Here is a black cod dish inspired by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, but probably not in the way one would think. The legendary chef’s arguably most popular recipe is Miso Marinated Black Cod. A preparation that is absolutely worth every accolade. We recently enjoyed his signature black cod fillet at Nobu Paris Las Vegas, along with several other incredible dishes.
But here, I am preparing Alaska black cod simply, sautéed with crispy skin. It is served over a complex broth inspired by Nobu’s cookbook Nobu West where he shares a soup made with watercress (or spinach), dashi, and soy milk.
Black cod’s silky-rich luxurious flesh and its contrasting crispy skin are complemented by the extraordinary broth where spinach brings bright earthy green flavor and color, dashi adds umami and hints of the sea, tamari for salty notes, soy milk for a light creaminess, and rice vinegar for acidity. Steamed white rice is served on the side, it is heavenly dipped in the spinach dashi. Micro watercress is a nod to Chef Nobu’s original recipe.
Black Cod over Fresh Fettuccine in Dashi Broth
Shiitake, Castelvetrano Olives, Fried Garlic, Chives
Here’s another excellent dish inspired by Nobu Matsuhisa, where he gives Japanese noodles in hot broth a Western twist by substituting Italian pasta.
Since there are but a few ingredients – where olives play a big role – choose super-tasty, buttery, meaty Castelvetrano olives. And the pasta has to be fresh, not dried, where the tender velvety texture is heavenly in the savory umami-rich dashi broth. Flavorful earthy shiitakes are wonderful in this dish, oyster or chanterelle mushrooms would work also, however common button mushrooms would be way too boring. Lastly, the star is black cod (aka sablefish), with its silky-rich luxurious flesh and its contrasting crispy skin.
Spicy Salmon with Shrimp Chips
Avocado Mash with Lemon, Sliced Jalapeños
This tasty snack was inspired by Nobu Restaurants’ “Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna” where fried sushi rice cubes are served with a little bowl of spicy tuna and light soy sauce on the side. A version of the Nobu recipe went viral a while back on TikTok with the addition of avocado and jalapeño.
The original authentic dish can be enjoyed at many of the over 50 Nobu Restaurants around the world including all three in Las Vegas – Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas, Las Vegas Virgin Hotel.
With the remainder of a nice piece of sockeye salmon leftover from making an Aguachile de Salmón for my guests, I decided to make a quick snack paired with store-bought shrimp chips. These puffy-crisp chips are made from a dough of tapioca flour and ground shrimp. The dough is steamed, thinly sliced, dried, then fried. The result are crunchy little crackers full of umami flavor.
Topped with a tiny scoop of spicy salmon and/or avocado plus an optional jalapeño ring, these make a zippy one-bite snack bomb that is packed full of flavors, textures, and spice! And unlike the original dish which has many steps to prepare the fried sushi rice, this appetizer is quick and easy…
Fresh Black Cod, also known as Sablefish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Population levels are moderate and no overfishing is occurring. The life-span of a Sablefish is estimated to be longer than 90 years! More information on habitat and sustainability can be found at FishWatch U.S. Seafood Facts here.
Nobu-style Saikyo Miso
3/4 c. saké
3/4 c. mirin
2 c. white miso paste
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
1. Bring the saké and the mirin to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol.
2. Turn the heat down to low and add the miso paste, mixing with a wooden spoon. When the miso has dissolved completely, turn the heat up to high again and add the sugar, stirring constantly with the wooden spoon to ensure that the bottom of the pan doesn’t burn. Remove from heat once the sugar is fully dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
Miso recipe from Nobu: The Cookbook by Nobuyuki Matsuhisa. This recipes yields 3 cups. Since we did not use it all for the cod, we tried it the following night with fresh salmon and it was equally impressive.
Rinse the cod, pat dry with paper towels, then coat with the miso mixture. Nobu recommends marinating for 2 to 3 days. Since I only had an hour, that is how long it steeped. And it was still fabulous! Broil the cod under high heat until it browns, then bake at 350° for about 10 minutes until the fish is cooked through.
Black radish is at its peak in winter. Peel completely and slice into very thin rounds.
It has a lovely interior pattern. The crunchy somewhat pungent radish and slightly salty and citrusy ponzu are a great complement to the caramelized luxurious cod.
Nobu serves his Black Cod with Miso with a simple garnish of a few more drops of miso and a stalk of hajikami (pickled ginger stick).
We served the Black Cod with Miso over sliced black radish and ponzu sauce. Radish sprouts make a lively garnish.