nobu salmon with miso


This is my fallback recipe when I think we should be eating more fish. The original recipe, by Nobu Matsuhisa, uses black cod, and though I can’t say I have eaten the dish in Nobu, the closest was a bite of my sister’s dinner – an unashamed copy – at Kong in Paris. It was delicious! The buttery, flakey fish is divine to eat.

As black cod (sablefish) is not readily available in this part of the world, salmon or any oily, flakey fish is a great substitute. Since this recipe is so easy to make – it’s a marinade – I’m more tempted than usual to do a little bit extra. That is – do a little bit of extra shopping. Which means getting my hands on some New Zealand King salmon.

It’s sea farmed with a fine grained texture that is melt in the mouth. Every time we have it for dinner there’s an extra big smile on my face.

(But saying that, Tassie salmon is great in the marinade.)

Grilling the surface of the fish then baking, reduces the risk of burning the marinade. But because I can’t be bothered heating up the oven, I usually cook the fish through underneath the grill and be super careful with handling. All ingredients can be bought at the supermarket – the asian section usually has vacuum packed white miso.



Nobu Salmon with Miso
Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Try to marinate the fish for two days – the longer period gives a very delicious and different result. Overnight, the marinade penetrates just the outer layer of the fish, which is still tasty. However, two days cures the fish slightly – the flavour thoroughly permeates the fish and the flesh becomes firmer. At three days, it cures further and becomes really sweet – liked candied fish.


3/4 cup cooking sake
1/2 cup mirin
1 cup white (shiro) miso paste
1/3 cup sugar
2 salmon fillets


In a small saucepan, bring the sake and the mirin to the boil.  Reduce the heat to low and cream the miso into a ladleful of the sake/mirin. (If you drop the lump of miso into the sake/mirin, it can be difficult to dissolve.)

Turn the heat to high again and add the sugar. Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved and remove from the heat. Leave the marinade to cool. In a non reactive bowl or ziplock bag, place the fish and the marinade and turn to coat. Refrigerate for preferably two days.

Heat the grill to high heat. Scrape the marinade off  the fish (don’t wash it off). Place fish on lightly oiled, lined tray and grill skin side down. When the fish is cooked two-thirds of the way (check it is opaque on the side), flip it over. In a couple of minutes -  or less, keep an eye on it, this is the point where it could overcook – the skin will be caramelised and crispy. Remove from the grill and eat with delight!


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  1. Mei & Luke

    Ha I still remember the time when you eat that morsel of fish from my supermodel sized dish at Kong. I will try this recipe soon!

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