Nobu’s Miso Marinated Black Cod Recipe is very similar to the Saikyo Yaki Miso Marinade and Saikyo Yaki Fish recipes that I posted some time ago. Nobu’s marinade is a Westernised version with a stronger flavour – particularly the sweetness.
Nobu called this miso marinade ‘Nobu-style Saikyo Miso’ and it is a bit different from the traditional Saikyo miso. It is great to be able to experience this dish from Nobu, the world-famous Japanese celebrity chef.
Nobu-style Saikyo Miso marinade vs Traditional Saikyo Miso marinade
The traditional Saikyo miso is quite pale in colour, almost beige colour, and has a mild sweetness that comes from the sugar and the reduced amount of salt added to the miso. The Saikyo miso paste has a much softer texture, unlike other types of miso
As you can see in my recipe Saikyo Yaki Miso Marinade, I added only a small amount of sake, mirin, and sugar to make the traditional Saikyo miso marinade.
Nobu uses normal shiro miso (white miso) instead of Saikyo miso to make his marinade. I call it normal shiro miso because Saikyo miso is also shiro miso. You can learn more about different types of miso in my post Pantry Essentials for Japanese Home Cooking – Part 1.
Normal shiro miso is a light brown colour and contains more salt than Saikyo miso. To compensate for the strong saltiness, Nobu adds quite a lot of sugar to the miso. He also adds a large quantity of sake and mirin so that the marinade becomes a similar consistency to the traditional marinade.
Glacier 51 Toothfish and Black Cod/Sablefish
Nobu’s Saikyo Yaki is made with black cod fillets. I think black cod is the best fish to make Saikyo Yaki with.
Black cod (also called sablefish) is a deep-sea fish that can be caught in the North Pacific Ocean. The flesh is white and soft. When cooked, the meat has a flaky texture like cod and a high fat content that makes it super tasty.
Black cod does not belong to the cod species. It gained the name ‘black cod’ because the flaky texture of the cooked meat is similar to cod and the colour of the skin is almost black.
Unlike Japan unfortunately, it is very difficult to buy black cod in Australia, at least for common consumers.
So, I substituted black cod with Glacier 51 toothfish (also known as Patagonian toothfish/Chilean sea bass, see the photo above), which has a very similar texture and fat content to black cod. Some say that Glacier 51 toothfish is as good as, or even better than, black cod.
Patagonian toothfish is also a deep-sea fish that lives in the cold sea. Glacier 51 toothfish is the species that lives in the icy waters of the sub-Antarctic, under the large glacier called Fiftyone Glacier on Heard Island.
You can only buy Glacier 51 toothfish frozen in Australia, and it is a bit expensive. But for a special occasion, I think that Glacier 51 toothfish Saikyo Yaki is totally worth it.
What’s in Nobu’s Miso Marinated Black Cod
This is the recipe straight from Nobu’s cookbook called The Cookbook, with the portion adjusted accordingly. But I used Glacier 51 toothfish fillets instead of black cod fillets.
- 2 x Glacier 51 toothfish fillets, thawed in the fridge
- 2 spears of blanched asparagus for garnish
Nobu-style Saikyo Miso
- Shiro miso (not Saikyo miso)
- Cooking sake
You need to use normal shiro miso, not sweet shiro miso such as Saikyo miso because Nobu’s recipe uses quite a lot of sugar to make the marinade sweet. The photo below is a comparison between shiro miso and sweet shiro miso/Saikyo miso.
My toothfish fillets were 150g/5.3oz each. If you can buy black cod fillets, please use black cod by all means. Although Glacier 51 toothfish and black cod are great to make Saikyo yaki, you can use other kinds of fish as per my Saikyo Yaki Fish recipe.
When I made Glacier 51 toothfish Saikyo Yaki for a dozen people at my Yakitori party, I halved each fillet and served a thinner piece per person so that I could bring the cost down. Each serving was only 75g/2.6oz, but it was not too small at all by Japanese standards. I thought the portion was just right with the strong sweet miso flavour.
How to Make Nobu’s Miso Marinated Black Cod
Unlike my Saikyo Yaki Miso Marinade, you need to use a stove for a short while to make Nobu’s Miso Marinade.
- Put sake and mirin in a saucepan and boil for 20 seconds to remove alcohol.
- Add miso to the pan and dissolve.
- Add sugar to the pan and dissolve. Cool it down.
- Marinate fillets in the Miso marinade and leave it in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- Wipe the marinade off the fish fillets and grill.
Nobu’s recipe suggests adding a few extra drops of marinade on each serving plate after plating the fish, which makes the dish look professional. If you want to do this, you’ll have to reserve a small amount of the marinade before marinating the fish.
At my yakitori party, I made today’s dish (Nobu’s Saikyo Yaki Fish) as well as my version of Saikyo Yaki Fish so that people could compare the flavours. Some people liked Nobu’s version, and others preferred my version.
I think that people who are used to strong flavours prefer Nobu’s and people who like a lighter flavour (like me), enjoy my Saikyo Yaki.
You’ll have to make both versions of Saikyo Yaki to decide which flavour you like better!
Note: I decided not to include the section Meal Ideas today. If you visit my post, Saikyo Yaki Fish, you will see what sort of dishes might go well with Saikyo Yaki.
Nobu's Miso Marinated Black Cod Recipe is very similar to the Saikyo Yaki Miso Marinade and Saikyo Yaki recipes that I posted some time ago. Nobu’s marinade is a Westernised version with a stronger flavour, particularly the sweetness.
This is a recipe from his cookbook called The Cookbook. I only changed the fish fillet to be marinated. Instead of black cod fillets, I used Glacier 51 toothfish fillets.
There isn't Meal Ideas today. If you visit my post, Saikyo Yaki Fish, you will see what sort of dishes might go well with Saikyo Yaki.
- 2 fillets Glacier 51 toothfish thawed in the fridge (150g/5.3oz each, note 1)
- 2 spears asparagus blanched and cut into half lengths (note 3)
Put sake and mirin in a saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Boil for 20 seconds to let alcohol evaporate.
Reduce heat to low and add miso to the pan. Mix well until the miso dissolves completely with no lumps.
Turn the heat up to high and add sugar. Mix well until the sugar dissolves, then turn the heat off.
Let it cool to room temperature.
Pat-dry the fish fillets with kitchen paper.
Slather slightly less than half of the miso marinade into an air-tight container, or a tray that can just fit in the fish fillets without overlapping (note 4).
Place the fish fillets on the miso, without overlapping, then slather the surface of the fillets with the rest of the marinade. Ensure that the fish fillets are coated in the miso marinade completely (note 4).
Cover the surface of the marinated fish with a piece of cling wrap, pressing down the cling wrap so that there are no air pockets between the surface of the marinated fish and the cling wrap.
Cover the tray with another piece of cling wrap and leave it in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Preheat the grill or a broiler.
Wipe the marinade off the fish fillets (note 5).
Place the fillets on the grill/broiler (note 6) and cook for about 5 minutes (note 7).
Turn the fillets over and cook for further 5 minutes (note 6) until the edges of the fillets turn slightly charred.
Place each grilled fillet on a serving plate, then place two asparagus sticks leaning against the fish.
1. Nobu’s recipe uses black cod fillets, but I cannot buy them in Sydney. So, I substituted them with Glacier 51 toothfish fillets, which are considered to be equally tasty and fatty.
Glacier 51 toothfish comes frozen and the fillet I bought was 150g/5.3oz per pack. See the photo in the post.
Instead of black cod or Glacier 51 toothfish, which are not cheap, you can marinate salmon, Spanish mackerel, etc.
2. Standard shiro miso is not the same as Saikyo miso, which is sometimes labelled as sweet shiro miso (see the photo in the post comparing standard shiro miso and sweet shiro miso). Also, the colour of shiro miso is not necessarily pale beige. It is often light brown like the miso I used.
3. Nobu’s recipe used pickled ginger sprouts as garnish, but these are very difficult to find in Australia. So, I used blanched asparagus spears to add a colour to the dish. You can also use the other garnishes that I showed you in my Saikyo Yaki Fish recipe.
4. Nobu’s recipe simply says that you slather the fish with miso marinade and place in a dish or a bowl. But I found that slathering the fillets in your hand is quite messy, so I did it my way. It doesn't matter how you coat the fish fillets with the miso marinade.
5. It’s OK to have some miso marinade left on the fish. Do not rinse it off.
6. The distance between the heat and the fish should not be too close because the surface of the fish burns before the fish is cooked halfway. The distance should be about 10cm/4".
7. The cooking duration varies depending on the thickness of the fillet. My fillet was about 4cm/1½½" thick.
8. Nutrition per serving. The amount of marinade consumed should be minimal but for the calculation purposes, it is assumed that 20% of miso marinade is consumed.
serving: 263g calories: 375kcal fat: 3g (5%) saturated fat: 1g (5%) trans fat: 0.0g polyunsaturated fat: 0.8g monounsaturated fat: 0.8g cholesterol: 75mg (25%) sodium: 359mg (15%) potassium: 488mg (14%) carbohydrates: 35g (12%) dietary fibre: 0.4g (2%) sugar: 30g protein: 31g vitamin a: 0.1% vitamin c: 0% calcium: 1.8% iron: 6.2%