Buttery and tender black cod is marinated in a magical miso ginger garlic glaze. Seared stovetop and finished in the oven, this easy black cod with miso will make you feel like a famous chef in your own kitchen.
Exactly what is black cod?
The black cod called for in this recipe isn’t a species of cod at all. It’s sablefish, also known as butterfish. Sablefish is highly prized for its rich buttery flavor, which is why it earned its nickname as butterfish. It’s high fat content provides a rich flavor and silky texture. All of which makes it a popular fish for smoking.
Sablefish inhabit deep sea waters from central Baja California to Japan and the Bering Sea.
Once cooked, black cod offers pearly white fillets with large delicate tender flakes. The texture is rich, melt-in-your-mouth velvety. The flavor is sweet and buttery.
Sablefish is rich in nutrition, having about the same omega 3 fatty acids as salmon.
It’s possibly the best fish I’ve ever eaten.
And despite the overwhelming popularity of this recipe, sablefish remains a sustainable choice due to the well managed fisheries.
Google results = most popular recipe
If you google “recipe for black cod” your find first and foremost many returns for black cod with miso. This recipe was made famous by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa who first served it in the 80’s at his original Southern California restaurant. He then published the recipe in Nobu, The Cookbook, where it made its way into the home cook’s kitchen.
No wonder it’s so popular, it’s simple to prepare and incredibly flavorful.
Where to buy this fish
So where to can you buy black cod? If you have a reputable market available to you, Whole Foods is an example, that focuses in sustainable and quality seafood purchases, you should be able to find black cod. Just ask your seafood monger about sablefish.
I received black cod in my most recent shipment from Sitka Salmon Shares. And I am beyond thrilled that I now have my very own stash of black cod in the freezer.
Blast-frozen at the peak of freshness, this black cod is as fresh as I could ever dream of purchasing in Colorado.
And, Sitka Salmon Shares takes the consumer experience a step further and delivers their seafood directly to your doorstep. What a very cool program. Check it out, and head over to their website for the full story.
Who is Sitka Salmon Shares And How Are They Changing The Way Americans Eat Fish? Simple, it’s a boat to doorstep program that brings wild Alaskan seafood straight from their fisherman’s collective to your home. Pristine fish from pristine waters, small boat companies that depend on fishing for their livelihood.
Responsible: harvested using fishing methods that minimize negative ecological impacts.
- More than two-thirds of the world’s seafood is overfished (Forbes).
- Sitka Salmon never uses high impact trawl or bottom trawl gear.
- Alaska’s sustainable fisheries management system is the strictest in the world, relying on science-based catch limits to ensure that long-term population health.
It’s a win-win. You get some of the best seafood you’ll ever taste and you feel good about your purchase.
With that said, let’s take some of that fresh fabulous flash frozen seafood and make this famous recipe for black cod with miso glaze.
I’m an affiliate member with Sitka Salmon Shares. If you order using my discount code, you’ll receive a $25 discount. Just use the code COTR
Let’s make sure we’re familiar and understand the ingredients and how they benefit this recipe for Sablefish In Miso Glaze
- Sake: Sake is a Japanese fermented rice wine, that moderately boozy drink that you get at your local sushi place. Sake is mildly sweet and clean with a well balanced combination of astringent and savory flavor. Which makes it an excellent marinade for for this recipe. Wine makes an great marinade because it has tartaric and malic acids that help carry the flavor into the protein. If you don’t have sake, you can substitute Dry Sherry.
- Mirin: Mirin is another Japanese rice wine that is subtly sweet Japanese Rice Wine. It’s the secret behind the unami flavor you find behind many Japanese dishes like teriyaki and ramen. It’s similar to sake but with more sugar and lower alcohol. I can’t find Mirin in my local liquor store, so purchase Kikkoman which is labeled aji-mirin, which means “tasted like mirin”. You can also substitute Dry Sherry or Sweet Marsala wine for mirin.
- White Miso Paste: White miso is made from soybeans which has been fermented with rice. The color is white to light beige and it has a sweet flavor. It has a texture like peanut butter. We commonly know it as the main ingredient in Miso Soup.
This stellar line-up of marinade ingredients bring the unique flavor to this black cod with miso.
Recipe for Black Cod Miso Nobu
This recipe which seems so special and mysterious is actually very easy to make. And very high on the reward chart. The marinade ingredients come together with no fuss at all.
The original recipe calls for a two-day marinade. I adapted the recipe and marinated the black cod for only about six hours because I didn’t plan ahead. The flavor result was remarkable.
With the blast frozen method from Sitka Salmon Shares, I am assured that I have extremely fresh fish, so the next time I prepare this recipe, I will feel safe to go with the two-day marinade. That should elevate those flavors even more.
After the marinade, the recipe comes together quickly.
- Coat an oven safe skillet with a little oil. Sear the fish, skin side up until the fish browns and blackens. About 2 – 3 minutes. I used my cast iron skillet.
- Turn the fish over and repeat.
- Move the fish to a pre-heated 400 degree oven and cook until fish is no longer opaque and is flaky.
- Serve immediately.
I served this black cod with miso glaze over a mild and creamy coconut rice. We liked the choice.
You could also serve this black cod recipe with
- Sauteed baby bok choy, I like this recipe from Martha Stewart.
- With easy soba noodles
- Or even forbidden black rice would compliment the end color of this beautiful seafood dish.
I hope you give this very special and easy black cod recipe a try, and if you do, please come back and give the recipe a star rating and leave a comment about your experience with the recipe.
And if you have a favorite recipe for sablefish, let me know, I’d love to give it a try.
More Seafood Recipes
- Spicy Tequila Lime Fish Tacos with Cod, Cod gets a quick marinade in lime juice, orange juice, some chili powder and the party gets even better because there’s tequila involved.
- Steamed Cod in Parchment, Beautiful, fresh and steaming with aromas and flavor, cooking fish in parchment is a special way to entertain guests. This Steamed Cod in Parchment with spinach, potatoes and mushrooms is a fun-filled meal.
- Pan Fried Cod with Mustard Caper Sauce, Mustard caper sauce is a lively flavor for mild cod. With a fresh green salad, it’s a beautiful and simple meal.
- Oven Roasted Ling Cod with Lemon Aioli, This ling cod recipe is topped with an easy lemon aioli and served over wilted Swiss chard making this a restaurant quality feel special seafood meal.
And if you’re looking for more seafood recipes, don’t miss my Seafood Category. You’ll find lots of great ideas, including the most popular seafood recipe on my site for Heavenly Halibut.
Black Cod with Miso Glaze
- 1/4 cup sake I used sherry
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 4 tablespoons white miso paste
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 4 black cod fillets about 1/2 pound each
- For The Coconut Rice
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon fresh ginger minced or zested
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 Cup Jasmine Rice rinsed and drained
- 1 cup coconut milk well shaken
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lime zest more for garnish
- 6-8 hours before cooking, marinate the black cod. If you feel comfortable that you have very fresh fish, marinade for up to 2 days.
- Bring the sake (or sherry), mirin, miso paste and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Let boil for 30-45 seconds to evaporate the alcohol. The miso glaze will turn a caramel color. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Pat the black cod fillets thoroughly dry with paper towels. Slather the fish with the miso marinade and place in a non-reactive dish or bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 6 – 8 hours. For even better results, marinate for 2 to 3 days in advance.
- To cook the fish: Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Lightly wipe off any excess miso clinging to the fillets, but don't rinse it off. Coat the cod with a little oil then place the fish skin-side-up on the pan and cook until the flesh of the fish browns and blackens in spots, about 3 minutes.
- Flip and continue cooking until the other side is browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until fish is opaque and flakes easily.
- For the Coconut Rice
- Melt the butter in a heavy 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring, until just fragrant. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add the coconut milk, water, salt, sugar, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the lime zest. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Let stand off the heat, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, top with more zest, if you like, and serve.
John Michael says
Great recipe, lucky enough that sablefish is local for me. The fisherwoman I bought it from said it’s also called butterfish, and I concur – buttery, what a treat. Grilled the fish, coconut rice was perfect.
Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina says
What a creative dish, Lea Ann! I love the coconut rice! Hope you have a great 4th of July and stay safe celebrating! Cheers!
Confused Sablefish says
This looks so delicious. I only just realized that sablefish was another name for black cod! I’d been depriving myself of its goodness for years. Anyway, now that I have that figured out, I’ll be making this later this week when my seafood delivery comes in. Thanks!
Lea Ann Brown says
As you can imagine, living in Colorado, I had no idea they were he same. Always love learning.
Jean | Delightful Repast says
Lea Ann, what a gorgeous plate of food! This combination of flavors with a high quality, sustainable fish would be a real hit with us right about now. Glad you are staying well and busy in the kitchen!
John / Kitchen Riffs says
This is such a great dish! I’ve had both black cod and sea bass prepared this way — both are terrific. Wonderful recipe — thanks.
Great looking piece of fish Chef and one that I’ve never eaten. Don’t know if it’s available around here or not.