Miso Marinated Black Cod Recipe


Fish is one of those things that I always vow I’ll cook more of. The other day I had a fabulous miso black cod at my favourite sushi joint and it was so good I was inspired to make it at home. Black cod is buttery, rich and silky.

Miso black cod was made popular by Nobu and most of the recipes on the internet are for his miso marinated black cod. It’s a simple recipe: black cod is marinated in sake, mirin, shiro miso and sugar. If the ingredients for the marinade sound familiar, well, they are, the miso marinade is essentially the same as dengaku, the traditional miso based sauce used for grilling.

The resulting fish is tender and moist with a hint of salty, sweet, slightly caramelized goodness. You can really taste the interplay between the flavour of the fish and the flavour of the marinade.

Miso Marinated Black Cod Recipe adapted from thekitchn.com

2 tablspoons sake
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons white miso paste
1.5 tablespoons sugar

2 black cod fillets, about 1/2 pound (230 g) each

Bring the sake and the mirin to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Turn the heat down to low and stir in the miso until dissolved. Turn the heat up to high again and add the sugar. Remove from heat once the sugar is fully dissolved. Cool to room temperature.

Slather the fish with the miso marinade and place in dish or bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave to steep in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

To cook, preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly wipe off any excess miso clinging to the fillets but don’t rinse it off. Bake the fish for 10 to 15 minutes. To finish, turn the broiler on and watch carefully as the fish caramelizes and turns slightly golden. Remove and enjoy hot.

32 Comments add yours

  1. Oh, that looks amazing.

  2. i LOOOOOOOOOOVE this!!!! It’s soooo yummy! If you ever go to Guu, don’t order it there. I think they fry it and it also doesn’t taste very good.

    Steph, u have yet to tell me ur fave sushi joint!!! E-mail me pls or something lol

    I’ve never ordered it at Guu, strangely. Anyway, don’t worry Jeanie, I’ll tell you where it is. You’ve been there before, Nora has too!

    Nora just told me – is it a 5-letter word? I thought u had a fave sushi joint in Yaletown too?

    Nora’s right, it’s the five letter one!

    steph on August 13th, 2010 at 11:41 am
    Jeanie on August 10th, 2010 at 1:17 pm
    steph on August 9th, 2010 at 12:44 pm
  3. Ooh, that looks gorgeous. I have to get my hands on some fresh cod asap.

  4. What did you serve with that after you made it? or did you just eat it all up by itself? ;) heh

    Just by itself! It was so good!

    steph on August 9th, 2010 at 12:53 pm
  5. Great stuff! Additionally, superb photography too!

  6. While I really like your blog, I hope you did not use chilean sea bass which is commonly known as black cod. It is a highly endangered species precisely because of this recipe.

    I didn’t use Chilean sea bass because the recipe is for black cod, which is not the same fish. Black cod is sablefish and is not overfished. Black cod is MSC certified sustainable.

    steph on August 9th, 2010 at 12:55 pm
  7. chilean sea bass is often called black cod. Also black cod is not sablefish as sablefish is not a member of the cod species. I wouldnt have asked my question if you simply titled your post sablefish. Also true black cod comes from the south pacific/ antarctic waters which would mean a fish with many food miles.

    Black cod is simply a common name for sablefish. You’re right, it’s not part of the cod family, but it’s commonly called black cod because it looks like cod. Sablefish/black cod is mostly found in the North Pacific ocean, which is where I happen to live. Take a look at these links and maybe it will clear up your confusion.
    http://www.fishex.com/seafood/black-cod/black-cod.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anoplopoma_fimbria
    http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/fishwatch/species/sablefish.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patagonian_toothfish
    If you take the time to read through the links you’ll see that black cod/sable fish is anoplopoma fimbria and Chilean sea bass is patagonian toothfish.

    steph on August 9th, 2010 at 4:19 pm
  8. Mmmmm sablefish! I love love love this fish and my father in law is constantly buying it and making me cook this for him. This was the first recipe I ever made him and it was delicious! I see this labeled as black cod all the time, but here when it is labeled black cod it is dried for some reason. The fresh variety is always labeled sablefish.

  9. What a simple yet delicious-looking fish recipe. I can tell by simply looking at the pictures how yummy it is!

  10. If I can’t find Black Cod in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania, do you have a suggestion for a substitution? Or is it not even worth it to use a different fish? Like you, I keep saying I’ll cook more fish and this just looks so delicious not to try.

    I haven’t tried it with any other fish, but I suspect it will work well with halibut.

    steph on August 17th, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Hello, I know I’m late but I am from Pennsylvania and I was able to find black cod at wholefoods.

    trina harrison on October 26th, 2012 at 10:28 am
  11. I bought black cod at the local Japanese market yesterday because I’d heard it’s sustainable, and searched for a recipe to use. Almost everyone raved of Nobu’s miso black cod. But why does it take 3-4 days to marinate? And since I bought the fish before having a recipe to try, I don’t have the mirin and sake. Are there other things I can use as replacements?

  12. I made this for my family last weekend; the cod marinated for four days. They almost died of joy it was so tasty!

  13. Hi Steph, can I just say thank you for all of the recipes and pictures you have posted, they always look amazing!

    I’m going to be making the “Black Cod” this weekend with your marinated Shrimp roles this weekend for my friends and so I will let you know how they go down, but also I’m going to be using a substitute fish for the “Black Cod” so I will let you know which one and how it turned out… watch this space!

  14. I’ve fished for black cod up in the Juneau area for a number of years via a salmon fishing lodge. It’s a very specialized way of fishing but the results are worth it! Of course, sitting in the middle of the Strait gazing at Admiralty and Baranoff islands with glaciers in the distance is the icing on the cake…
    Black cod is available here but I would never buy it as it looks horrible in the market. I realize how lucky I am to be able to fish for it myself and share with friends and family the truly fresh fish I bring home.
    Misoyaki black cod is truly the food of the Gods, it’s that delicious!

  15. Some of the recipe i found on the web says, grill it..then bake it after…but ur recipe is to bake it..then grill/ broil after… does ur recipe give the fish a more crispy texture? thanks a lot!

  16. Could i do this without sake w/out losing out on the flavor?

  17. Being from Hawaii, where Black Cod/sable fish we call it “Butterfish” is Queen, da king is Ahi but that’s another beast altogether but Misoyaki butterfish has been down out here since I can remember, even though Chef Nobu gets street cred. But folks in Hawaii having been preparing this in one form or another for years, it is a staple and can be bought in the market already to go marinated an all, even Costco! But 2-3 days to marinate is because the marinade is so dense to truly permeate the fish with that ono goodness. Don’t freak cause the fish will tighten as liquid is drawn out but just makes it better. Whatever one does don’t be tempted to wash the fish, it’s not Bacalod!! FYI Misoyaki can be done on Salmon with great effect also if you substitute the whito miso for red you can use this on Beef and Pork as well. Or if use the same white miso mix very good on Chicken breast and if you like skin man it is so good! Aloha! PS just don’t eat too much then our beloved secret will cost too much like Ahi/maguro!!!

  18. is it safe to leave the cod in the fridge for 3 days? US agriculture guidelines say 1-2 days in the fridge maximum, so I’m a little worried. Delicious recipe, will definitely try it this weekend, thanks!

  19. I love this marinade! I’ve bought sable fish at Whole Foods, but was the Trader Joe’s near me sells it (frozen) too. :-)

  20. what is sake??

  21. If I don’t have sake, I just omit it. But the mirin is a must. I’ve also substituted the black cod with salmon, regular cod, pork,& chicken. I’m going to try it with red mullet fillets today :)

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