Miso Cod (Black Cod with Miso) 銀だらの西京焼き

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  • Marinated in saikyo miso and baked to perfection, Black Cod with Miso is a beautiful seafood dish you can pull off at home. With its delicate and buttery texture, the Miso Cod simply melts in your mouth.

    Beautifully charred Miso Cod (Black Cod with Miso) served on a white Japanese ceramic.

    A classic Japanese dish, Black Cod with Miso (or simply Miso Cod 銀だらの西京焼き), is served at many formal Japanese restaurants. These days you may have heard of the dish after it’s made famous worldwide by the acclaimed fine Japanese restaurant chain Nobu. Luckily, the miso-glazed black cod recipe is simple enough that you can enjoy this wonderfully seasoned fish at home.

    Watch How to Make Miso Cod

    Marinated in saikyo miso and baked to perfection, Black Cod with Miso is a beautiful seafood dish you can pull off at home.

    Miso Cod, Black Cod with Miso on plates.

    How To Prepare Miso Cod

    To enjoy the succulent texture, we prepare the fish by marinading it in sweet miso for at least 2-3 days until the sweet & salty flavor is completely absorbed before it is cooked. Traditionally the fish fillet is soaked in the marinade for even up to 5-7 days. In Japan, we refer this marinade as Saikyozuke (西京漬け), and once it’s grilled, it’s Saikyo Yaki (西京焼き).

    Saikyo in Japanese means “west city”, which is the former name for Kyoto. This specific cooking method is named Saikyo because the recipe utilizes Saikyo Miso (sweet white miso) originated from the Kyoto area. The traditional Saikyo Yaki recipes include just three ingredients: Saikyo miso, mirin, and sake.

    Saikyo Miso on wooden table.

    The sharpness of the miso and sweetness of the mirin work wonderfully to cut the fish’s fattiness. When it’s baked to perfection, the deep flavor of the marinade comes through and the buttery flesh simply melts in your mouth. It’s so good that my young children can easily finish one fillet of the fish on their own.

    Beautifully charred Miso Cod (Black Cod with Miso) served on a white Japanese ceramic.

    The Choice of Fish for Miso Cod Recipe

    Despite Nobu’s popular menu “Black Cod with Miso”, the fish used in this recipe is actually not related to a cod at all.  “Black cod” is a common name for sablefish (Gindara 銀ダラ) or butterfish.  It’s known for its silky and tender rich texture and flavor. High in omega-3 fats, it is the preferred fish choice since it doesn’t have the strong taste of fatty fish like tuna or mackerel.  The creamy white flesh pairs extremely well with miso paste that is sweet, savory and salty.

    If you couldn’t find sablefish, you can also use other fish to enjoy with the versatile miso marinade. I like alternating between black cod, sea bass, or salmon and my family enjoy them equally. If you go to a Japanese supermarket, you should be able to find black cod in the fresh fish section.

    Miso Cod (Black Cod with Miso) 銀ダラ西京焼き | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    In the US, you can also find sustainable caught Alaskan black cod from online seafood company. It’s rather pricey but it is still a much better deal to enjoy the fish at home than ordering at a fancy restaurant.  With some simple advanced preparation, this Black Cod with Miso recipe is so easy to pull off and the results are irresistible.

    If you are looking for a classic Japanese recipe for serving dinner guests, this Miso Cod will make a pretty impressive main dish. Prep it ahead, have a quick broil in the oven, and dinner is ready. Easy but no lack of elegance.

    Beautifully charred Miso Cod (Black Cod with Miso) served on a white Japanese ceramic.

    Substitute for Saikyo Miso

    Miso is still a relatively new ingredient for many, and you may not be able to find Saikyo Miso at your local Asian grocery stores. You can purchase Saikyo Miso on Amazon or simply use white miso instead and adjust the amount of mirin specified in the recipe.

    If you want to learn more about different types of miso, click here.

    Beautifully charred Miso Cod (Black Cod with Miso) served on a white Japanese ceramic.

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    4.29 from 38 votes
    Beautifully charred Miso Cod (Black Cod with Miso) served on a white Japanese ceramic.
    Miso Cod (Black Cod with Miso)
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Cook Time
    20 mins
    Marinade
    2 d
    Total Time
    2 d 30 mins
     

    Marinated in saikyo miso and baked to perfection, Black Cod with Miso is a beautiful seafood dish you can pull off at home. With its delicate and buttery texture, the Miso Cod simply melts in your mouth.

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: black cod, miso, miso cod, saikyoyaki
    Servings: 4
    Ingredients
    • 4 fillets sablefish (gindara) (you can also use salmon, sea bass, etc.)
    • 2 tsp Kosher salt
    • 2 Tbsp sake
    Miso Marinade:
    • 6 Tbsp miso (saikyo miso or white miso)
    • 3 Tbsp mirin (if you use white miso, use 2 Tbsp mirin instead 1½)
    • 3 Tbsp sake
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients. Make sure to get fresh fish for this recipe.

      Miso Cod Ingredients
    2 to 3 Days Beforehand
    1. Sprinkle salt over the fish and set aside for 30 minutes. Salt will draw excess moisture and any fishy smell from the fish.  

      Miso Cod 1
    2. Put 6 Tbsp miso, 3 Tbsp mirin, and 3 Tbsp sake for the Miso Marinade in a bowl.

      Miso Cod 2
    3. Mix all together and pour the marinade into a flat bottom airtight container.

      Miso Cod 3
    4. Pour 2 Tbsp sake over the fish to rinse off the salt. Gently pat dry with paper towel to remove the moisture. Do not wash the fish under water.

      Miso Cod 4
    5. Place the fish in the container and coat both sides with the marinade.

      Miso Cod 6
    6. Slather the fillets with the marinade. Cover the lid and keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.

      Miso Cod 7
    To Cook the Fish
    1. Preheat oven to 400 ºF (200 ºC). With your fingers, remove the marinade off the fish completely. Do not leave excess miso on the fish; otherwise, the fish will burn easily. 

      Miso Cod 8
    2. Place the fish skin side up on baking pan lined with parchment paper or silicone baking sheet.

      Miso Cod 9
    3. Bake the fish until the edges are browned and the flesh is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes. Do not flip the fish while baking as the flesh is very flaky.

      Miso Cod 10
    4. Carefully remove the fish with a spatula, and remove any burnt miso around the fish. Serve immediately. I serve the fish with thinly sliced red radish and a small green leaf from my backyard for additional color.

      Miso Cod 11
    Recipe Notes

    Miso: Traditionally we use saikyo miso (西京味噌); however, if you can't find it, you can use white miso (白味噌) instead.

     

    Sake: Sake is used to clean and remove the unwanted odor of the fish. You can't replace with water even though sometimes water is used as replacement in some recipes. We will marinate the fish for a longer time, and water can go bad and ruin the marinade and fish.

     

    Mirin: Typically mirin can be replaced with water and sugar, but for this recipe, please do not use water. Use sugar only. For 1 Tbsp mirin, use 1 tsp sugar.

     

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

    Editor’s Note: The post is originally published on Sep 21, 2011.  The photos and content were updated in November 2013 and July 2017. The video and new step by step pictures were added in August 2018.

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