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Miso marinated black cod

Miso-Marinated Black Cod

This recipe, adapted from Nobu: The Cookbook, uses a simple marinade made from miso, mirin, sake and sugar help to preserve and flavor the fish, while gently bathing it to soften its protein. It’s best marinated at least overnight or, as Chef Nobu Matsuhisa suggests, up to 72 hours.
The original recipe calls for black cod, which I generally use since it’s sustainably fished in the U.S. and it has a wonderful texture when cooked. But any firm, mild white fish will work.
Pair it with rice, some simple braised greens and voila, dinner. White miso can be found in many grocery stores in the refrigerated section; it tends to be located next to the tofu. Mirin is a little trickier and may require a stop at an Asian foods store or ordering it online. Serves four.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4


  • Whisk
  • Baking Sheet with foil
  • Small sauce pan
  • Glass dish (for marinating in fridge)
  • Stainless or cast iron saute pan or skillet


  • ¼ cup mirin
  • ¼ cup sake
  • cup white miso paste
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 Black cod fillets about 6 ounces/110 grams each
  • Vegetable or avocado oil for cooking


  • Combine the mirin and sake in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and whisk in the miso until dissolved. Turn the heat back up and add the sugar. Stir in until the sugar completely melts, whisking quickly to assure the sugar doesn’t burn at the bottom. Transfer to a glass dish. Let cool to room temperature, then add fish and turn to coat. Cover snugly with a lid or wrap and refrigerate at least overnight, but preferably three nights.
  • When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Prepare a heavy rimmed baking sheet by greasing it with a light coat of vegetable or avocado oil. Set aside.
  • Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Wipe the marinade off the fish. If your fish has skin, put into the pan flesh side down. When the oil shimmers and starts to smoke lightly, add the fish. Give it a shake to assure it doesn’t stick. Cook until browned and a white line rises from the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip the fish onto the prepared pan and put into the hot oven to roast for 8 minutes. It’s done when it just begins to flake and it’s cooked through to the center; an instant-read thermometer should read 140°F/60°C.
Keyword Bento, Black Cod, Easy, Fish, Japanese, Miso, Seafood, Weeknight