Miso Marinated Cod Recipe

Sometimes an easy and delicious seafood dish is enough to pick you up during the busy week. If you’re craving some fish this week, you might want to give this Miso Marinated Cod recipe a try. This miso-marinated cod can be prepared in advance for a quick, delicious, and healthy meal any day of the week!

I was inspired by Nobu’s miso black cod recipe for this dish, but then I quickly realized that black cod (or sablefish) is not easily accessible for most people. So I decided to try this recipe out with regular cod, and I was very happy with the results!

The great thing about this recipe is you can prepare it in two ways – broiling or baking. But I prefer broiling it as it gives the cod a nice char.

Keep in mind that the miso marinade can burn fairly quickly, so you need to keep your eye on the fish while it’s cooking. Once it’s done, all you’ll need is a fresh bowl of rice and you’ll be amazed by how tasty it is.

What is miso?

If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine, you may have heard of miso. You may be more familiar with it as a soup, but it’s actually a key ingredient in several Japanese dishes.

Miso is a fermented paste that consists of soybeans and koji, and it usually has a salty and umami flavor. Koji is a type of mold that’s grown on rice, soybeans, or barley, and it helps break down the soybeans to create its distinct taste.

There are several types of miso, but it’s generally available in two major groups – light or dark. Light miso, like white or ‘shiro‘ miso, tends to be sweeter, as it has a shorter fermentation period and contains fewer soybeans. While dark miso, like red or ‘aka‘ miso will have a stronger and saltier flavor, as it’s fermented longer and contains more soybeans. There is also yellow miso, or ‘shinshu‘ miso, that falls somewhere in between.

You can use any type of miso interchangeably, but the lighter miso will work better on dressings and desserts, while the darker types are ideal for braising and stews. For this recipe, I prefer to use white miso because it works well for flavoring the dish without overpowering the delicate fish.

Miso Marinated Cod Ingredients and Substitutions

Cod: since this recipe only requires a few ingredients, you want to use the high-quality and freshest cod you can find. Cod can also but substituted with other fish including halibut and salmon.

Sake: sake is used to soak the fish. This helps eliminate any unpleasant odors. Sake can be substituted with mirin.

Miso Marinade Ingredients and Substitutions

Sake: sake is also used in the marinade to add a subtle hint of sweetness. You can substitute sake with mirin.

Mirin: similar to sake, the mirin also adds a hint of sweetness. It also helps to deepen the flavors of the marinade.

White miso paste: also known as ‘shiro‘ miso, this is the lightest miso variety. Miso is generally very salty and can be overpowering. White miso is ideal for this dish because it doesn’t overpower the delicate flavors of the cod. I like using the Maruman brand.

Sugar: sugar helps to balance out the saltiness and savoriness of the miso.

How to make Miso Marinated Cod

If you’re looking for a quick, easy, and delicious seafood recipe, follow my step-by-step guide below!

One more thing before we get started – you can swap out the cod for your favorite fish including salmon, catfish, halibut, and trout. The possibilities are endless 🙂

Step 1: Prepare the miso marinade

In a pot, bring the sake and mirin to a boil over medium heat.

Once it’s boiling, turn the heat to low then add the miso paste and whisk until it completely dissolves. Next, add the sugar and whisk to combine well. Remove the pot from the heat and let the mixture cool completely. 

Step 2: Soak the cod

Place the cod in a bowl and pour 1 tablespoon of sake. Then let it marinate for 5 to 10 minutes. The sake is going to help remove the fishy odor from the fish. Feel free to skip this step if you have dietary restrictions.

Once the time is up, pat the cod with a dry paper towel to absorb any excess sake.

Step 3: Marinate the cod

In an air-tight container, pour half the miso marinade on the bottom. 

Then place the cod in the container on top of the marinade, and pour the rest of the miso marinade on top. With a spoon or spatula, spread the marinade around to ensure the cod is fully coated.

Cover the cod with plastic wrap, then close the container’s airtight lid. Place the container in the fridge, and let it marinate for 2 to 3 days.

Step 4: Cook the cod

When you’re ready to cook, wipe off the excess miso marinade from the cod with your hands or a paper towel.

Lay the cod on a lined sheet tray and broil for 8 to 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can also bake the cod in the oven for 12 to 18 minutes at 400°F (205ºC) until it gets a nice char.

Step 5: Serve and enjoy!

Serve the dish immediately with a warm bowl of rice and your favorite vegetable dishes or side dishes.

What can I serve with Miso Marinated Cod?

Vegetables are always a good choice as a side dish, so I suggest you give my Stir Fried Water Spinach recipe a try. It’s a mixture of garlic, shrimp sauce, and Thai chili peppers, so its flavors will really pack a punch when accompanied by the Miso Marinated Cod.

But if you want a more refreshing side dish, you can also try making my Vietnamese Tomato Salad recipe. Its dressing is a combination of fish sauce, lime juice, and Thai chili peppers, so you can imagine how excellent it’ll taste when eaten alongside the cod.

Need more vegetable and side dish recommendations? Check out these recipes:

Frequently Asked Questions

What does miso do for the body?

Not only will miso elevate the flavors in your food, but it also contains a multitude of nutrients that can help protect your body against several diseases.

Since miso goes through a fermentation process, it contains probiotics that are beneficial for your gut’s health. Probiotics are good bacteria that can help improve the balance of the microbes in your digestive system, making it function more effectively.

Regular consumption of miso can also reduce your risk of several cancers, as it contains antioxidant properties. But aside from these benefits, miso also contains vitamin K, protein, manganese, copper, and zinc, so it’s one ingredient that you should add to your regular diet.

Is cod fish good for you?

If you haven’t tried cod before, it’s a white flaky fish that is delicious when cooked right. Similar to most fish, it’s an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Studies show that eating at least one serving a week can lower your risk of heart disease and related illnesses. It’s also shown to improve your brain’s function, reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s disease in the future. 

Cod is also rich in vitamin B12, phosphorus, selenium, niacin, iodine, and choline, so you can get a healthy boost of nutrients in your diet.

Can you eat cod skin?

Cod skin is edible, as long as you properly wash and clean the fish before cooking. Like all fish, keep in mind that cod fish skin does have scales that will need to be removed prior to cooking and consuming.

I like to use a skinless cod for this recipe, so there’s no need to clean the skin as it’s already removed. But using cod with its skin on can also be delicious for this dish. 

Can you marinate fish for too long?

A marinade can give your fish a good flavor and texture, but that doesn’t mean you should let it sit as long as possible. Marinating your fish for too long can turn it into a mushy mess. When you use acidic-forming ingredients like miso, it will break down proteins at a much faster rate.

The time the fish needs to absorb the marinade will depend on its size and ingredients. So for this recipe, marinating the cod for up to 3 days should be more than sufficient.

How do you cook cod so it isn’t dry?

Cooking is a skill that can be perfected with consistent practice. If you want to make a perfectly broiled or baked cod, it’s important to pay attention to how long you cook the fish.

Dry cod can be a result of overcooking, so you need to adjust its cooking time depending on the size of the fish. You can check if the cod is done by poking the center with a fork, and if it separates into flakes it’s time to take it out of the heat. If the fish is still intact, it means it needs a little more time.

What can I substitute for sake?

Sake is a type of Japanese alcohol that’s made from fermented rice. They’re great to drink on their own, but they’re a common cooking ingredient as well. Sake can give your food a distinctly rich flavor and help remove unpleasant odors, which is why I like to add them to Asian-inspired dishes like this one.

You can usually find sake in your local liquor store, online, or in Asian supermarkets. But if you can’t find one near you, you can also substitute it with Chinese rice wine or dry sherry. Alternatively, you can omit the sake completely and this recipe will still turn out delicious!

What can I substitute for mirin?

Mirin is also a type of Japanese rice wine but it has a sweeter taste and a lower alcohol content than sake. It also tastes similar to sake, so you can use it as a substitute if you can’t find any mirin.

You can also find it online or in Asian supermarkets. But if you’re in a pinch, you can also use dry sherry, sweet marsala wine, dry white wine, or rice vinegar.

I hope you give this recipe a try and love it as much as I do. It’s a serious time saver and perfect for a quick weeknight meal.

Looking for more easy and delicious seafood recipes? Check out my most popular recipes!

Miso Marinated Cod

Servings 2 people
Prep Time 2 days 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 days 25 minutes


  • 16 oz cod
  • 1 tbsp sake to soak fish

Miso Marinade

  • 5 tbsp sake
  • 5 tbsp mirin
  • 5 tbsp white miso paste
  • 2 tbsp sugar


  • In a pot, bring sake and mirin to a boil over medium heat.
  • Turn the heat to low then add the miso paste. Whisk until the miso paste has dissolved. Add the sugar and whisk to combine well. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  • Place the cod in a bowl and pour 1 tbsp sake. Let soak for 5-10 minutes then pat the cod with a paper towel to soak up any excess sake.
  • Pour half the miso marinade on the bottom of an air tight container.
  • Place the cod in the container in one layer, making sure they do not stack. Pour the remaining half of the miso marinade on top of the cod. Using a spoon or spatula, spread the marinade so it fully coats the fish.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and and cover with the air tight lid. Place in the fridge to marinate for 2-3 days.
  • When you're ready to cook the fish, wipe off the excess miso marinade from the cod with your hands or paper towel.
  • Lay the cod on a lined sheet tray and broil for 8-10 minutes or bake for 12-18 minutes at 400°F / 200ºC until fully cooked.
  • Serve with a fresh bowl of rice and your favorite side dishes.


  1. Substitute cod for any other fish including salmon and halibut. 
  2. If you prefer to bake the cod, set your oven to 400°F / 200ºC and bake for 12-18 minutes or until fully cooked. 
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese

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