Swap Out Sugar

Miso Cod

Serves 4


1/4 cup sake

1/4 cup mirin

4 tablespoons white miso paste

3 tablespoons palm sugar

4 cod fillets, about 1/2 pound each


1 day beforehand, make the miso marinade and marinate the fish. Bring the sake and mirin to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol. Turn the heat down to low, add the miso paste, and whisk. When the miso has dissolved completely, turn the heat up to high again and add the palm sugar, whisking constantly to ensure that the sugar doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat once the sugar is fully dissolved. Cool to room temperature.

Pat the cod fillets thoroughly dry with paper towels. Slather the fish with the miso marinade and place in a non-reactive dish or bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave to marinate in the refrigerator overnight, as a minimum.


To cook the fish: preheat oven to 210°C. Heat an oven-proof skillet or frying pan over high heat. Lightly wipe off any excess miso clinging to the fillets, but don't rinse it off. Brush the pan with a little oil, then place the fish skin-side-up on the pan and cook until the bottom of the fish browns and blackens in spots, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until the other side is browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until fish is opaque and flakes easily. Serve on a bed of banana leaves, and garnished with herbs of your choice.

TIP: If you want the perfect finish and have a blowtorch to hand, run a blowtorch lightly around the edge of the fillet to create a crispy char.