Marinating fish in this way began when the Japanese used miso to preserve their fish, in the same way that salting and pickling is popular in other cuisines. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and black cod are especially delicious prepared in this way, as the miso keeps the moisture in and ensures the fish stays succulent. If you cannot get hold of black cod, go for cod loin, for impossibly moist flakes of fish.
Grilled Saikyo Miso Black Cod Recipe
This is such a famous dish, based on Nobu’s world-renowned recipe. While it is definitely a show-off meal, it is actually very simple to pull off.
In a small saucepan, heat the sake and mirin over a high heat for 30 seconds to evaporate the alcohol. Then reduce the heat and whisk in the miso mixture until smooth.
4 tbsp mirin, 4 tbsp sake
Increase the heat again and add the sugar, be careful it doesn’t burn. Leave to cool to room temperature.
3 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
Put the fish in a bowl. Smother both sides of each fillet generously with the miso mixture and cover with cling film. Leave to marinade for at least 3 hours, or overnight (or up to 3 days).
4 fillets black cod
When ready to cook, preheat the grill to medium and preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F/gas mark 3. Wipe off any excess miso clinging to the fish. Grill the fish, about 7.5 cm (3 in) from the grill, skin side up first, for 3 minutes, until you see bubbles and a little charring.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 7–10 minutes until the fish is opaque and flakes easily. It will be just cooked and tender on the inside. Serve immediately with rice and simple steamed or stir-fried greens.
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