The “F” Word


I hate to use the “F” word. But I fear the husband and I may be becoming Fat.

Perhaps it was the many fromages of Paris or the endless plates of fried noodles in Singapore.

He says I am crazy, of course. And I, too, tell him, Oh no, no, no — not you. (The things people say to each other.)

Nonetheless, we’ve decided, it’s time to take the devouring down a few beats. And so we’ve been turning to another dreaded “F” word: Fish.

We do not like fish in this household. Mainly, because it is not a big, red steak.

But I’ve started to acknowledge that it’s a little unfair to hold that against an entire food group — especially one that’s supposed to be so good for you.

Also, I recently discovered the fish man in our local farmers’ market. A visit to him last weekend yielded one pound of lovely looking tuna, so fresh we were tempted to just slice it up and eat it with a little soy sauce, wasabi and rice.


But we had bigger things in mind for it — namely, miso kebabs, made with a Gourmet recipe that had been touted as a take on Nobu’s signature miso-glazed black cod.

The recipe turned out to be insanely easy — mix together white miso, rice wine, sugar and mayonnaise in a saucepan and boil. Then, marinate cubes of tuna in the mixture for at least an hour before skewering them and grilling.

The result was salty and light — and the coating of miso gave the tuna a nice char.


When fish is on the table, I often find myself thinking, “This is nice — but it’s not steak.” And I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t the case here.

But as we put down our forks, the feeling that overcame us was pleasant. We felt satisfied and just full enough.

It had not been a meal so substantial it would put hair on your chest, so heavy it’d likely contribute to expansion of girth.

Good things, certainly.

Miso-Glazed Tuna Kebabs

Gourmet, June 2008


  • 1 cup white miso (also called shiro miso)
  • 1/2 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 pounds tuna steak, cut into 1-inch cubes


  • 8 (12-inch) wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes

Heat miso, mirin, sugar, and water in a small saucepan over medium
heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk
in mayonnaise, then cool to room temperature.

Put tuna in a sealable bag
(or nonreactive shallow dish). Pour marinade over tuna and marinate,
chilled, at least 1 hour.

Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over hot charcoal (high heat for gas).

Thread tuna onto skewers, leaving a small space between each piece. Put on a tray.

Generously oil grill rack, then grill skewers, turning once, until just
pink in center, about 4 minutes total. Let stand 5 minutes.

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8 thoughts on “The “F” Word

  1. This does sound and look wonderful. We will do soon.
    With your mention of steak – did you ever try the Fillet Mignon of Tuna with Scallion Mashed Potatoes and Red Wine Reduction at The Atlantic in Baltimore. It’s the only thing I ever ordered and finally got to discuss the recipe and method with Spike, the chef. The sides of the tuna was covered with crisp bits of applewood smoked bacon. Spike told me he used lightly beaten egg whites as a glue to hold them in place.

  2. That plate looks so naked with just the tuna kabob and the green salad. I think it wants a steak on the side ;)
    The recipe sounds great, though. Perfect for grilling! Maybe will try for the Fourth.

  3. Cute piece, Barbara! Charles…I love Atlantic, although I can’t believe I never sampled that in all the times that I went there. (I seem to remember always ordering sushi.) This sounds like it was divine. I must try to recreate it somehow in my kitchen…

  4. Cheryl, this was a great post! We have sushi grade ahi for sale here even on the side of the road where the fishermen pull over with their catch. To say it is abundant here is an understatement. I am always looking for new ideas with the tuna. I have used a miso glaze on other fish, black cod comes to mind.
    Have you ever had Poke? If not, I can send you a recipe. It is an amazing sashimi style Hawaiian food concept.

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