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Miso paste and fish are perfect partners, with the sweet saltiness of the miso complementing the fatty, briny richness of a nice thick fish fillet. Black cod, with its silky firm texture, roasts up beautifully. The miso mixture caramelizes into a mahogany glaze that is slightly sweet and savory and a divine contrast to the delicate flavor of the white fish. Serve with Japanese Cucumber Salad or Asian Greens and some rice, white or brown.

The marinade takes about 10 minutes to make, and the fish takes 10 minutes to broil. All you have to do is allow between 2 and 24 hours to marinate the fish, so it’s perfect for a weeknight dinner (but also terrific for company).

Plate on table with miso black cod, broccoli, and fried rice.

Miso Black Cod: A deeply flavored, slightly sweet, and savory glaze complements the flaky silky cod perfectly. A restaurant-quality dish in the comfort of your own home!

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The Original Miso Black Cod

Miso-glazed Black Cod is one of the most famous fish dishes of recent years. It became popular at a restaurant called Nobu, the eponymous restaurant of Japanese Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. As word of this magical fish dish spread, it turned into a “thing,” and now you can find Miso Cod on all sorts of menus. Miso and fish had certainly been paired together before (more commonly salmon and miso) BUT Chef Nobu’s marinated fish garnered a following that put the dish on the culinary map for good.

The original recipe calls for marinating the fish for up to 3 days, but a) I don’t have the time for that, and b) I imagine Nobu pulls his fish super fresh from the bottom of the cold ocean, whereas I buy mine in a fish store, so marinating fish for 3 days makes me a little nervous. Plus, see a): I don’t have time.

Ingredients

Cod, miso, scallions, ginger, and other ingredients on marble table.
  • White miso – The mildest of the miso pastes, but still filled with richness and umami.
  • Mirin – A mild, slightly sweet, rice-based cooking wine that lasts for months. It’s a great way to enhance the flavor of other ingredients in an Asian recipe.
  • Sake – Also a Japanese rice wine, but a bit stronger. The alcohol will burn off during the cooking process.
  • Sugar – You can use granulated sugar or brown sugar…your choice.
  • Minced fresh ginger – Please use fresh ginger for this, not powdered or dried.
  • Toasted sesame oil – Adds a nutty, toasty flavor.
  • Skinless black cod fillets – See below for more info on black cod. You can definitely substitute in other firm fish in this recipe, but if you can get some black cod, you will be in for a very special treat.
  • Scallions – Garnishing the fish at the end with a handful of sliced or minced scallions adds a final bit of color, a little sharp heat, and some nice texture.

FAQs

What is the difference between cod and Black Cod?

I always assumed Black Cod was a type of cod, but it’s actually in a wholly different fish family! Black Cod is a bright white fatty fish with a very silky texture. It’s really buttery and silky and practically falls apart when you cut it. Black cod might also be called Sablefish or Butterfish, and it ranks very well in terms of sustainability.

Cod is a white, meaty, flaky fish with a firm texture. You can actually use it in this recipe, but it’s definitely a different fish experience.

What is miso paste?

Miso is fermented soybean paste (a fact you may not want to mention at the dinner table until your kids have tasted and enjoyed it). You can find it in lots of supermarkets and, of course, at Asian and specialty markets as well. And, yes, online!

There are hundreds of kinds of miso, but you needn’t make yourself crazy trying to figure out all of the nuances of each type unless you decide to be a miso master. Just buy either white (the mildest) or yellow (a little more pungent) miso, which are the softest in flavor. Use either one for everything you want the flavor of miso in, including this savory fish.

Maybe you’ve never cooked with miso, usually encountered in soup form at Japanese restaurants. I started incorporating miso into my cooking when I was in my 30s, and now it’s a happy staple in our fridge with a fantastically long shelf life. It’s hard to get a definitive answer on how long it will keep, but a year in the fridge in an air-tight container seems to be a conservative estimate. And that means this miso-glazed black cod recipe can come together any time.

Variations

You can use other fish with this miso marinade. Some other good fish to experiment with are ahi ahi tuna, salmon, trout, regular cod, and arctic char. The ideal fish for this miso marinade are rich, firm, and fatty. Choose a fish that fits the bill and is also highly ranked in sustainability — the Seafood Watch site run by the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a good place to check your choice.

How to Make Miso Cod

  1. Marinate the cod: In a large dish, large whisk together the miso, mirin, sake, sugar, ginger, and sesame oil. Turn the filets to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours; preferably 12 to 24.
Cod filets marinating in red and black bowl.
  1. Broil the cod: Preheat the broiler. Place the filets on the baking sheet in an oiled baking pan. Broil for 7 to 10 minutes, until golden brown.
Broiled miso cod filet in red skillet.
  1. Serve: Sprinkle the cod with the scallions, if using, and serve hot.
Miso black cod on grey plate.

What to Serve With Miso Cod

Kimchi Fried Rice

Sautéed Broccoli

Soy Glazed Sugar Snap Peas

Two grey plates with miso cod at table setting.

More Asian Fish Recipes

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Miso Black Cod

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Marinating Time: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4 People
A deeply flavored, slightly sweet, and savory glaze complements the flaky silky cod perfectly. A restaurant-quality dish in the comfort of your own home!

Ingredients 

  • ¼ cup white miso
  • ¼ cup mirin (rice cooking wine)
  • ¼ cup sake
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 4 (5 to 6-ounce) skinless black cod fillets (or other firm fish filets)
  • Vegetable oil for brushing the pan (or nonstick cooking spray)
  • Sliced scallions to serve (optional)

Instructions 

  • In a dish large enough to hold the filets in a single layer, whisk together the miso, mirin, sake, sugar, ginger, and sesame oil. Add the cod and turn the filets so they are well coated with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours; if you can plan to marinate the fish overnight, all the better.
  • Preheat the broiler. Oil a baking dish with sides, or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Remove the cod from the marinade. Place the filets on the baking sheet, with at least ½-inch in between each piece. Broil for 7 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Sprinkle the cod with the scallions, if using, and serve hot.

Notes

You can use other fish with this miso marinade. Some other good fish to experiment with are ahi ahi, salmon, trout, regular cod, and arctic char. The ideal fish for this miso marinade are rich, firm, and fatty. 

Nutrition

Calories: 3394kcal, Carbohydrates: 71g, Protein: 651g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 1548mg, Sodium: 4966mg, Potassium: 15111mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 43g, Vitamin A: 1739IU, Vitamin C: 41mg, Calcium: 636mg, Iron: 16mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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