Misoyaki Butterfish


If I could have a choice of what my last meal would be, hands-down it would be this Japanese style misoyaki butterfish. If you’ve ever had butterfish, you know that it isn’t cheap, but is totally worth it because it’s that delicious, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth kind of meal that warms your soul a little bit with each and every bite.

I’m not exactly sure where the term “butterfish” came from, because the fish is simply black cod, and there sure isn’t any butter in the recipe. My guess is that it’s called butterfish simply because of its moist and buttery texture that the fish naturally has. Either way, this recipe is definitely one of my all time favorites.

This recipe definitely took my dad and I a few attempts to get the proportions and methods down, but now that we’ve done it a few times, we have a few tricks up our sleeves. I do want to point out a few things before we start. First, this recipe calls for a lot of Japanese ingredients, however, they should be available at an Asian supermarket or in the Asian section of your local supermarket. Secondly, be sure that you choose the right type of miso paste. I had to learn the hard way that there are several different kinds of miso (if you are intrested, click here to learn more about miso). Lastly, (and most importantly) this recipe takes some planning ahead, and by that I mean it takes THREE DAYS TO MARINADE. Yes, you read that correctly, three whole days. But don’t worry, it is 100% worth it.

Servings: 6

  • 6 black cod steaks or filets (about 6 oz each) – if the fish is frozen, be sure to defrost prior to marinading
  • Marinade
    • 1/3 cup sake
    • 1/3 cup mirin
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 1 cup white miso paste (also known as shiro miso)
    • Canola oil or grapeseed oil
  1. Just in case you didn’t read my little blurb above, it is important to know that the black cod will need to marinade in the refrigerator for THREE WHOLE DAYS. But don’t worry, it is completely worth it (:
  2. To make the marinade, combine the sugar and miso in a small pot over medium heat and boil for about 5 minutes. This is a very important step to ensure that the sugar doesn’t add a grainy texture to the fish!
  3. Reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the marinade to cool.
  4. Place the pieces of black cod into a large gallon-sized Zip-Loc bag a along with the marinade. Be sure that the marinade is coated evenly over all of the fish pieces. Refrigerate for three days.
  5. After the fish has finished marinating, first, congratulate yourself on being so patient. Then, remove any excess marinade from each piece of fish (don’t worry, all of the flavor is inside of the fish, so be sure to clean off any excess).
  6. Turn the oven on to broil (this is just to heat up the oven, we will pan fry the fish first).
  7. Heat a large frying pan with a drizzle of canola oil. Pan fry the fish forย two minutes on each side. It is oh so important not to over-cook the fish, so be sure to watch it closely.
  8. Place the fish on a greased baking sheet and broil for an additional 2-3 minutes. This will give it that nice caramelized glazed finish (:
  9. Share this meal with your friends and family and enjoy!

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