Miso Glazed Cod

Black Cod with Miso

Popularized by Nobu Matsuhisa in his eponymous restaurant, Black Cod with Miso has become an instant classic associated with Japanese food. The irony is that black cod (or more accurately Sablefish), is not native to the waters around Japan and is imported from the US and Canada.

In Japanese cuisine, “gindara” (銀鱈) or silver cod, is often prepared as kasuzuke and grilled. Marinated for a few days in sakekasu (the lees leftover from the production of sake), the fish takes on a marvelous earthy flavor that compliments the rich creamy texture of the sablefish. The trouble is that it’s almost impossible to find sakekasu in the US, which is probably one of the reasons why Nobu chose to use miso instead.

Sablefish a.k.a. Black Cod

Contrary to popular belief, Sablefish is actually not a type of cod at all, yet its similar appearance has gotten it nicknamed black cod, silver cod, blue cod, and coal cod depending on where you live. It’s rich flaky white meat is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and in terms of texture, it’s a dead ringer for Patagonian Toothfish (a.k.a. Chilean Sea Bass).

While both suffer from a case of mistaken identity, and have a similar texture, there is one important distinction between the two. Patagonian Toothfish is overfished and not sustainable because of its lifecycle, as well as how it’s typically caught. Sablefish on the other hand earns a FSSI (Fish Stock Sustainability Index) of 4 (the best possible rating) from the NOAA, making it an excellent alternative.

Equipment you'll need:

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    Miso Glazed Black Cod
  • Sablefish (a.k.a. Black Cod) marinated in a sweet miso glaze.
ServingsPrep TimeCook Time
2 5 minutes 10 minutes


  • 1 teaspoon ginger juice
  • 2 tablespoons yellow miso
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoons sugar - granulated
  • 2 pieces sablefish (a.k.a. black cod)


  1. To make the ginger juice, just grate the ginger into a bowl and squeeze the pulp to get the juice. Put the miso, mirin, sugar and ginger juice into a Ziploc bag and swish it around to combine.
  2. Add the sablefish to the bag and move the fish around to coat evenly. Press out as much air from the bag as you can (I usually set the bag on the countertop, partially seal the bag, then press out the air before sealing it all the way). This helps the marinade surround the fish. Put the bag in the fridge and marinate for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.
  3. When you're ready to grill it, move your oven rack to the upper middle position and preheat your broiler for about 5 minutes. Oil a wire rack with a paper towel and vegetable oil, then place it over a baking sheet.
  4. Scape the excess marinade off each fillet with your fingers, and then place the sablefish on the rack. Put the sheet in the oven and grill until golden brown, and the meat flakes easily.
  5. Serve the miso glazed cod with steamed rice.
  • Rumana

    Awesome dish….

  • gaijin in tokyo

    I actually made your previous gindara saikyoyaki recipe just a few days ago and thought it was awesome — the minced garlic and ginger truly added to the flavor, while I liked that your recipe didn’t require a whole cup of miso that almost all gets thrown out. (Also for that recipe I used turnip greens instead of broccoli rabe since the former is so easy to find in Japan these days while I’ve never seen the latter, and it worked very well.) I notice this new recipe has fewer ingredients in the marinade but is still economical with the miso. Will definitely be trying it out soon — thanks!

  • Bunny Eats Design

    I always find the different names for fish very confusing. Who knew that black cod wasn’t even a cod? Not sure if we have anything similar here in New Zealand as we don’t even have Chilean Sea Bass.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      I don’t think sablefish is native to the waters around NZ, so unless it’s imported you might not be able to find it. Check Wikipedia for other common names for this fish: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sablefish

      Any oily flaky white-meat fish will work, so if you can’t find sablefish, try it with something else.

  • blurting

    Thanks for the explanation. No wonder the cod I buy from the grocer tastes different!

  • http://kellysiewcooks.com/ Kelly Siew

    My favourite way of cooking fish! Just blogged about this not long ago, but I couldn’t find black cod so I just used the regular ones. Also used the same marinade on Salmon, worked well too.

    • fish lover

      Found Black Cod at Fresh Foods, it is in season now!

  • Pingback: 31-recipe challenge Day 16: Miso-glazed cod | Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Foodiness

  • Roman Taylor

    this is amazing with Halibut as well

  • sambalamba

    pro tip: freeze your ginger fingers prior to use. When you’re ready to use it, microwave until defrosted then squeeze out the juice by hand. It will be much softer and you’ll be able to get much more juice from a smaller piece of ginger. and you can cut up candy the squeeze-dried pieces and add them to chicken salad.

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  • Doraemon

    How many minutes to bake/ broil and how many degree do I need to use?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Doraemon, if you’re in the US, most ovens have a “boil” setting, If you’re oven doesn’t have one, use the highest temperature your oven will go to. As for the length of time it’s going to depend on how thick your fish is and how hot your broiler is. The best way to tell if your fish is split one of your fillets in half at the thickest part using a fork. It should flake easily and if you look inside it should be opaque (not translucent). You can also use an instant read thermometer, the internal temperature should read between 135-140 F.

  • Guest

    What is mirin? Can I find this in an Asian market?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Mirin is Japanese sweet rice wine. If you live in an area that has Asian markets, chances are any regular supermarket with an asian section will sell it.

  • Isabel

    Hi Marc! Is it ok to use red miso?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Isabel, red miso tends to have a stronger taste and is sometimes more salty, but as long as you’re aware of that and make adjustments as needed, it should work fine.

      • Isabel

        I used 1 1/2 TBS red miso and it came out AMAZING!!!!!
        I actually made an entire miso, No-Recipes meal.
        Red miso soup, Miso Cod and Miso-glazed potatoes.
        Bowls and plates were licked cleaned. Sooooooo good.
        Thanks again Marc, I LOVE this site :)


I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!