Whipping up Nobu’s famous black cod miso at Sozai Cooking School

As the acclaimed dish-du-jour of Japanese restaurant, Nobu, black cod miso is reserved for wealthy City workers.  But for those who can’t afford to splurge £42.50 on a main course, why not learn to make this Asian foodie delight at home for a fraction of the cost? If you’re yearning to upgrade your culinary skills, Sozai Cooking School is now helpfully offering black cod miso cooking lessons after work.

preparing black cod miso at sozai cooking school

learning to cook black cod with miso sauce at Sozai cooking school

What is black cod?

Confusingly, black cod is not from the cod family but is a Sablefish which thrives in deep waters up to 5000 feet below sea level in the North Pacific Ocean. Nicknamed the Butterfish due to its moist, fleshy texture, black cod is now one of the most sought-after dishes in upmarket Asian restaurants.    It used to be as cheap as chips in Japan but thanks to its meteoric rise to celebrity status, prices have jumped 11% in the last year to $12.25 per pound.

How to cook black cod miso

Black cod miso takes 36 – 48 hours to marinate before being served.  In the class, we were given pre-marinated cod that had been prepared earlier in order that we could try it on the night.  The ingredients for black cod miso are:

120 gramms black cod fillet x 4
100 gramms sugar to cure cod
Miso mix
100 gramms white miso paste
25 gramms sugar
10 gramms Mirin
10 gramms Sake

You can find black cod and other Japanese staples at the Japan Centre, Atariya and TK Trading .  If you don’t live in London, you can substitute black cod for salmon, sea bass or other flaky fish.

preparing black cod miso at sozai cooking school

black cod miso preparation at Sozai cooking school

How to prepare black cod miso

The first stage of preparation is to cure the fish with sugar and then leave to marinate for three hours.  (This is already done for you in class).  Once the fish is ready, the next stage is to wash off the sugar and dry the fish with a hand towel before coating it in the white miso mix.  The fish is then sealed in a plastic containers for 36 hours.

Once ready, you preheat the oven to 220 degrees and wipe off any excess miso on the fillets.  You then place the cod fillets on the grill, skin side up and oven bake for about 15 minutes. In the class, the fish is served up with the Bita-Jiru – a tasty and warming pork and vegetable miso soup.  The soup is made from a rich combination of exotic ingredients including Pork Belly, Burdock and Japanese 7 spices.  The soup’s spicy rich undertones is the perfect accompaniment to the buttery, succulent flavours of the cod.  But to get the recipe for this Asian gem, you will need to sign up to the class.

black cod miso with rice and pork and vegetable soup

Close up of black cod miso with rice and spring onions accompanied by pork and vegetable soup

Clutching my plastic box filled with marinating black cod, I leave Aldgate with a great sense of achievement. Thanks to Sozai’s practical step-by-step approach, I now feel empowered to swap my winter cottage pie staples for a more sophisticated palate.  Watch out Nobu, your secret’s out.

To book a Japanese cooking class at Sozai Cooking School, visit:
This cooking class was provided free of charge by Sozai Cooking School.


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