You know what? I don't think I've ever actually cooked catfish before this meal. I'm sure I must have eaten it at some point in my life, but it has escaped me as a potential meal. That was until I got hooked listening to this NPR Science Friday program about sustainable fish.
Sylvia Earle was on air talking about her new book The World is Blue, and just casually mentioned that catfish was one of the good kinds of fish to eat. That's how I ended up at Whole Foods looking for fillets of a fish I'd never thought much about before.
I decided to also go with this Whole Foods recipe, plucked from their website. It doesn't get much simpler than this: a glaze is whisked together from white miso, sugar, and olive oil, then brushed on the fish. The fillets are sautéed for five minutes and come out of the pan with a rich color and aroma that belays the amount of time you actually spent on it. But the bok choy is not just a throwaway side—it's a perfect match with miso, and comes out tender and bright green.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 tablespoon white miso
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 catfish fillets (about 5 ounces a piece)
- 4 baby bok choy, halved
Combine miso, sugar, 1/2 tablespoon of the oil, and 1/2 tablespoon of warm water in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Brush about half of the glaze onto both sides of the catfish fillets.
Pour the remaining oil into a large skillet. Turn the heat to medium. Add the catfish fillets and cook for about five minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove the fillets, cover with aluminum foil while you cook the bok choy.
Keep the same skillet over medium heat. Quickly, brush the remaining glaze on the bok choy, and place on the skillet cut side down. Pour in 2 tablespoons of water, and scrape up any browned bits. Cover the skillet and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring every one minute. The bok choy should be tender and wilted, but still bright green. Serve with the catfish.