An Easier Miso-Glazed Fish

Miso-glazed black cod to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

Miso-glazed black cod to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.


Got a tub of miso lingering in the back of the fridge? And a great piece of fresh, fatty fish you just picked up at the market?

Then, you have the makings of a restaurant-quality dish at home in no time.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of dining at a Nobu Matsuhisa restaurant, you probably know one of his signature dishes quite well. Miso-marinated black cod is one of those dishes you can’t help but order again and again. It’s just that good.

You have rich, succulent fish fillet coupled with the umami bomb known as miso. The fermented soybean paste gives the fish a powerhouse of meaty, salty savoriness that’s downright craveable.

Matsuhisa’s original method calls for marinating the fish for two to three days. But fortunately, cookbook author Martha Rose Shulman, makes her own streamlined version that cuts the marinating time down to just a couple of hours.

This recipe for “Miso-Glazed Fish,” which appeared in the New York Times last year, also calls for mirin and sake. If you’re like me, and don’t have them on hand that particular day, use vodka instead. I used some Hangar One Mandarin Blossom, which has a lovely bright orange flavor.

Serve the fish with bok choy or other favorite Asian greens, along with steamed rice. I used bamboo rice, which has a beautiful green tint and an almost green tea-like flavor.

Then, watch your family gush as they dig in.

Miso-Glazed Fish

(Serves 4)

1/4 cup mirin or vodka

1/4 cup sake or vodka

3 tablespoons white or yellow miso paste

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons dark sesame oil

4 black cod, salmon, trout, Arctic char or mahi mahi fillets, about 6 ounces each

Combine the mirin and sake (or vodka) in the smallest saucepan you have and bring it to a boil over high heat. Boil 20 seconds, taking care not to boil off much of the liquid, then turn the heat to low and stir in the miso and sugar. Whisk over medium heat without letting the mixture boil until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sesame oil. Allow to cool. Transfer to a wide glass or stainless steel bowl or baking dish.

Pat the fish fillets dry and brush or rub on both sides with the marinade, then place them in the baking dish and turn them over a few times in the marinade remaining in the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and marinated for 2 to 3 hours, or up to a day.

Light the broiler or prepare a grill. Line a sheet pan with foil and oil the foil. Tap each fillet against the sides of the bowl or dish so excess marinade will slide off. Place skin side up on the baking sheet of foil.

Place fish skin-side down on the grill, or skin side up under the broiler, about 6 inches from the heat. Broil or grill for about 5 minutes on each side, until the surface browns and blackens in spots. (If your fillet is quite thick, you may need to finish cooking the fillets in the oven for a few minutes at 375 degrees.)

Note: For a vegetarian version of this dish, substitute tofu, sliced about 2/3-inch thick, for the fish.

Adapted from a New York Times recipe by Martha Rose Shulman


More Miso Recipes: Miso-Smothered Chicken by Chef Edward Lee


And: Chile Miso Pork Stew by Ming Tsai


And: Romaine Hearts with Miso-Mustard Dressing by Tadashi Ono


And: Green Beans with Miso and Almonds by Anita Lo


And: Sake-Steamed Kabocha with Miso


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  • Refined tasting! A simple, yet fabulous way to prepare fish.



  • Great idea to use vodka! And this is such a terrific dish — and what a nice, easy way to make it. Excellent recipe — thanks.

  • I always appreciate an easier recipe for black cod. 2-3 hours is way better than waiting 24 hrs!

  • I’ve had the pleasure of ordering the miso black cod at Nobu, and I’d love to try to recreate it at home. This sounds fabulous, and now I want to try bamboo rice too!

  • Delicious recipe Carolyn…I love miso and yes, fish marinated with miso are my favorite…thanks for the recipe!
    Have a great week 🙂

  • I’ve never eaten the miso cod at Nobu, so wondering how marinating two to three days will affect it? I would think the salt from the miso would cure the first so the flesh is’t tender any more but more waxy like smoked salmon? Either way, this two-hour thing is more my style. 😉

  • My all-time favorite fish preparation! I’ll bookmark this method to try. 🙂

  • this IS easy! i’ve never hunted for miso paste in the store, but i’ll be on the lookout now!

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  • Why can’t I print this recipe?

  • Glenda: Sorry about that. I used to have a “print” button at the bottom of each post, but when I upgraded my blog design a few months ago, that did not transfer over. Bear with me, as I am working on trying to restore it. Meantime, you can copy and paste, then print it off a document. Thanks for your patience.

  • Was super excited to try this. Boiled the mirin and vodka and as I went to put in sugar the pan caught on fire……..on to find another recipe now.

  • Glenda: The print button is now active. You’ll find it at the very bottom of each post. Thanks for your patience.

  • Kerrie: Did the contents of the pot boil over or come in contact with the flame on your stovetop? The alcohol shouldn’t have caught on fire otherwise. I also would caution to never walk away from the stove if you are boiling anything that has high-proof alcohol in it. Sorry to hear that happened to you. I hope you will give the recipe another try, as it really is a delicious one.

  • Kathi Nickerson

    My marinaded black cod caught fire under the broiler. Fire was pretty bad. Fortunately I had an extinguisher handy.

  • Hi Kathi: Oh, no! So sorry to hear that. Next time, move the oven rack a little lower so that it’s not quite so near your broiler element.

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