Casa del Picky Eaters

Cod with Miso, after Nobu

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We spent the long weekend at Easter in London, catching up with various friends. The schedule of getting around half a dozen different families left us unoccupied during the day on the Sunday, so we decided we’d have our Easter Sunday lunch at Nobu on Old Park Lane. We went for the Omakase menu – a tasting selection of Nobu classic dishes – and I was delighted to find that it included their famous Black Cod with Miso. The whole meal was excellent and they managed my gluten-free needs without missing a beat, but above all, the cod was an absolute knockout. Marinated in white miso and sake for three days, and then seared and roasted, it was sweet, succulent and creamy. In fact I would genuinely go as far as calling it the best fish dish I have ever had. I’m no fan of cod, but I could eat that again and again and again. “I have to try this at home!”, I promised B.

Back in Yorkshire I plugged the dish into Google and one of the first sites that came up with a recipe was the ever-dependable Rasa Malaysia. Bee has adapted her recipe from the Nobu cookbook; my only further amendment was that I used Icelandic cod as, shockingly, my local Sainsburys doesn’t carry black cod.

Mix 1/4 cup sake, 1/4 cup mirin, 4 tbsp white miso paste and 3 tbsp sugar. Reserve a couple of tbsp-fuls for serving, and put the rest in a non-reactive container that will allow approx 1lb of cod fillet to be submerged in the marinade. Refrigerate overnight*. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and get a non-stick frying pan scorching hot on the hob. Remove the fillets from the marinade and sear in the pan, and then place the fillets in a roasting tin and place in the oven for around 10 minutes. Piece o’cake.

I served with sticky rice – I know it’s not Japanese but we like it – and steamed greens in a ponzu dressing. To make the dressing, toast a couple of handfuls of sesame seeds in a dry pan until they start to pop, and then add them to an equal-parts mixture of soy sauce, yuzu juice and mirin. Toss through the cooked vegetables immediately before serving.

The quality of the cod is ultimately going to make or break this one. What I’d like to try is getting some really, really fresh cod and marinating the fish for the stated three days but it didn’t seem worth the risk with pre-packed supermarket produce.

I don’t usually like to take pictures at restaurants but it seems more acceptable at lunch, and lord knows everyone else was at it, so below is the Nobu version.

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