Miso excited about this Nobu dish.
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.
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.
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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.
Did you make this miso black cod recipe? What did you think?
Miso-Marinated Black Cod
- 1/4 cup sake (a buttery white wine, such as chardonnay, can be substituted)
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup white miso paste
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 20 to 24 ounces very fresh black cod
- 2 scallions, sliced very thin on a diagonal, to serve (optional)
- 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.
- Pat the fish dry and place it on a small 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 10 minutes at 400°F, then broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until the top of the fish achieves its black-brown crust. Garnish with scallions and serve hot, perhaps with white rice and some sautéed bok choy, spinach, or other soft Asian greens.