Thursday, September 30, 2010

Miso Black Cod

It's almost impossible to mention miso black cod in L.A. and not have the name Nobu Matsuhisa come up. The two are practically synonymous. It's also almost impossible to find someone who doesn't enjoy Nobu's miso black cod. I think it's just hard to find someone who doesn't enjoy miso black cod.

To be completely honest, I'm not a huge fan of Nobu's cod. I find the fish slightly too sweet and marinated for slightly too long. I prefer a fresher, juicier piece of fish. Fish that has been marinated for an extended amount of time tends to becomes a little firmer and a little drier.

Basically, I've had better. My mom used to make it when we were little, and I remember fighting my brother for the last piece. Luckily, miso black cod is ridiculously easy to prepare so anyone can replicate this dish. This was the first fish dish I've cooked in my new apartment thus far. It was insanely delicious, but I credit my ingredients rather than my skill ;)

Nobu's recipe calls for white miso. I'm not quite sure what kind of miso I used, but the flavor worked out how I wanted it to. Sadly, I cannot read Japanese or Chinese characters to save my life. Maybe those of you with those skills can read the label in the picture for me.

The Nijiya market on Sawtelle is pretty much my favorite place right now. I happened to visit on their "20% of meat" day. Although fish, unfortunately, is not categorized as "meat," I still walked out with these beautiful fillets of black cod. They were just too gorgeous to resist. Fresh, not previously frozen, the fillets literally glistened with deliciousness when I unwrapped them. I have not seen more beautiful cod. It was almost a shame to marinate them. I wanted them then and there.

Miso Marinated Black Cod
serves 2

1/2 cup of miso paste
3 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon light-colored honey (I used acacia)

2 fillets black cod (about 1 inch thick)
vegetable oil

1. Whisk together the miso paste, mirin, and honey to create the marinade. The ratio of all these ingredients depends on a couple of things: 1) it depends on the type of miso paste you are using--some are saltier than others and 2) it also depends on how sweet you want the fish to turn out.

2. Wipe down the fillets of black cod with a paper towel. Then lather the marinade onto the fish and transfer to a plastic ziplock bag. Marinate for about 24 hours. The amount of time you want to marinate the fish is also dependent on the cut of the fillet. It if it is thicker, then you can marinate for longer. I think at least 24 hours is a safe time range.

3. Before cooking, gently wipe off any excess marinade with your fingers. Do not wash the fillets with water. Oil a non-stick skillet or grill pan and cook the fillet until golden brown on both side on medium high (roughly 4 minutes per side) Right before the fish finished cooking, I added a tiny splash of mirin to kind of "deglaze" the pan. Most miso black cod recipes I've stumbled across online call for also baking the fish in the oven. I didn't really need to and my fish was already cooked through.

4. Plate and serve with a steaming hot bowl of glistening rice. Enjoy!



  1. wow that looks good I'm going to try it this week! I don't really like Nobu's black cod either.

    btw I met your friend carrie and kevin yesterday at the tau bonfire and apparently we all live on the same floor. We should all cook together sometime.

  2. we should definitely finally meet in person haha I can't believe we all live so close!

  3. This looks pretty good! I'll have to try making some variation of this..

  4. I work right near Nijiya market -- will have to get over there and try this recipe out soon! Especially if you think it's better than Nobu's version. :)

  5. I don't know if I should be admitting this but I totally stink at preparing fish unless its a marinade like this. Thanks! I could always use another recipe!

  6. cook for me. i pay you in chocolate :)