miso baked white fish recipe

If you’ve never baked with miso before, prepare to have your life changed. Every self-respecting West Coast foodie is familiar with Nobu Malibu’s miso-baked cod and this recipe makes for a delicious dupe.

This recipe comes from Dr. Gary Deng’s The Wellness Principles: Cooking for a Healthy Life. The recipe is easy to make, but may require a bit of ingredient shopping so be sure to prepare in advance. Don’t worry — once you have miso and rice vinegar on hand, they won’t go to waste. You’ll find yourself adding them to dressings and sauces of all kinds. Give this one a try next. 

Miso—fermented soybean paste—is a nutritious vegan seasoning. During fermentation, the enzymes break down the proteins and carbohydrates in soybeans and produce umami-tasting byproducts. Miso can replace sauce or seasoning made of meat stock or dairy products (butter or cheese) without losing the flavor-enhancing effect. Shio koji is a fermented rice paste containing a different set of umami-producing compounds and a little bit of alcohol, which brings out even more flavor from the fish. Any mild-flavored white fish, such as cod, sea bass, haddock, or snapper, would work well for this dish.

Miso-Baked Cod

Preparation time: 5 minutes, plus overnight marinating time
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves 4

For gluten-free, use dashi

+ 2 tablespoons white miso
+ 1 tablespoon shio koji (fermented rice paste) or 1 more tablespoon miso
+ 1 tablespoon mild-flavored vegetable oil
+ 1 tablespoon sugar
+ 3 tablespoons rice wine
+ ½ tablespoon rice vinegar
+ 4 skinless white fish fillets (such as cod, haddock, snapper or sea bass), about 6 oz/175 g each and 1 inch/2.5 cm thick
+ 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions (spring onions)
+ Mushroom sauce (shop-bought) or dashi (optional)

1. In a glass or ceramic baking dish large enough to hold the fish in one layer, combine the miso, shio koji, oil, sugar, wine, and vinegar. Mix to form a smooth paste.
2. Dry the fish with paper towels. Add the fillets to the marinade in the baking dish and turn to coat them. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 or up to 16 hours, depending on your schedule.
3. When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/Gas Mark 4).
4. Use a spoon to gently scrape off most of the marinade from the fish, leaving just a very thin layer. Discard the marinade and wipe the baking dish clean, then return the fish to the dish.
5. Bake the fish until it starts to flake, about 20 minutes, depending on thickness.
6. Increase the oven temperature to 450°F (230°C/Gas Mark 8) and roast until the fish develops a golden crust, about 5 minutes. (You could also broil/grill the fish at this point.)
7. Sprinkle with the scallions (spring onions) and drizzle with mushroom sauce or dashi, if using.

This dish pairs well with a grain dish and vegetable or salad dishes for a complete meal.

Want more recipes from the cookbook? Try Dr. Gary’s Peruvian-Stuffed Peppers next.

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