Miso-Glazed Black Cod
Black cod, also known as sablefish, is a spectacularly rich, white-fleshed fish with a buttery flavor and moist, succulent texture. It has one of the highest levels of heart-healthy Omega 3 fatty acids and is abundantly plentiful, making it an excellent and sustainable choice. Here, it is marinated and caramelized with sweet-savory flavors in a world-class recipe made famous by the renowned Japanese chef and restaurateur Nobu Matsuhisa. In the original version the cod is marinated for 3 days, which is what I do when I have the time, as it really does intensify the flavor, but overnight will also give you mouthwatering results. This is one of my favorite all-time dishes and so easy to prepare. I love serving it at a dinner party and watching people’s faces when they take their first bite.
- Servings 4
- 45 ml (3 tablespoons) mirin
- 45 ml (3 tablespoons) sake
- 118 ml (½ cup) white miso paste
- 71 ml (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
- Four 170-227 gram (6-8 ounce) skin-on fillets of black cod (skin-off is fine too, though it will not be as crispy)
- Sunflower, grapeseed, canola or any other high smoke point oil, as needed
- Combine the mirin and sake in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Continue cooking until the mixture is reduced by one-third.
2. Reduce heat to low, add miso paste, and whisk until it has dissolved completely. Increase heat to medium and add the sugar, whisking constantly to ensure that the sugar doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan. Don’t allow the sauce to bubble, but it should be hot enough to completely dissolve the sugar; the finished consistency should be that of a smooth paste. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat and cool to room temperature.
3. Pat the black cod fillets thoroughly dry with paper towels and place them into a ziplock bag. Spoon the cooled marinade into the bag and move it around with your hands, making sure it thoroughly covers every surface of the fish. Press the air from the bag and allow the fish to marinate in the refrigerator overnight, or for greater depth of flavor, up to 3 days.
4. Remove the fish from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you begin cooking. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 204°C (400°F).
5. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over high heat on the stove (see Note). As the pan is heating, remove the fish from the plastic bag and with a paper towel lightly blot any excess marinade clinging to the fillets, but don’t rinse it off.
6. Film the hot pan with enough oil to lightly coat the bottom, then place the fish skin-side-up on the pan and cook until the bottom of the fish browns and blackens in spots, about 3 minutes. Check for the degree of doneness by lifting the fillet with a spatula and peeking underneath. Adjust the heat to prevent the fish from burning. Flip and continue cooking until the skin side is browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
7. Transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until the interior of the fish is opaque and flakes easily when the thickest part of the fillet is pierced with a sharp knife, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Note: The skillet should be large enough to hold all four fillets without crowding, allowing for at least 1.3 cm (½ inch) of space between the fillets. You want a nice sear on the fish and overcrowding them would create steam which would make that impossible. If the pan is not large enough, work in batches and transfer the fillets to a sheet pan when they finish cooking.