Miso Black Cod

April  9, 2011
9 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 12 hours 5 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

I originally made this as a smoked fish, but after 3 hours of trying to smoke it on the grill, I decided that a grilled or baked version would taste just as good and be a lot more practical. The fish is so buttery that it doesn't dry out, and it will taste great no matter how it's cooked. It marinates for at least 12 hours, which is a painless way to ensure a tasty fish infused with a lot of flavor. —edamame2003

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Edamame2003 is a culinary producer for TV and web content named Eda who is, indeed, a mommy.
WHAT: A hands-off fish dish that tastes like it was prepared at your favorite Japanese restaurant.
HOW: Soak the fish in a salty-sweet marinade for at least 12 hours while you carry on with your daily life. Cook the fish however you choose -- by grilling, baking, or smoking -- and then serve it with your favorite Japanese sides.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Fish can be fussy, but this one is anything but. Not only does the fish hang out in marinade for 12 hours (or more!), but we get to cook it however we want and it still turns out buttery and flavorful. With a little planning ahead, you can transform cod into a casual weeknight meal or the centerpiece of an elegant dinner party. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup Asian pear juice (or apple juice)
  • 3 tablespoons red miso
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon umeboshi (preserved plum) paste or mirin (rice cooking wine)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 piece 1/2-inch peeled ginger, chopped
  • 3/4 pound black cod
  1. Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a blender.
  2. Marinate the fish -- I used a boneless filet -- for at least 12 hours and no more than 36 hours.
  3. Either smoke the fish for 3 hours, wrap it in foil and grill for about 10 to 15 minutes on each side, or bake skin side-down at 350° F for about 20 minutes, then broil the top for 2 minutes.
  4. I served it with Chinese broccoli (you could use broccoli rabe), stir-fried in tamari, ginger, and garlic. I also made a purée of parsnips and sunchokes, with a little bit of cream, and a tiny bit of salt and sugar.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kris
  • Greenstuff
  • Kt4
  • mcs3000
  • jilladavis
I work in the entertainment business, and in my free time, I really enjoy growing my own vegetables, trolling my local farmers markets and trying to re-create yummy dishes I eat at my favorite restaurants. My son is a big influence on how and what I cook. He's my guinea pig and promises to try anything I make once. Luckily the recipes on food52 are bountiful and delicious.

15 Reviews

jfigue October 13, 2020
Super simple recipe to follow with amazing tasting results! Hands down my favorite recipe for fish. I haven't tried it with anything other than black cod, but if i am in the mood for this fish i usually will go out of my way to find it ;).
The fish is buttery and delicious and has an amazing complex flavor!
qtprof November 20, 2020
I have had wonderful luck getting this fish regularly from They have it on sale now for the holidays for $10 for a good-size piece. (I buy it by the box of 4). I have been a member of that share service for over a year. They work with smaller farms and fisheries and I have found their meat and fish to be be very good. If you are interested, please feel free to use my link to get $25 off your order:
Naoko September 30, 2020
This recipe is delicious and easy! I make it for my family, including my almost 1 yr old (sans honey), quite frequently.
Dominique September 21, 2014
This is amazing ! The black cod fish and this marinade together, the cooking in the oven with a flash broil at the end, fantastic ! A 4 star restaurant quality dinner.....
Kris August 7, 2014
Hi edamame- I'm new to the area. Can you point to your local fish guy? I'd appreciate it. This recipe sounds amazing. Many thanks.
Greenstuff July 12, 2014
Congratulations on the wildcard win!

I noticed in a Hotline question, that a number of people are thinking that the black cod in your recipe is pretty much the same as Atlantic cod, the fish that gave Cape Cod its name. While there is a Pacific cod that's a relative to the Atlantic and Greenland cods, black cod is something else.

Black cod is also called sablefish. It's also sometimes known as butterfish, and as you say in your headnote, it's buttery and doesn't tend to dry out. Depending on the stocks, Monterey Bay Aquarium rates it as a best choice or good alternative. It's really delicious, and a perfect choice for a miso marinade, I'd say a better option than the true cods.
edamame2003 July 14, 2014
thanks for clarifying chris! I live in LA and my local fish guy has sablefish / black cod caught nearby--it is perfect for this dish; but salmon works well too!
Kt4 July 11, 2014
I don't know much about miso and have the white type in my fridge. Can I use it instead of red miso?
edamame2003 July 14, 2014
white miso is milder--but just as good!
scott C. July 9, 2014
So if you bake it.....what temperature and how long.....looks amazing.....
mcs3000 December 19, 2011
Making this again - love this recipe!
edamame2003 December 19, 2011
thanks!--making me hungry for this too!.
jilladavis November 16, 2011
I made this miso black cod tonight. It was amazing. One word of advice - if roasting, be sure to broil at the end until the miso caramelizes and turns black.

Look out Nobu!
edamame2003 December 19, 2011
thanks--glad you liked it! the broil part--great idea!
TheWimpyVegetarian April 9, 2011
I love miso cod!!! There's a restaurant in the next town over from where we live that serves the best I've ever had. Your recipe looks like it can deliver the flavors and texture I've been looking for. Thanks so much for posting this! I can't wait to try it!