Miso glazed cod

Recently, I became absolutely obsessed with miso. I can’t remember how it started exactly. I believe I read an article about how good it is for you, then started ordering miso soup at Pret to accompany my lunch at work, then buying miso soup sachets to make my own soup anytime I wanted to… and last week I finally bought a jar of blond miso to add to my cooking. I’m hooked, and should probably now look for an article about the risk of too much miso.

In the meantime, I have had time to try miso glazed cod and oh. my. lord. how good is this?! For those who live in London, Nobu is obviously *the* place to go to have miso glazed black cod (Black Cod Den Miso). It is one of the most expensive dishes on the menu (£42, no less) but I always say that there is almost no point going to Nobu at all if you are not ordering the black cod. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Nobu and there are many many good things on their menu that one should treat oneself to. But the black cod is and remains on top of the list. It is seriously one of the best things I have ever eaten in my life.

Well, good news, I can now make it at home!! For my first try, I cooked with regular white cod fillets (responsibly sourced, please, of course), just in case it didn’t turn out well – I didn’t want to risk waste expensive and rare black cod! It turned out delicious, definitely one of the finest mid-week dinners we had had in a while. Will make it again, and sooner rather than later.

Miso glazed cod and egg fried rice


INGREDIENTS – for 4 servings

  • 4 cod fillets (black or regular)
  • 80 ml of low-sodium blond miso
  • 50 grams of dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of  sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp of mirin (Japanese cooking wine) I couldn’t find any so used white wine + a splash of rice vinegar.
  • Sesame seeds and spring onions (optional – to taste)



  • Preheat your oven grill (or broiler)
  • In a bowl, combine the miso, brown sugar, sesame oil and wine. Stir until all of the sugar has fully dissolved and the mix is smooth and of a deep dark colour.
  • Brush about 2 tablespoons of this miso glaze on each fish fillet.
  • Marinate for 30min-1hr.
  • Place the fish fillets under the grill for a few minutes until the glaze has caramelised
  • Out of the oven, brush the fillets with the remaining miso glaze.
  • Return to grill and cook for an additional 10 minutes, so that the fish is flaky but not overcooked.


We served this with greens egg fried rice (in a wok: onions, garlic, 5-spice and chili in stir-fry oil. Once softened, add your vegetables to cook rapidly but remain crunchy. Then add cold white rice that you have cooked the day before with soy sauce. At the end, break an egg and mix well so it coats the rice. Adjust seasoning to taste).

This was a very very good surprise. It is very quick (the fish cooks in about 15 minutes max.), very tasty and, I’d say, rather healthy. It is already on this week’s menu!


Provence style chicken (poulet à la provençale)

The region of Provence is a historical area of the South-east of France that extends from the city of Avignon to the Italian border. It is also where my father’s family is from. Dad was born in Salon-de-Provence from a Corsican father and a French-Italian mother and he grew up between Marseille and Aix-en-Provence. As a kid, I spent most of my summers there and will never forget the smells of Provence. The sun, the holidays, the sea, the swimming pool and the fun we had, yes, but mostly the smells.

You see, Provence has a very typical and recognisable landscape: the “garrigue” – pronounced [gah-REEG]. It is a landscape of low and rather dry bushes that grow in the limestone soils around the Mediterranean basin. In this landscape, and thanks to a moderate climate, grow the most amazing and fragrant herbs, trees and flowers: lavender, sage, rosemary, wild thyme, etc. Walking through the garrigue is literally like taking a stroll through a bouquet garni! When we were little and on holiday with our grand-mother, to wash our hands she would make us rub fresh sprigs of lavender and rosemary in our palms under a tap of running cold water. And still nowadays, when she drives around the countryside, she always has a basket and a pair of scissors in the car boot in case she spots fennel plants that will be perfect to accompany a fish dish!

Chicken “à la provençale” is a dish that brings together all that Provence has to offer: sun ripened tomatoes and peppers, fragrant rosemary, wild thyme, spicy “piment d’espelette”… Every time I cook it, I feel like I’m on a holiday in the sun. It is also incredibly quick and easy and therefore perfect for a mid-week quick fix!

Chicken provencale4

For 4 people.


  • 2 big chicken breasts
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 25 cl of creme fraiche
  • 1 (chicken) stock cube
  • butter
  • 2 shallots
  • fresh rosemary and whild thyme
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 pinch of espelette chili
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Season your chicken breasts on both sides with salt, pepper and paprika and cut into 1cm 1/2 cubes.
  • Melt butter in a heavy-bottom pan or skillet and cook your chicken until golden.
  • Then add in the tomatoes and peppers cut into big chunks, the thinly sliced shallots, the espelette and a stock cube, crumbled.
  • Cover with 1 litre of water, and drop 1 branch of rosemary and 1 branch of thyme (whole) on top of the preparation. Turn the hob to a low flame and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, take the chicken out of the sauce and keep warm.
  • Discard the rosemary and thyme branches; then add the creme fraiche to the sauce.
  • Bring to a boil until the sauce has reached a silky consistency.
  • Put the chicken back in and simmer for an extra 2-3 minutes.

Serve with white rice or – highly recommended! – fresh tagliatelles. And please no parmesan, we’re in French Provence, not in Italy 😉

Chicken provencale2

Carrot cupcakes with lemon soft cheese icing

Come here…

Come closer, shhhhhhh, no one can hear us, I’m going to tell you a secret… I’m going to tell you how I make the softest moistest most delicious carrot cupcakes. It’s a secret, you must keep it to yourself. I’m going to tell you everything but you must promise not to repeat it to anyone, it will be our secret. Shhhhhhhhh…..




For 12 cupcakes

  • 175 grams of brown muscovado sugar
  • 100 grams of wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 100 grams of self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp of mixed spice
  • the zest of 1 orange
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 150 ml of sunflower oil
  • 200 grams of carrots, grated
  • sprinkles, etc. to decorate to taste
  • 50-100 grams of ground almonds (not powdered; and chunky rather than fine)
  • 50-80 grams of chopped pecans

For the icing

  • 50 grams of butter, at room temperature, cut into small cubes
  • 150 grams of full-fat soft cheese
  • 50 grams of icing sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • the zest of 1/2 lemon




  • Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 5 (190C). Line a cupcake baking tin with paper cases.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the flours, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice, and orange zest.
  • Add the eggs and sunflower oil and mix well until all combined.
  • Grate your carrots and squeeze out most of the juices (90%), then add to the bowl. Mix well and leave to rest for 5 minutes, allow the carrots to release all their moisture.
  • Finally, add the chopped nuts, adjusting the quantity depending on the texture and wetness of your mix. You want it to be rather wet but thick enough so that it sticks on the back of a spoon.
  • Pour the mix into the baking tin, up to 2 third up the paper case (Note: don’t over-fill the cases, or the cupcakes will not rise)
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out dry. 
  • When baked, take the cupcakes out of the baking tin (or they will keep cooking) and leave on a cooling rack.
  • In the meantime, place the butter cubes in a clean mixing bowl and, using a sharp knife, shred it into pieces as small as possible.
  • Add the soft cheese to the butter and whisk until smooth. You can pour a little bit of the soft cheese water if it helps with the whisking.
  • Add the icing sugar, lemon zest and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth and creamy.
  • Once they’re completely cooled down, ice your cupcakes. I like the icing to be thick and generous, as it balances well against the spices of the cake.
  • If there is any icing left, stick your finger in that bowl and eat it before someone else does.

There you have it. Guaranteed to please everyone; and not too long nor messy as cupcakes can sometimes be. Hope you enjoy it and, remember, this is just between you and me…