From A Fish Monger You'll Want to Hug
By Kai Wada Roath Ι Photos by Austin Goldin


At JP Seafood, I often buy butterfish (aka black cod) for this Japanese/Hawaiian dish, which I fell in love with years ago at the historic Manago Hotel on the Big Island. Since the Manago keeps their recipe a secret, this is my own version. It’s hard to find black cod in markets since 90% of it gets exported. The recipe also works well with salmon.

—Kai Wada Roath

Serves 6–8

2 pounds black cod (aka butterfish)
½ cup sake
½ cup mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine)
½ cup white sugar
1 cup white miso
A little grated ginger
A dash of Japanese soy sauce

Place fish in a shallow dish. In a saucepan, whisk the sake, mirin, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Stir in miso paste, grated ginger, and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, then pour marinade over fish. Cover and refrigerate for 48 hours.

Before cooking, wipe the excess marinade off with a paper towel and broil the fish until nicely browned. Butterfish cooks quickly, and you’ll want to watch to make sure the sugary marinade does not burn.

Serve garnished with thinly sliced green onions.