If you want to impress your guests, this Japanese Miso Glazed Sea Bass recipe is the one to make. It's so easy and hands-off, you'll have time to catch up with old friends.
Mmmmm...Japanese Miso Glazed Sea Bass. There are a handful (okay, many handfuls) of dishes that I absolutely must order if I see them on the menu (Dynamite Mussels anyone?). No exceptions. This is on my list of "must order" dishes. If I crack open the menu and see Miso Sea Bass, I stop reading and order it. No more thinking or debating. As you can probably guess, Miso Glazed Sea Bass is near the very top of that list. There's something about the caramelized sweet and savory miso glaze coating the succulent, buttery sea bass that makes it irresistible!
Which Types of Fish Can Be Used with Miso Glaze?
My first preference for Miso Glazed Sea Bass is Chilean sea bass. The flesh is rich, moist and buttery. It's very meaty so it does take a lot longer for the marinade to soak all the way through. But trust me, your patience will be rewarded. A minimum 3-day marinade is required for full flavor.
Oh, and since I mentioned rich earlier, Chilean sea bass is quite pricey. One of the most expensive fish money can buy, Chilean sea bass costs anywhere from $20 to $40 per pound. Our Costco here in San Diego carries it for around $35 per pound, depending on the season. So it might be a special occasion, celebratory, kind of meal, for maybe a birthday or an anniversary. Let me tell you, it is well worth it! Chilean sea bass is a very luscious and fatty fish so it doesn't take much to fill you up. A small piece goes a long way.
My second preference is black cod. This is the type of fish celebrity Chef Nobu Matsuhisa uses in his Miso Marinated Black Cod recipe. The flesh is also buttery yet flaky and extremely tender. If you have the option, have your fishmonger cut the cod crosswise into 1"-1.5" steaks, as opposed to fillets.
Black cod is a more delicate fish so marinating for one or two nights is sufficient. Be aware, especially for young children, black cod has numerous small bones running throughout the flesh which makes it more difficult to eat.
Salmon is another good option. It's relatively inexpensive and readily available. Since salmon naturally has a distinct flavor to it, it can sometimes overpower the dish. If you do use salmon, I highly recommend including grated ginger in the marinade. It brightens it up and adds a nice complementary flavor.
As with anything I cook, the simpler the better. There's a higher chance of me making a dish often if it's easy. This Japanese Miso Sea Bass recipe checks that box for sure. It also makes for a super easy meal for entertaining guests since all the prep work is done beforehand.
How to Make Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass
Chilean sea bass almost always comes frozen or previously frozen. Black cod and salmon can be found fresh. Place the fish in a zip-lock bag. If your fish is frozen, be sure to defrost it and give it a good rinse and pat dry beforehand.
Whisk the marinade ingredients (miso, mirin, sugar, sake and water) together in a bowl, then pour the marinade into the zip-lock bag with the fish. Close the bag and give it a good massage to help the marinade coat each piece of fish. Let it marinate for at least 2 days and let the fish soak in all those beautiful flavors.
When you're ready to cook, take the fish out of the marinade and place it on a baking rack over a foil-lined baking sheet.
Broil it in the oven or toaster oven at 400°F for 15-20 minutes until it develops a light char. After about 10 minutes, you'll want to keep a very close eye on it. The sugars in the marinade will burn quickly under high heat.
This Miso Marinated Sea Bass recipe makes for a quick weeknight dinner. Once the fish has been marinated, pop it in the oven and you have yourself a luxury dinner in 20 minutes!
- 1.5-2 lbs Chilean sea bass or black cod, cut into 1"-1.5" steaks
- ¼ cup miso
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon sake
- 2 tablespoon water
- Combine all the MARINADE ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until well incorporated. Be sure to work out any lumps of miso.
- Put the fish and the marinade in a food storage bag and massage the marinade over all sides of the fish. Allow the fish to marinate at least overnight but 2+ days are ideal.
- When you're ready to cook, take the fish out of the marinade and place it on a baking rack with a foil-lined baking sheet underneath to catch drippings.
- Broil the fish in the oven or toaster oven at 400°F for 15-20 minutes. If your fish is extra thick, broil it for an additional 3-5 minutes. Keep an eye on it the last 5-10 minutes to ensure it doesn't get too charred. The sugar in the marinade burns fast. Turn the temperature down if the fish is caramelizing too quickly.
- Marinate your fish as long as you can. Overnight is minimum but the longer the better.
- A toaster oven works well with this dish. The compact size does a stellar job broiling the fish and developing a lovely caramelization.
- Keep an eye on your fish for the last 5-10 minutes. The sugar in the marinade burns quickly. However, allow it to char slightly. Those caramelized bits are very tasty.
- Add ginger to the marinade if you're using salmon. I typically don't use ginger with other fish but with salmon, it's a must!