It's time to skip the same old salmon and take dinner for two to the next level. In this recipe from Günter Seeger, branzino fillets are poached in white wine and Pernod before getting coated in a rich yuzu sauce and topped with grated cucumber. It’s a fancy fish dinner that takes only 20 minutes to make.
For the uninitiated, yuzu is an Asian citrus that tastes like a grapefruit crossed with a mandarin. You can often find bottles of both yuzu juice and white soy sauce in Asian markets or specialty food stores. Both add acidity and salt to this rich sauce.
To learn more, read “Big Fish."
Poached Branzino with Beurre Blanc
Recipe adapted from Günter Seeger, Günter Seeger NY, New York, NY
Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
¼ large (4 ounces) English cucumber—peeled, seeded and finely grated on a Microplane
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 pound (2 each) branzino fillets
3 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons Pernod
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for greasing
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white soy sauce, plus more to taste
¾ tablespoon yuzu juice
Red mustard green leaves, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Place the grated cucumber in cheesecloth and squeeze out all the liquid. Transfer the cucumber to a small bowl and stir in the vinegar and grapeseed oil. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
2. In a greased ovenproof 10-inch skillet, place the branzino fillets side by side and cover with the white wine and Pernod. Season with salt and place in the oven. Bake until the fish is opaque and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the fillets to warm plates.
3. Place the skillet with the poaching liquid on the stovetop over medium-high heat and simmer until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the butter and olive oil to emulsify. Stir in the soy sauce and yuzu, adding more soy sauce to taste.
4. Divide the cucumber between the plates of fish, then garnish each with a red mustard green leaf. Spoon the sauce over top, then serve.