Miso-Marinated Black Cod

by John Ash, from The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook by Ellen Jackson. Photo by Gentl & Hyers.

Also known as sablefish and butterfish, black cod is abundant in parts of the Pacific Northwest and in Alaska. We catch ours sustainably, with longlines modified for the least invasive by-catch possible.

Marinating the fish in miso, the Japanese fermented paste made with soybeans, rice and/or barley, is a traditional preparation that is quick, easy and incredibly delicious. Serve the fish with sweet picked sushi ginger, toasted sesame seeds and daikon sprouts, and some hot rice on the side.



  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup sake wine
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons white shiro miso
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 pounds black cod, skin on, cut into six 6-ounce fillets
  • 3 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
  • Pickled sushi ginger, for garnish
  • Sesame seeds, toasted, for garnish
  • Daikon sprouts, for garnish



    Combine the mirin and sake in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until it has dissolved. Whisk in the miso untl smooth and transfer the marinade to a bowl to cool.

    Pat the fillets thoroughly with paper towels and generously coat with marinade on both sides. Place the fillets and remaining marinade in a shallow non-reactive bowl or pan, cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to overnight.

    Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Warm the oil over medium high heat in an ovenproof saute pan large enough to hold all 6 pieces of fish in a single layer. When the oil is hot, scrape the excess marinade off the fish and cook, skin side up, until the underside is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Turn the fillets over and place the pan in the oven until the fish is cooked through and flaky, about 8 minutes. Serve immediately.