Black cod isn’t a fish that I frequently see offered at most restaurants but it’s definitely one of my favorites. Usually I’ll find it served at sushi or Japanese restaurants. Typically, a grilled collar of black cod that is marinated and has a silky fatty, charred, delicious flavor.

If you’re not familiar with the fish or have never cooked it, it is one of the easier fish to cook. When you purchase it fileted from the store, all the bones are removed and it’s pretty much ready to prepare. Always give it a once over to check the freshness or any parts you want to trim.

I got the idea of this recipe from the one made famous by Nobu, but I just used what I had available in the kitchen. I didn’t have mirin or sake and I only marinated the fish for 1 day. If you have the time and the patience, it will develop a deeper seasoned flavor if you allow it to marinate 2-3 days. Even though mine was only marinated for 1 day, I was still happy with the results.

Another preparation I did differently is that I grilled the fish. This helped add another layer of flavor from the smokey grill but I wasn’t able to achieve the caramelization if I had seared it in a pan. I grilled it skin side down first because it’s easier to manage. This did give it a nice crispy skin, but not as much color as I would have liked. I think next time I’ll use a pan on a hot grill so I get the best of both worlds and get a nice caramelization on the flesh.

Accompanied to the fish, I made some grilled veggies which added an additional smokey flavor that paired well. I used red bell peppers, swiss chard, radish greens, yellow and green onions. These were gifted from a friend’s garden nearby so it was a good opportunity to use them. We also had some leftover quinoa that we had available from meal prepping. White rice, soba noodle or most Japanese traditional sides would go well with the fish obviously, I just chose to use what I had available. For a garnish I made a quick pickled radish with Thai chili. It added a nice pop of acid and spice to the dish.

I tossed the grilled veggies in a miso dressing before piling on top of the quinoa. The black cod was placed flesh side up and garnished with the spicy pickled radish.


Miso Marinated Black Cod (Nobu Inspired)

  • 1/2 Lb. Black Cod Filet
  • 1/4 cp. Shaoxing Rice Wine
  • 1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 4 Tbsp. White Miso Paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar
  1. Mix miso, soy sauce, Shaoxing and sugar until well combined.

  2. Pour mixed marinade into a storage container (Tupperware etc.) and coat the black cod with the marinade. Lay the black cod flesh side down.

  3. Store the black cod in the fridge 1-3 days. At least marinade for one day overnight minimum.

  4. When ready, remove some of the excess marinade off the black cod before grilling. Start on a med-high grill with skin side down.

  5. Carefully remove the cod from the grill when cooked through and serve immediately.

If you are uncomfortable with cooking fish on a grill, this recipe works well in a sauté pan as well. 

Try not to move the fish around on the grill. Let it sear nicely and it will remove easily from the grates. You should not need to flip or cook the fish flesh side down on the grill.