Miso-Marinated Black Cod

We’ve adapted this recipe from the original by reducing the amount of sugar and the marinating time (Nobu calls for marinating the fish for two to three days). We like to serve this with steamed bok choy tossed with a bit of sesame oil, but any steamed hearty green—beet greens, chard, kale, turnip greens—will do.

Photo: Bruce Cole

  • Author: Bruce Cole
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 15 minute
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Category: roasting
  • Cuisine: asian


¼ cup mirin

¼ cup sake

3 tablespoons white or yellow miso paste

2 tablespoons sugar

4 black cod fillets, skin on, about ‌ 6 ounces each

2 tablespoons vegetable oil


1. Marinate: Combine the mirin and sake in a small saucepan. Bring just to a boil and take off the heat. Add the miso and the sugar to the pan. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Let cool to room temperature. Layer the fillets in a bowl and slather with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 to 4 hours or overnight.

2. Saute: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons oil. Wipe the marinade from the fillets and place them in the pan skin side up. Cook for 4 minutes. The flesh will start to brown and blacken in spots because of the sugar in the marinade, but this is ok, you’re after those caramelized flavors. Flip the fillets skin side down and slide the pan into the oven.

3. Roast: Cook in the oven for about 6-8 minutes, until the flesh begins to flake apart when you press down on it with your finger.

4. Serve: Transfer the filets to a platter or individual plates and serve while still warm. We like to serve with a side of rice and steamed bok choy


Is Black Cod good for you?

Black cod is an excellent source of protein and heart-healthy Omega 3’s (more than Salmon). Black cod meat is also rich in Iron, Calcium, Copper and other Minerals.

Is Black Cod different from regular cod?

Black Cod, while not a true cod, has meat that is velvety white, rich and buttery with a very high moisture level that makes it hard to overcook. Cod meat is also white, but firmer and leaner.

What is another name for black cod?

Black cod is also known as sablefish or butterfish, due to its rich buttery flavor.

Is Black Cod sustainable?

Black Cod is available year round and gets a green or yellow rating from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program.

Sake pairing: Den Sake Brewery’s Batch #9 was just released in January. From Yoshiro Sako’s tasting notes: “Aromas of musk melon, kiwi, fresh pine nuts and enoki mushroom. Popping acidity offers solid structure on palate, with gentle briny umami tail on the finish.” It’s a wine drinker’s sake for sure and that acidity cuts through the richness of this type of dish.


Keywords: miso, black cod, sake, nobu