This miso cod is made by marinating fish in a mixture of mirin, miso, and sugar before pan-searing, a method originally made popular at Nobu.

A piece of miso cod in a skillet with an orange napkin next to it.

Restaurateur Nobu Matsuhisa first popularized this intriguing miso cod, which relies on a miso marinade for fish to lend an intensely rich, caramelized taste, and toothsome texture to an ordinary catch. Go ahead. Channel your inner Nobu.–Renee Schettler


Not actually part of the cod family, and sometimes known as sablefish, black cod has white and fatty meat with a velvety and buttery texture. Cod is quite a bit firmer and leaner—black cod is moist, mild, and delicately textured. The closest equivalent is Chilean sea bass. It’s just about as fatty and works well for dry-heat cooking methods, like broiling, and grilling. Chilean sea bass has a sturdier, less flaky texture than black cod but will work just as well in an application like this.

Miso Cod

A piece of miso cod in a skillet with an orange napkin next to it.

This is a mouthwatering variation on the classic dish found in many modern Asian-inspired restaurants. The marinade bath both flavors and cures the fish.

Susie Cover

Prep 15 mins

Cook 10 mins

Total 1 d 25 mins

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the mirin. Don’t allow it to boil. Add the miso and stir until completely incorporated, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the sugar to the mirin and stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
  • Pat the fish fillets dry. Place in a baking dish and generously slather both sides with the miso mixture. Cover the dish with a piece of plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Uncover the fish and wipe off the excess marinade with paper towels. Add the fillets to the hot pan and sear until golden brown and caramelized on the bottom, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Be careful, as the fish can scorch and blacken quickly because of the sugar in the coating.

  • Move the fillets to the prepared baking sheet, carefully turning them seared side up. Bake until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily, about 7 minutes.
  • Arrange the fillets on a platter or individual plates and serve immediately.

Serving: 1portionCalories: 419kcal (21%)Carbohydrates: 62g (21%)Protein: 34g (68%)Fat: 5g (8%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 80mg (27%)Sodium: 3304mg (144%)Potassium: 545mg (16%)Fiber: 4g (17%)Sugar: 43g (48%)Vitamin A: 70IU (1%)Calcium: 53mg (5%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

Originally published January 23, 2013

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