People usually think of meats when barbecuing, but for the BubbleQ I decided to go with sea bass instead. Its firm yet moist white flesh holds up well on the grill, and it has a delicate yet flavorful taste. I kept it simple and fun, using miso as a glaze for sweetness. Normally I like to serve it on steamed jasmine rice with Asian stir-fried vegetables. At the BubbleQ, however, I chose pickled cucumber salad, adding a refreshing component to counter SoBe’s sizzling weather.

SERVES 6

⅓ cup sake

⅓ cup mirin

⅓ cup light yellow miso paste

2½ tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

6 6-ounce sea bass fillets, each thinly sliced into 3 2-ounce slices

Soy Reduction (recipe follows)

Pickled Cucumber Salad (recipe follows)

In a shallow glass baking dish, combine the sake, mirin, miso, sugar, and soy sauce. Add the fish and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 48 hours.

Heat a grill or a frying pan to medium-high.

Remove the fish from the marinade. Grill for about 6 minutes, 3 minutes per side, until just opaque in the center.

Place the sea bass on serving plates, drizzle with Soy Reduction, and serve with Pickled Cucumber Salad.

1 pound dark brown sugar

1 cup soy sauce

¼ cup chicken stock

2 cloves garlic, cut in half

2 whole star anise

1 cinnamon stick (about 3 inches long)

In a saucepan, bring the sugar, soy sauce, stock, garlic, star anise, and cinnamon to a boil. Simmer until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.

Strain; discard the spices. Set aside.

2 cups thinly sliced Japanese cucumbers

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup rice vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers and salt, and mix well. Add the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil, and mix well. Let marinate for 20 minutes before serving.

Adjust the seasonings before serving.