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Alaskan Black Cod ‘w’ Miso

Brian Kennett

Brian Kennett

Amateur Chef and Foodie Extraordinaire


Alaskan Black Cod ‘w’ Miso


Buying these mystery boxes from our partners is so cool. I feel like Forrest Gump; “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna git…” Well, obviously I do after I have opened the box and had a look, but you get what I mean. It’s not like ordering from a list aligned to cooking ideas you already had in your head or in your fridge. No, this is a mystery jamboree. From our partners, The Alaska Guys’ mystery box today I have chosen Alaskan Black Cod. I have never cooked with this before, but from the packets, it looks like an amazing hunk of firm white fish fillet. I have seen Black Cod on menus before though, mainly in Japanese restaurants with some form of Miso. So, when in Rome. Sorry, rather. So, when in Lockdown… ChillaxBBQ Stay@Home Recipes #42 – Alaskan Black Cod ‘w’ Miso.

Yes, I am calling it #BillWallaceFriendly as all this came from the fridge and freezer…

ChillaxBBQ Stay@Home Recipes #42 - Alaskan Black Cod 'w' Miso
This is my little tray of goodies from the freezer and fridge for dinner today. Kurobuta Pork fillet, 2 stunning Black Cod fillets, some bone marrow bones and the white miso paste for the cod. Bring it on… Well later on. Hopefully, a nice little family walk first to clear the cobwebs and see some other humans – AKA fish marinade time.
ChillaxBBQ Stay@Home Recipes #42 - Alaskan Black Cod 'w' Miso
Here are the Black Cod fillets. See what I mean. That is some serious big flaky fillets right there. I am going to marinade this, sear it and then oven bake. But 1st I am putting quite a bit of salt on it to dry out the wetness, and to remove the string fishiness smell. So easy to do. Sprinkle with salt and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes. Rinse with clean cold water and pat dry with some kitchen towel

I do believe it could be DaddyPedia time as you may not have heard of Alaskan Cod Fish before… AKA the Sablefish, it is a species of deep-sea fish common to the North Pacific Ocean. Adult Sablefish are opportunistic feeders, preying on fish, including our mates from the other day, Pollock, but also a variety of other fish and even squid and jellyfish. So the Black Cod could also be called Marysol Kennett. They are long-lived, with a maximum recorded age of 94 years, holy shit – although the ‘normal’ age is less than 20 years old. The big boys have been known to hit weights up to 25 kg (55 lb) – why is wifey licking her lips as I type this up?

ChillaxBBQ Stay@Home Recipes #42 - Alaskan Black Cod 'w' Miso
Here is an Alaskan Guy, not The Alaskan Guys, holding a monster Black Cod. I can see where the big fillets come from now.

Here is where my inspiration came from today. I have really only ever seen black cod on Japanese restaurant menus (gindara) which is often cooked saikyo yaki style, which is marinated for several days in sweet white miso and then broiled. You may have seen that Japanese-Peruvian-American Chef, Nobu Matsuhisa before? If not, he is super famous and is very frequented by Robert de Niro, or so goes the rumour that Bob might even own Nobu. Anyways, the Chef introduced his version of gindara saikyo yaki at his restaurant in Los Angeles, and brought it to his New York restaurant Nobu in 1994, where it is considered a signature dish, that he calls simply “Black Cod ‘w’ Miso”.

ChillaxBBQ Stay@Home Recipes #42 - Alaskan Black Cod 'w' Miso
Marinade in picture form – White Miso, Shochu, Rice Wine and Gula Melaka. OK, you could use Mirin as an alternative to Shochu and brown sugar instead of Gula Melaka. I was just being a ponce with the Shochu, and it is also all I could get at the shops.

This is your marinade folks.

Is this my version of Chef Nobu? Nah, it’s just mine – Chef Knob.

More than enough here for 2-3 Black Cod fillets;

  • 5 Tbsp white miso paste
  • 1/3 cup Japanese Shochu
  • 1/3 cup Japanese Rice Wine
  • 2 Tbsp Gula Melaka (chop it up finely)
  1. Mix all that together until the Gula Melaka has melted into the liquid ingredients
  2. Place the fish fillets into the marinade skin-side up
  3. Spoon marinade all over the top too – like the picture below
  4. Cover with some silver foil and pop into the fridge for as long as you can – 24 hours is preferable, today I managed 5 hours
ChillaxBBQ Stay@Home Recipes #42 - Alaskan Black Cod 'w' Miso
Here are those two big fillets having a rest in the marinade for a good long afternoon. Longer would have been better, but 5-6 hours should also be good enough. It is a punchy marinade. Very salty and fermented, with that kick of alcohol too. I tell you that would get into me quickly and would not need 24 hours haha.

Cooking & Plating;

  1. When you are ready to rock and roll, take the fillets out of the marinade and drain off excess;
  2. Melt some butter in a frying pan and get the fillets on the skin-side first until that crisps up;
  3. Flip the fillets on all sides to char them up a little – you don’t need to cook here just brown the flesh a little for flavour and colour;
  4. When you have done that on all sides, pop them on a roasting tray and bang in the oven preheated to 200 degrees for 15-20 minutes;
  5. Place that on your serving platter skin-side up to show that lovely crispiness;
  6. I served this with;
    • Sliced Shitake mushrooms, fried off in some butter and finely chopped garlic;
    • Young asparagus, again fried off in some butter and finely chopped garlic;
    • A little of the marinade, that I warmed on the hot pan with a little knob of butter mixed in;
    • It is a powerful marinade so a little spoonful is enough to get some salty fermented kick.
ChillaxBBQ Stay@Home Recipes #42 - Alaskan Black Cod 'w' Miso
Here she is – super crispy skin and beautiful moist white fish fillets beneath that shroud. A rather beautiful and delicious dish all combined. Feedback was complete silence from #1 as he literally did not say a word until the only thing left on the plate was some fish bones. Yep, happy cook…

So that was my first foray into Black Cod. Thanks again to The Alsaka Guys for selling me the weird and wonderful in my mystery boxes. I love them as it makes me really have to think hard and get imaginative and creative for the outcomes of my hungry family demand. #1 summed it up; “It’s your fault Dad, as you keep serving us all these different things at weekends. We, therefore, expect it every weekend now. And we expect it to be delicious.” No pressure. Chef Knob produced this version of a Japanese dish with Miso and Black Cod. This was ChillaxBBQ Stay@Home Recipes #42 – Alaskan Black Cod ‘w’ Miso and it was a cracker from what I can glean from the feedback. Have a go – ENJOY!!!

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