Looking for a mouthwatering Miso Black Cod recipe or a delicious Sablefish recipe? Look no further! In this article, I’ll share my irresistible Miso Black Cod recipe that showcases the buttery texture and umami goodness of sablefish, ensuring a culinary delight for your taste buds.

A mouthwatering filet of miso black cod plated with spinach and rice on a Japanese plate.  

One of the gals in my book club made a miso-glazed black cod for dinner that had us all begging for the recipe. Below you will find a recipe very similar to what she made for our book club. The subtle sweetness combined with the umami flavor and the buttery fish is perfection. My only regret is that I didn’t make more – my 2 year old ate wolfed down almost my entire filet! I will definitely be making this again. It’s super quick and easy and is now one of my favorite fish recipes.

If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine or simply crave a melt-in-your-mouth fish dish, then you’re in for a treat! Today, I’m excited to share with you my all-time favorite recipe for Miso Black Cod. This dish is a true explosion of flavors, combining the delicate and buttery texture of black cod with the umami-rich goodness of miso marinade.

Why Miso Black Cod?

Before we jump into the recipe, let’s talk about why Miso Black Cod is a must-try dish. First and foremost, black cod, also known as sablefish or butterfish, has a luxurious and silky texture that is unparalleled. It practically melts in your mouth, making it a perfect canvas for absorbing the flavors of the marinade.

Miso is a traditional Japanese ingredient made from fermented soybeans. It has a unique savory and slightly sweet taste, known as umami, which adds depth and complexity to any dish it graces. When combined with the natural oils of black cod, the miso marinade creates a symphony of flavors that will have you craving more.

White miso, sake, and mirin (a rice wine) can all be found at Whole Foods, Asian markets, and specialty grocery stores.

What is Black Cod aka Sablefish? 

Sablefish and black cod are the same fish. “Black cod” is the more common name used in North America, while “sablefish” is the term often used in Europe. Both names refer to the same species of fish, scientifically known as Anoplopoma fimbria. It is a deep-sea fish known for its buttery texture and rich flavor.

Black cod, also known as sablefish, is a remarkable fish that delights seafood enthusiasts with its unique characteristics. It is native to the North Pacific Ocean and can be found in cold deep waters from Alaska to California. One of the distinguishing features of black cod is its incredible flavor. The fish has a delicate and buttery texture that practically melts in your mouth, making it a favorite among seafood lovers. Its rich, succulent flesh offers a subtle sweetness with a hint of umami, making it an ideal canvas for various flavor profiles.

In terms of sustainability, black cod is often considered a sustainable choice. The fish has a low vulnerability to overfishing due to its deep-sea habitat, slow growth rate, and late maturity. Additionally, some fisheries have implemented regulations and practices to ensure the responsible management of black cod populations, such as size limits and catch quotas. However, it is always important to check the specific sourcing and fishing methods to ensure that the black cod you consume comes from a sustainable and well-managed fishery.

Whether you’re enjoying it in a classic miso marinade or exploring different flavor combinations, black cod/sablefish is a true delicacy that promises a memorable dining experience. Its luxurious texture, delightful taste, and potential for creative culinary exploration make it a sought-after ingredient in both home kitchens and fine dining establishments such as Nobu.

A large black cod (sablefish) filet on a black plate with a chef's knife.

How to Make Miso Black Cod

Although miso black cod is a sophisticated-tasting dish, it’s quite simple to prepare. 

First, create a savory marinade by combining miso paste with a few other ingredients. This aromatic miso marinade will be the key to infusing your black cod with incredible flavors.

Next, let the fish marinate and absorb all those wonderful flavors. I like to do this overnight or all day. 

Finally, cook the fish in the oven and serve. For extra char on top, you can place the fish briefly under the broiler after baking. 

Miso black cod over spinach with a side of rice.

Serving Suggestions for Miso Black Cod

Complete your miso black cod experience with these delightful serving suggestions that complement the flavors of this Japanese-inspired dish:

1. Japanese Vegetables: Serve your miso black cod with a side of traditional Japanese vegetables such as blanched or stir-fried bok choy, sautéed shiitake or enoki mushrooms, or lightly steamed snap peas. These vibrant and crisp vegetables add a refreshing and nutritious element to your plate.

2. Steamed Rice: Pair your miso black cod with steamed white or brown rice to create a satisfying and well-balanced meal. The fluffy texture of the rice beautifully complements the rich and tender black cod. Consider adding a sprinkle of sesame seeds or thinly sliced nori (seaweed) for an extra touch of Japanese flair. Try our Instant Pot Sushi Rice

3. Pickled Radishes: Add a tangy and colorful element to your plate by serving pickled radishes alongside the miso black cod. The pickled radishes provide a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors of the fish and help cleanse the palate between bites.

4. Japanese-inspired Slaw: For a modern twist, serve a light and refreshing Japanese-inspired slaw as a side dish. Toss together shredded cabbage, julienned carrots, sliced cucumbers, and a dressing made with rice vinegar, soy sauce, and a touch of sesame oil. The crisp texture and zesty flavors of the slaw complement the delicate fish perfectly.

Remember, these serving suggestions are just ideas to enhance your miso black cod experience. Feel free to get creative and tailor the sides according to your taste preferences. Enjoy your meal!

Yield: Serves 4

Miso Black Cod (Sablefish) Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes

Indulge in the tantalizing flavors of miso black cod with this delightful recipe. Made with sablefish, also known as black cod, this dish offers a buttery texture and a rich umami taste. This mouthwatering miso black cod recipe is a favorite Japanese seafood dish.

A filet of miso black cod served with spinach and rice on a black plate.


  • 4 black cod fillets (approximately 6 ounces each)
  • 1/2 cup white miso paste
  • 1/4 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 1/4 cup sake (Japanese rice wine)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
  • Green onions, sliced diagonally, for garnish (optional)


  1. In a bowl, combine the white miso paste, mirin, sake, sugar, soy sauce, grated ginger, and minced garlic. Whisk everything together until well combined and the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Marinate the Black Cod. Place the black cod fillets in a shallow dish or a resealable plastic bag. Pour the miso marinade over the fillets, ensuring they are fully coated. Cover the dish or seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. The longer you marinate, the more flavorful the fish will become, so feel free to leave it in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
  3. When you're ready to cook, preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Remove the black cod fillets from the marinade, allowing any excess marinade to drip off. Place the fillets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a lightly greased baking dish.
  4. Bake the black cod for about 15-20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork and the top is golden brown. Keep a close eye on the fish to avoid overcooking, as black cod can dry out if left in the oven for too long.


If you're in a hurry, you can marinate at room temperature, covered, for 30 minutes.