When I saw wild caught black cod in Trader Joe's most recent Fearless Flyer, I'm pretty sure I squealed out loud. I had been wanting to make Nobu's miso marinated black cod ever since I first had it several years ago but could never bring myself to track down the, I assumed, extremely expensive fish. And now it was being sold in my neighborhood TJ's for $12.99/lb, which admittedly, isn't cheap, but is definitely in my price range if I'm only buying enough for one.
This is only of those super simple recipes that only uses the barest minimum of ingredients (four!) but is so, so good. If you've never had black cod (also known as sablefish or butterfish) before, you'll be surprised by how buttery the flaky white meat is. The closest fish that I've tasted is the Chilean sea bass. And the best part is, black cod is a sustainable fish, unlike the Chilean sea bass, so that's one less thing you have to worry about.
The fillets that I ended up buying were only a quarter pound each, but I decided to make the full amount of marinade anyways because, seriously, I don't have a pot small enough to boil 2 tablespoons of liquid. I also didn't have any sake on hand, so I substituted rice wine.
Miso Marinated Black Cod (based on the recipe from Nobu: The Cookbook)
makes 2 servings
2 tablespoons sake or rice wine
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons white miso
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2-4 black cod fillets (about 1/4 pound each)
Bring the sake and the mirin to a boil in a small saucepan over high
heat. Turn the heat down to low and stir in the miso until dissolved.
Turn the heat up to high again and add the sugar, stirring constantly. Remove from heat once
the sugar is fully dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
Slather the fish with the miso marinade and place in dish or bowl and
cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave to steep in refrigerator for 2
to 3 days.
To cook, preheat the broiler. Lightly wipe off any excess miso
clinging to the fillets but don’t rinse it off. Broil the fillets for about 10-15 minutes, until browned on top and flaky when cut with a fork. Do not overcook! Serve warm with rice.
My fillets were pretty thin (less than an inch thick), but if you have thicker fillets, you may want to continue to bake the fish at 400°F for another couple of minutes until it is cooked through. Just remember not to overcook this fish since you'll lose the awesome, buttery texture.