Nobu Matsuhisa is a gifted chef whose Nobu restaurants are famous for black cod cooked with miso, a paste made from fermented soy beans. Miso is salty but also complex and meaty, a savory flavor best described by the Japanese term umami.
In Nobu’s masterful recipe, black cod is marinated for 24 hours in a mixture of sake, mirin, and white miso and then grilled and finished in a very hot oven. The result is sweet fish, almost like fish candy. And it is irresistible.
While there is nothing quite like Nobu’s version, if you crave the combination of miso’s umami flavor and black cod’s creamy texture made in your own kitchen as a quick, weeknight dinner, try my simple two-ingredient version.
Black cod, also called sablefish, is a big fish and usually sold in large fillets with a centerpiece bone. You can either cook the piece whole or cut this bone out before cooking. Either way, take this into account when buying the fish—you’ll simply need a little more than usual. Also, do not salt the fish because the miso is already very salty. Miso is sold in most grocers and natural-food stores, usually in the dairy or other refrigerated section.
Broiled Black Cod with Miso
- 1 ½ pounds black cod (leave the skin on so that it holds together while cooking)
- 1 cup white or red miso
Cut the fish into 4 large serving portions, removing and discarding the center bone. Using your fingers, rub the miso on the fish, coating both sides entirely. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
When ready to cook, preheat the broiler and arrange the rack so that the fish will cook 4 to 6 inches below the flame–if it’s too close to the flame, it will cook unevenly.
Remove the fish from the refrigerator and scrape the excess miso off of the fish. Place the fish on a broiling pan, skin side up. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn each piece over and cook until the fish is firm but not flaking apart, another 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Kate McDonough is a cookbook author who shares one of over 90 recipes from her new book, “The City Cook: Big City, Small Kitchen. Limitless Ingredients, No Time.” Published by Simon & Schuster.
Photo via rasamalaysia.com