This is my most favorite way of eating fish in a Japanese restaurant and I recently discovered it was so much easier than I ever imagined to make at home!
Make sure you allow 3 days for this as you need to marinate it for this length of time. After that there’s precious little to do and the final result is so buttery and gorgeous!
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup mirin
4 tablespoons white miso paste
3 tablespoons sugar
4 black cod fillets, about 1/2 pound each
Two to 3 days beforehand, make the miso marinade and marinate the fish. Bring the sake and mirin to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol. Turn the heat down to low, add the miso paste, and whisk. When the miso has dissolved completely, turn the heat up to high again and add the sugar, whisking constantly to ensure that the sugar doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan. 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 miso marinade and place in a non-reactive dish or bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
To cook the fish:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat an oven-proof skillet over high heat on the stovetop. Lightly wipe off any excess miso clinging to the fillets, but don’t rinse it off. Film the pan with a little oil, then place the fish skin-side-up on the pan and cook until the bottom of the fish browns and blackens in spots, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until the other side is browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until fish is opaque and flakes easily.
** Instead of cooking the fish on the stove top, you can do this step on an outdoor grill or under the broiler in your oven.