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Miso-Marinated Black Cod

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Miso excited about this Nobu dish.

cooked miso-marinated black cod on bed of white rice with greens, ready to be served for fish dinner

Have you ever eaten a dish so good that it makes you actually stop mid-bite? The kind of dish that makes you close your eyes and exhale? Nobu restaurant’s miso black cod recipe — with its sweet broiled crust, complex with umami and salt giving way to buttery soft cod — was one of those dishes for me. This black cod recipe launched me on a grand endeavor to recreate the dish at home. And I did, in a family-style portion that takes minutes to cook.

miso black cod marinating on pan

Origin Story: Nobu Restaurant

Nobu restaurant first opened in 1994 in the TriBeCa neighborhood of New York City. Actor Robert DeNiro — also a successful restaurateur and businessman — lured chef Nobu Matsuhisa to the east coast from Los Angeles, where he had been working as an acclaimed sushi chef. Nobu quickly garnered excellent reviews and became one of the “it” restaurants of the profligate New York City ’90s scene.

From there, the pricey, scene-y restaurant expanded, and expanded, and expanded. Nobu restaurants can now be found on five continents, in dozens of cities worldwide, from Riyadh to Moscow to Milan.

One recipe common to all of them? The sweet miso-marinated black cod.

Nobu restaurant has definitely lost some of its trendy “it” status, but still turns out quality sushi and elegant Japanese dishes. And now you can make one of their best recipes family style, right at home.

You’ll also like: Miso Ramen Bowls With Chicken and Homemade Miso Soup

black cod on sheet pan broiled

Recipe notes: Nobu Restaurant’s Miso-Marinated Black Cod

  • It is imperative that you get the absolute freshest black cod available. Make the fishmonger go into the back and get you a fresh piece if necessary. Fresh fish is always imperative, of course, but especially with this recipes because the fish needs to marinate for 48 hours to achieve maximum flavor. That said, 24 hours will still give you an excellent result.
  • To chill, press the plastic wrap directly onto the marinading fish. This keeps the flavor freshest and most adhered to the fish.
  • Use white miso. It has the mildest flavor and is best here with the delicate balance of flavors. Miso lasts forever, and can also be used for homemade miso soup and other recipes.
  • The cooking method here is to bake, then broil. This dish must be broiled (and not baked) to get the nice black-brown crust on top, while baking ensures that it cooks through.
  • Black cod is a sustainable fish, and delicious with its clean, buttery flavor and texture. But if you cannot find black cod, you can substitute regular cod, or even salmon.

cooked miso-marinated black cod on bed of white rice with greens, ready to be served for fish dinner

Did you make this miso black cod recipe? What did you think?

cooked miso-marinated black cod on bed of white rice with greens, ready to be served for fish dinner

Miso-Marinated Black Cod

Nobu restaurant's famous recipe, adapted into a fresh, family-style fish dinner. Sweet, umami, and easy to make.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Marinating Time2 days
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Japanese
Keywords:: black cod, cod, dinner, easy, fish, healthy, miso, nobu
Servings: 4 people
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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sake (a buttery white wine, such as chardonnay, can be substituted)
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup white miso paste
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 20 to 24 ounces very fresh black cod
  • 2 scallions, sliced very thin on a diagonal, to serve (optional)

Instructions

  • In a small sauce pot, bring the sake (or white wine) and mirin to a boil. Lower the heat, and add the white miso paste, sugar, and rice vinegar. Whisk to combine fully and until the sugar fully dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • Pat the fish dry and place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Spoon the marinade over the fish and slather it all over.
  • Wrap the fish tightly in plastic wrap, pressing the wrap onto the surface of the marinading fish, and chill in the refrigerator, ideally for two days, and at least 24 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F, and set the oven rack about 4 inches from the top of the oven. Remove the plastic wrap from the fish and dab off any excess marinade.
  • Bake for 8 minutes at 400°F. Change the oven setting to broil, then broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until the top of the fish gets a nice black-brown crust.
    Make sure the fish is cooked through: It should flake easily, with bright white flesh, neither raw nor dry.
  • Garnish with scallions and serve hot, perhaps with white rice and sautéed bok choy, spinach, or other soft Asian greens.

5 comments

  • lowandslow

    Is the skin on or off? Or does it matter?

    • Unpeeled

      Usually the fish is sold with the skin on. This is how I cook it. It’s edible and very good; just pat dry and check for any errant scales.

  • Mrs. Delaney

    5 stars
    BEAUTIFUL and DELICIOUS. A great combination of flavors. be sure to get it close enough under the broiler to brown properly.

  • 5 stars
    I marinated mine just overnight but thought it has plenty of flavor and tasted wonderful. Tip: Don’t be like me and line the baking sheet with parchment because it burned under the broiler. haha!! Great recipe.

  • Rebecca B.

    5 stars
    This is outstanding because it tastes wonderful, and looks beautiful. I always think it’s a little extra special when a recipe looks like it could have come from a restaurant, and this really did. Such a nice changeup from my usual dinner routine.

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