook for her family :) keep the questions coming, dont be shy!

  12. Hi Esther,

    Tried the seasoning with chicken thigh, omitting the thyme and rosemary. Tastes great too. The next one I might try frying with mushrooms.

    Its great to see my family enjoying the express homecooked food that we prepared for them. heee..


    1. Hi Ling, honestly i've never tried frying lemon pepper with mushrooms...hmmm, sounds interesting! Might try your idea next time :) you're doing really good, trying new recipes. I hv no doubt your family now looks forward to more of your home cooked food. Keep up the good work!


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