Miso Mackerel

There was once a time when all you’d ever hear about was Nobu and that black cod miso dish. That was until “The End of the Line” exposed it to be the bluefin-plundering, money-grabbing, z list hang out it really is. Still, you can see why the dish was such a winner. That deeply savoury rot of the marinade, sweet and salty against oily flesh was and still is pretty genius.

I applied the same treatment to some super fresh mackerel fillets from the Chelsea fishmongers (which were of course a lot cheaper and a tad more sustainable) and they turned out a treat. After an overnight marinade, the fillets blistered to a shiny, burnished caramel in a hot oven and went beautifully with some steamed rice and an emerald mound of stir fried morning glory. Nobu charges £32.75 for a single portion of its black cod with miso. Once I’d bought the marinade ingredients, this cost me less than £1.00 a portion, and the leftovers went into sushi rolls with fresh cucumber strips and lashings of wasabi mayonnaise.


– 6 fl oz/185 ml mirin

-4 fl oz/125 ml sake

– 8oz/225g miso paste (you’re meant to use white but I only had brown)

– 8 oz/225 g sugar

– 4 fresh mackerel fillets

pickled ginger to serve.


  • Combine the sugar, sake, mirin and miso well.
  • Slather the mackerel fillets in this mixture and marinade overnight.
  • When you are ready to eat, pre-heat your oven to  200 C/400 F/Gas mark 6 and wipe any excess marinade from the fillets.
  • Bake for around 15 minutes, until just opaque in the centre and nicely caramelised on the surface.


  1. I love miso’d stuff – this looks great. I imagine the oilyness of the mackerel offsets it perfectly.

  2. This looks delicious – I guess the stronger flavour of the mackerel would work really well with the miso, like with salmon.

  3. Hi Gastrogeek, I’ve only had miso mackerel as a simmered dish. this broiled version looks delicious.

  4. Yum. I’m definitely going to try this.

  5. Nutritious and delicious! x

  6. Ooh yummers! Sounds really good. I do love a bit of mackerel.

  7. One of my favourite fishies and I love the idea of miso with it!

  8. Great idea. I love the sound of this. Miso mackerel here I come.

  9. That looks fantastic. I imagine it was fairly rich especially with the dark meat that runs through the back against the skin and the sweetness of the marinade. Try sea bass as it works a treat although a lot more expensive. I have tried the Nobu miso recipe with a lot of species and although black cod’s texture does suit best due to its large firm flakes i have found no fails – they all work. Try some of the cheaper cuts of white fish but just make sure they are very fresh as the lower value species are sometimes treated with a lack of respect at source so end up on the slab in poor condition.

  10. herbsaint

    Delicious, ethical and nutritious too.

    On removing all of the excess marinade I actually kept it (I hate waste)and heated the left over marinade on a very low heat for a few minutes.

    Was lovely poured over oriental greens and sticky rice!

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