Search

Now reading Blackened Bluefish Sandwich with Miso Mayo

Blackened Bluefish Sandwich with Miso Mayo

Miso mayonnaise provides the answer to the question: what to do with bluefish?

This is one of my favorite things Momofuku Ssäm Bar has served in recent years (especially because it was cheapish, and available at lunch), but it’s no longer on the menu. One of the standout parts of this dish is the miso mayonnaise, so when we decided to feature miso in this issue, I felt like that was a good excuse to get the recipe from the Ssäm Bar crew. Then, when the ike jime story took us to Montauk, where you can barely stick a fishing pole in the water without coming up with a bluefish, I thought, Yes, I will eat many of these sandwiches. There aren’t a million things to do with bluefish—it’s an oily, strong-flavored fish—but this is a good one. The sandwich is the creation of Ryan Miller, the chef at Ssäm Bar, with able development assistance from sous chef Matt “Handsome Rudy” Rudofker and former sous chef Tim Maslow.   David Chang

Ingredients

Makes 4 sandwiches
  • 2-3 Bread and Butter Pickles
  • 1/2 C Miso Mayo
  • 1 C Blackening Spice
  • 16 Blackened Potato Chips
  • 2 bluefish fillets, cleaned and cut into sandwich-size pieces
  • 4 sandwich rolls (Ssäm Bar uses ciabatta), sliced in half
  • 2 C shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 4 T softened butter
  • + salt
  • + neutral oil, as needed

Bread and Butter Pickles

  • 1 lb Kirby cucumbers
  • 250 g (1 1/4 C) sugar
  • 100 g kosher salt
  • 35 g yellow mustard seeds
  • 5 g whole allspice
  • 5 g dried chilies
  • 10 g whole black pepper
  • 3 g juniper berries
  • 5 g coriander seed
  • 3 g ground turmeric
  • 5 g fresh bay leaves
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 heads of garlic, split widthwise
  • 3 1/2 C apple-cider vinegar
  • 3 1/2 C white-wine vinegar

Miso Mayo

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 C neutral oil
  • 2 T white miso
  • 1 T champagne vinegar
  • + salt

Blackening Spice

  • 3 T grains of paradise
  • 2 t black peppercorns
  • 1 t coriander seed
  • 4 T mustard seed
  • 1 t cumin seed
  • 1 t whole allspice
  • 1 oz (1/4 C) ground konbu
  • 3 T onion powder
  • 6 T cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 C tomato powder
  • 1/2 C sweet Spanish pimentón (smoked paprika)

Blackened Potato Chips

  • 2 cleaned and peeled baking potatoes
  • + oil for frying
  • + salt
  • + blackening spice

Preparation

Make the Bread and Butter Pickles

Bread and Butter Pickles
  • 1 lb Kirby cucumbers
  • 250 g (1 1/4 C) sugar
  • 100 g kosher salt
  • 35 g yellow mustard seeds
  • 5 g whole allspice
  • 5 g dried chilies
  • 10 g whole black pepper
  • 3 g juniper berries
  • 5 g coriander seed
  • 3 g ground turmeric
  • 5 g fresh bay leaves
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 heads of garlic, split widthwise
  • 3 1/2 C apple-cider vinegar
  • 3 1/2 C white-wine vinegar
  1. Bundle the whole spices, bay leaves, onion, and garlic together in a cheesecloth and tie it off to form a sachet. Drop it into a saucepan with the vinegars, sugar, salt, and turmeric.

  2. Bring the pot to a boil, then drop it down to a simmer. After 10 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool to 170°F so the cucumbers don’t get overcooked and turn into limp pickles. Combine the cucumbers and the brine and use the sachet to weigh the cukes down. Store in the refrigerator for at least a night. If you’re going to keep the pickles longer, discard the spice sachet after a day or two.

Make the Miso Mayo

Miso Mayo
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 C neutral oil
  • 2 T white miso
  • 1 T champagne vinegar
  • + salt

In a food processor, purée the egg yolk while adding the oil in a slow, steady stream. Add the white miso and vinegar, purée in, then season with salt to taste. (This recipe makes more mayo than you need for the sandwiches, but it’s hard to make less, and really, how hard is it going to be to find something else to put it on?)

Make the Blackening Spice

Blackening Spice
  • 3 T grains of paradise
  • 2 t black peppercorns
  • 1 t coriander seed
  • 4 T mustard seed
  • 1 t cumin seed
  • 1 t whole allspice
  • 1 oz (1/4 C) ground konbu
  • 3 T onion powder
  • 6 T cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 C tomato powder
  • 1/2 C sweet Spanish pimentón (smoked paprika)

Toast and grind the whole spices. Mix with the powdered spices. If you don’t have grains of paradise—a peppery spice native to Africa—or tomato powder or anything else on this list, you can get them online from a purveyor like thespicehouse.com. It’s unlikely you’ll find them in the spice aisle at the supermarket. This makes 2 cups, enough to make the recipe twice.

Make the Blackened Potato Chips

Blackened Potato Chips
  • 2 cleaned and peeled baking potatoes
  • + oil for frying
  • + salt
  • + blackening spice
  1. Slice potatoes lengthwise into 1/5-inch thick slices. Wash the slices under cold running water until the water runs clear.

  2. Fry the chips at 350°F, stirring occasionally until they’re lightly browned, 3–4 minutes.

  3. Drain on paper towels and season immediately with a 50/50 mix of blackening spice and salt.

For Assembly

Ingredients
  • 2-3 Bread and Butter Pickles
  • 1/2 C Miso Mayo
  • 1 C Blackening Spice
  • 16 Blackened Potato Chips
  • 2 bluefish fillets, cleaned and cut into sandwich-size pieces
  • 4 sandwich rolls (Ssäm Bar uses ciabatta), sliced in half
  • 2 C shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 4 T softened butter
  • + salt
  • + neutral oil, as needed
  1. Season each bluefish fillet with salt, then dredge them in the blackening spice, thoroughly coating the fillets.

  2. Heat a pan or griddle over medium-high heat and slick it with oil. Carefully lay down the fillets and sear until the fish easily releases from the pan, 2–3 minutes. Then flip and sear the second side for another couple of minutes.

  3. While the fish is cooking, smear the insides of the sandwich bread with butter and broil it, buttered-insides-up, in the oven or toaster oven. Smear miso mayo on both sides of the toasted bread. The top half of the sandwich gets potato chips and lettuce; the bottom half gets the blackened fish and a few 1/5-inch slices of pickles. Put the two together, cut the sandwich in half, and serve.