Sunday, May 2, 2010

Miso Butterfish (black cod)


In Hawaii you can go to any grocery store and pick up a piece of miso butterfish.
Living on the mainland, it’s not as easy to get. I have to drive for a couple of hours to get a piece. And you can be sure, if I happen to be in the neighborhood, a piece of miso butterfish will surely make it home with me.
This is not actually butterfish as the name states. It’s black cod. But it is properly called butterfish in Hawaii because it has a buttery flavor and texture.

One day when I was at my local fish monger, I discovered this fact. It has changed my life! Now I can eat this buttery fish anytime I want.
My cousin Ann taught me how to make this when I was about 9 years old. I loved it then and still love it now.
Some like it baked, broiled, bbq or pan fried. My favorite is to steam it with a little ginger and green onions. I also rinse off the miso. While others simply scrape off the excess and cook it with the miso. It is a personal preference. Try it both ways and you can decide which way you like it best.
It just takes a bit of planning. The fish needs to marinate in the sauce (recipe below) for 3 days to be at its best. But, if you are in a rush, one or two days will work. This recipe will also work well for baked or bbq chicken.
½ pound misoyaki butterfish
1 ½ tsp. oil
1 slice ginger, slivered into strips
1 sprig green onion, sliced into strips
¼ tsp. sugar
Rinse miso off the fish and scale skin with the side of a spoon if needed.
Lightly oil the bowl that you will be steaming in with ½ tsp. oil, so the fish won’t stick.
Place the rinsed butterfish in the oiled bowl skin side down and drizzle with 1 tsp. oil.
Top with ginger and green onions. And sprinkle with sugar.
Steam for 10 min. on high.

¼ cup sake
¼ cup mirin
½ cup white miso
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. ginger, minced fine
Mix ingredients together well, making sure the sugar has completely dissolved. Dry your fish with paper towels and marinate for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.


  1. Aloha Susan,

    Thanks for posting this ono recipe for the Miso Butterfish. Haven't made it in a while, but for us living here in the islands, it's always easy to whip up for a quick dinner. In fact, I may make it for dinner tonight! This means a trip to Costco today for the miso butterfish.

    Loved your suggestion for keeping celery fresh. I use freezer paper to wrap my celery as soon as I bring it home from the supermarket. It stays crisp and fresh for weeks. If you have leftover celery ribs that look sad or wilted, just cut the ends and place in a cup of ice water to revive. It works wonders!

    Your dad called me this morning to tell me about your blog. Keep those recipes coming! What a great job.

    Cousin Anne

  2. You are so fortunate to easily run down the street to Costco for this melt in your mouth delicacy. Thanks for the encouragement and the great tip.