Japanese spices give an exotic edge to simple seafood dishes. Just add sake to finish.
1kg fresh squid
1/2 cup red miso
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp mirin
*2 tsp sansho pepper (see tips at bottom)
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp coriander seeds, roasted and lightly crushed
1 lemon, quartered
To prepare the squid, pull out the tentacles, and remove the attached guts. Remove the wings and place these pieces aside. Cut the squid tubes open lengthways and remove the bone. Clean each tube and cut into 4 large pieces.
To make the marinade, mix together the miso, sake, mirin and sansho in a bowl.
Pour half the marinade into a bowl large enough to accommodate all the squid pieces. Reserve remaining marinade. Add the squid pieces to the bowl, toss well and leave at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Preheat a grill to medium hot. Brush and oil the grate well.
Grill the squid pieces for a minute on one side, turn, and brush with the reserved marinade. Turn and brush every minute for 4 to 6 minutes, depending on the thickness of the squid.
Remove the squid and place on 4 plates. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and seeds and serve with a lemon quarter.
• Sansho pepper is a relation to Sichuan pepper. It's slightly numbing, with an earthy lemon tang and can be found at good Asian grocers.
• The marinade also works well with any seafood and poultry. It makes for a tasty barbecue.
SOMETHING TO DRINK
Kizakura Yamahai sake, from Kyoto, Japan ($20), is delicate in flavour and texture with a subtle sweetness. The light body of this rice wine will match the weight and texture of the squid, and the flavour highlights the unique umami taste of the marinade. Best served chilled.
Photography by William Meppem. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Dominic Smith.