Miso-Steamed Black Cod

This image courtesy of Kathryn Barnard

Fish novices, rejoice: if you’ve been reluctant to try cooking fish at home, this easy recipe is a great jumping-off point. Black cod’s rich texture makes it difficult to overcook, especially when steamed. Steaming is both a very healthful and a flavorful way to enjoy fish, as it allows a certain purity of flavor to shine through. Note: Plan ahead, as the fish must marinate overnight before cooking.


Cooking Methodsteaming



Total Timea day or more

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, lactose-free




  • ½ cup sake
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • ¼ cup white miso paste
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • One 1-inch-piece fresh ginger, finely slivered
  • ¼ cup scallions, finely minced
  • Four 6-ounce black cod fillets
  • Steamed rice
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil  


  1. To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a wok over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let the marinade cool, then pour it into a resealable plastic bag. Put the cod fillets in the bag and seal it. Refrigerate, turning the bag over once before you head off to bed.

  2. To steam the fish, remove it from the pouch and discard the marinade. Pour a few inches of water into the bottom of a wok and set a rack or bamboo steamer over the water. Cover the wok and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Put the fish on the rack and steam until it is opaque and cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Monitor the level of water in the wok, adding more as needed to ensure that it doesn’t go dry. You’ll know the fish is done when it flakes with little resistance.

  3. To serve, arrange the fish on a bed of steamed rice and drizzle with the sesame oil.


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