Created by chef Nobu Matsuhisa in New York more than 20 years ago, this sweet and savoury miso-marinated black cod has been cloned by chefs all over the world. Nobu's fabulous miso-based marinade produces spectacular results with fatty or oily fish such as salmon, sea bass, yellow tail and scallops as well as chicken, pork and beef, but best of all — black cod. An ancient Japanese method for flavouring fish, the miso-marinade cures the flesh slightly and permeates it with a delicate flavour, and once grilled, caramelizes and glazes the surface, leaving the fish deliciously succulent. Although Nobu marinates the black cod for two to three days, it's also sensational when steeped in the marinade overnight or just a few hours. Moist and delicate with sweet soft flesh and signature buttery flavour, black cod is simply melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
Miso-Marinated Black Cod
Recipe adapted from Nobu: The Cookbook
1/8 cup sake
1/8 cup mirin
2 tbsp white miso paste
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 black cod fillets, about 1/2 pound each
Mushroom Bok Choy:
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 lb Shanghai bok choy, trimmed and thinly sliced
8 oz shiitake and beech mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
8 oz white beech mushrooms, trimmed
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
Bring the sake and the mirin to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol. Turn the heat down to low and add the miso paste, mixing with a wooden spoon. When the miso has dissolved completely, turn the heat up to high again and add the sugar, stirring constantly with the wooden spoon to ensure that the bottom of the pan doesn't burn. Remove from heat once the sugar is fully dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
Pat dry the black cod fillets thoroughly 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. Nobu suggests leaving the cod to steep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days, however I cheat and chill it for just a few hours.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly wipe off any excess miso clinging to the fillets but don't rinse it off. Place the fish skin side down in a non-stick pan and cook until the surface of the fish browns and blackens in spots, about 3 minutes, then transfer to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes, until fish is opaque and flakes easily.
While the black cod is finishing in the oven, start the mushroom bok choy by heating one tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan oven over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds. Add the bok choy, mushrooms and ginger, and cook, stirring until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the oyster sauce, sesame oil and salt, and serve when the black cod is done.