After seeing both Rasa Malaysia and the Kitchn feature Nobu's miso-marinated black cod recipe, it immediately went on my official recipe to-do list. I finally got around to testing the bad boy this weekend and holy sheet, it may be one of the best dishes I've ever shammed together in my kitchen.
I've been lucky enough to have the real thing at the original Matsuhisa in LA (seated at the table next to Karl friggin' Lagerfeld, no biggie I just coolly hyperventilated) and Nobu in Vegas, and the dish is totally worth the hype.
I decided to use the Kitchn's recipe and made it using sea bass (Whole Foods was out of black cod, but the friendly bearded dudes said sea bass would still work) and he was right, it was perfect. I kid you not when I say this may be the most impressive thing to come out of my kitchen, and it tasted creepily like the real thing. More perks? It's incredibly easy to make and high on the impressive factor, so I know I'll be revisiting this for future dinner guests!
Here's the recipe I used, adapted from the Kitchn's post:
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup mirin
4 tablespoons miso paste (every recipe I've seen says white miso, but I had a brown ginger miso in the cupboard that I used and tasted fine)
3 tablespoons sugar
4 black cod or 4 sea bass fillets, estimate approx. 1/2 lb per person
Make the miso marinade about 24 hours in advance of cooking. *Tip: double the marinade recipe and store some in the fridge (I tossed mine with some Thai rice noodles, sweet red peppers and scallions for a 4 minute dinner tonight. It's also nice to have some extra to heat and serve alongside your sea bass or black cod when done).
Marinate the fish. Bring sake (buy the cheapest you can find) and the mirin to a boil over high heat. Bring to rolling boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol. Turn the heat down to low and add the miso paste, mixing constantly to dissolve. Turn the heat up to high again and add the sugar, keep stirring so the sauce doesn’t burn. Remove from heat once the sugar is fully dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
Pat the black cod fillets thoroughly dry with paper towels. Slather the fish with the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. (I only marinated mine for a couple of hours the first time, but saved one for the next day and can say it's worth letting the fish soak for longer if you have the time. If not, the first batch I made turned out great so don't worry).
Cook the fish:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a pan and preheat on med-high heat. Lightly wipe off any excess miso on the fillets with your fingers but don't rinse it off. Place the fish on the pan and grill both sides until carmelized - it will have a deep gorgeous color. Place on a sprayed cookie sheet, slather each filet with a few more spoons of the marinade. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve on top of boy choy (stir fried on high heat, with some EVOO, simple salt and pepper) and a cold buckwheat soba noodle salad.