Miso-Glazed Black Cod Recipe

Background and History

Miso-glazed black cod, also known as sablefish, is a popular dish in Japanese cuisine. The recipe gained international acclaim largely due to Nobu Matsuhisa, a renowned Japanese chef who introduced it in his restaurants. The dish features the rich, buttery texture of black cod, marinated in a sweet and savory miso glaze, then broiled to perfection. This method enhances the fish’s natural flavor and results in a deliciously caramelized exterior.

Ingredients and Useful Facts

Black cod is prized for its high oil content, which gives it a luxurious, melt-in-your-mouth texture. This fish is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, making it a heart-healthy option. The miso glaze, made from fermented soybeans, adds depth and umami to the dish, making it both flavorful and nutritious.

Recipe: Miso-Glazed Black Cod

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes (plus marinating time)
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes


  • 4 black cod fillets (6 oz each)
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste
  • 1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (for cooking)


Prepare the Miso Marinade

  • In a small saucepan, combine the miso paste, mirin, sake, sugar, and soy sauce.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
  • Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.

Marinate the Fish

  • Place the black cod fillets in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag.
  • Pour the cooled miso marinade over the fillets, ensuring they are well-coated.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight for best results.

Preheat the Broiler

  • Preheat your oven’s broiler and position the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source.

Cook the Fish

  • Remove the fish from the marinade and gently wipe off any excess marinade with a paper towel.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a broiler-safe skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the fillets to the skillet, skin-side down, and cook for about 2-3 minutes until the skin is crispy.

Broil the Fish

  • Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil for 5-8 minutes, or until the fish is golden brown and flakes easily with a fork. Watch carefully to prevent burning.


  • Serve the miso-glazed black cod hot, with a side of steamed rice and sautéed vegetables.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

  • Calories: 380
  • Protein: 25g
  • Fat: 20g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Sodium: 800mg


  • For a more intense flavor, marinate the fish for up to 48 hours.
  • If you don’t have a broiler-safe skillet, you can transfer the fillets to a baking sheet lined with foil before broiling.
  • Black cod can be substituted with other fatty fish such as salmon or Chilean sea bass.

Allergy Warning

  • This recipe contains soy (from miso and soy sauce) and fish. Ensure all ingredients are free from allergens specific to your dietary needs.

Enjoy your flavorful and succulent miso-glazed black cod!

What to serve with miso-glazed black cod?

Miso-glazed black cod pairs well with steamed rice, sautéed or steamed vegetables like bok choy or asparagus, and a light cucumber salad. A side of pickled ginger or miso soup can also complement the dish nicely.

What is the difference between cod and black cod?

Cod, often referred to as Atlantic cod, has a firmer, leaner texture and a milder flavor compared to black cod, also known as sablefish. Black cod has a rich, buttery texture and higher oil content, making it particularly succulent and flavorful.

What is black cod made from?

Black cod is not made from anything; it is a species of fish, also known as sablefish, found in the North Pacific Ocean. Its name can be misleading, as it is not a true cod but a distinct species prized for its rich, oily flesh.

What to drink with black cod?

Black cod pairs well with light, crisp white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Sake, particularly a dry or slightly sweet variety, also complements the flavors of miso-glazed black cod beautifully.

Why is black cod so special?

Black cod is special because of its high oil content, which gives it a unique, buttery texture and rich flavor. It is also highly versatile in cooking and can be prepared in various ways while remaining moist and tender.

Why is black cod so expensive?

Black cod is expensive due to its high demand and limited supply. The fish is primarily caught in the wild in the North Pacific, and sustainable fishing practices contribute to its higher price point.

Is black cod healthy to eat?

Yes, black cod is healthy to eat. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality protein, and essential vitamins and minerals, making it a nutritious choice for a balanced diet.

Is black cod high in mercury?

Black cod generally has lower mercury levels compared to many other fish species, making it a safer option for regular consumption. However, it’s always advisable to follow local guidelines and recommendations regarding fish consumption.

What is the most unhealthy fish to eat?

The most unhealthy fish to eat are those high in mercury and other contaminants, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. These fish should be consumed sparingly, especially by pregnant women and young children.

Which fish is worst mercury?

Fish with the highest mercury levels include shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. These fish accumulate mercury from their diet and environment, making them less safe for frequent consumption.

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