銀鱈のかば焼き: Black Cod With Kabayaki Sauce


While I enjoy the savory-sweet flavors of うな丼 (unadon) or grilled freshwater eel brushed with かば焼き (kabayaki), that addicting sweet soy sauce-based glaze, eel is off the menu for us. It’s really being overfished cuz young eels at the glass eel stage are caught in the wild thus breaking their spawning cycle. The farming process is also problematic as it can promote disease and parasites in wild eel populations (I know, strange) as well as placing a big drain on wild fish populations (1 farmed eel will eat two times its weight in fish!). Luckily for me while I love the taste of 鰻 (unagi) I don’t really have to deprive myself cuz kabayaki sauce tastes amazing glazed over broiled black cod. Buttery, unctuous, delectable black cod that you’d sell your left kidney for but since it’s readily available never frozen from my local fishmonger (usually sans appendages) and is caught in a sustainable manner my guilty conscience only has to focus on my waistline cuz all those delicious rich omega-3 fatty acids will be taking care of my heart, joints and brain 🙂 Hmm, I feel like I should carting my 90 lb “Toto” in a wheelbarrow cuz there’s no way he’s fitting in a basket …. Anyhoo, this is a quick (under 30 minutes!) ridiculously easy dish with a great wow factor that’s sure to impress your guests or even just your own palate.

1/4 c light soy sauce (I like Yamasa)
1/4 c mirin
1/4 c sugar
2 4-oz black cod fillets, pin bones removed **If you can’t find black cod, substitute any firm fleshed fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, halibut, or snapper
Steamed rice

In a small saucepan combine soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Briskly simmer over med-hi heat till volume is reduced in half ~7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and cool ~10 minutes.

Broil cod skin side up in a baking pan on the second highest oven rack till skin is golden and crispy ~5-7 minutes for a 2-inch thick fillet like the ones I used. Flip over skin side down and brush flesh on all sides generously with kabayaki sauce. Re-apply when sauce starts to bubble ~2 minutes. The cod is done when a sharp knife goes through the flesh with no resistance ~4-5 minutes total from initial application of sauce. I like to apply one last layer of glaze after I take the cod out of the oven. [slurp!]

Serve with the veggie of your choice (ours was grilled asparagus cuz they’re still gorgeous at this time of year) and steamed rice. Makes 2 servings.

**Nutritional estimate: if served with 1 1/2 c steamed rice, 1 serving contains 698 calories, 18.6 g fat, 57 mg cholesterol, 743 mg sodium (if using ~2 tbsp kabayaki sauce), 80.6 g carbohydrates (if using ~2 tbsp kabayaki sauce), 73% of the RDA for vitamin A, 3% iron and 2% calcium

About Cam

Enjoying the hippie life in Portlandia :)


  1. Nice! I might like this more than the miso marinade…Thanks

    • Cam

      I like to think of this as a Japanese BBQ sauce, sweet, savory, sticky 🙂

      I hope you like it & thanks for following my blog. I love reading your recipes, so clear yet fun.

      • Thanks. I think this is the same as Teriyaki isn’t it? I LOVE all kind of Japanese foods. Do you know how to cook the rice in the clay pot? Or already posted the recipe somewhere.

      • Cam

        I have a recipe for teriyaki sauce but that usually has ginger, garlic, and sometimes sake in it as well. I love teriyaki too 🙂

        I don’t have a recipe up for 釜飯 kamameshi which is the seasoned rice that’s cooked in a cast iron pot that develops a burnt crust on the bottom (similar to the socarrat you get with paella) but I do have one for 炊き込みご飯 takikomi gohan which is a seasoned rice similar to rice pilaf cooked in a rice cooker or donabe clay pot. I’m not sure if any of these is what you were looking for?

      • Your recipe looks great! I’m not sure which one I am looking for because I one I got served was in a bowl http://highheelgourmet.com/2012/07/08/tokyo-kawakaze/ Look at the picture almost the last one with 4 little pictures. The rice with bamboo shoot was the one I’ve been trying to cook. I made it a few time, all failed, no need to mention. I use the ceramic pot I’ve got from japanese store, the regular pot and rice cooker. I think kamameshi might be the pot I need to buy but I’m not certain. I think the last picture on this post is the kamameshi http://highheelgourmet.com/2012/06/20/tokyo-asakusa/ but I’m not that impress with it except the crust on the bottom….Thanks so much for taking the time to help me with this.

      • Cam

        Wow. Looks like you had a great time in Tokyo. We spent a lot of time in Ginza and Shibuya but I wish we had gorged ourselves in Asakusa like you guys did. My favorite meal was sukiyaki in this traditional restaurant called Botan in the Kandan-Sudacho neighborhood that specialized in chicken sukiyaki cooked over a traditional hibachi charcoal grill. That’s all they served. Yum.

        The nice thing about kamameshi and takikomi gohan is that they’re basically the same dish but cooked in different pots to either give you soft rice or smoky crusty rice based on the characteristics of the pot. Did the bamboo rice you ate in Kawakaze come to the table in a little metal pot with a wooden lid over a stand that looked like this? Also, did it have a slightly smoky/burnt flavor with a crust on the bottom? If not, I think they served you 竹の子ご飯 takenoko gohan (bamboo shoot rice) which is takikomi gohan/Japanese rice pilaf made with bamboo shoots and could be made with either a rice cooker, donabe clay pot, or a regular pot while cooked in a soy sauce and dashi broth. Sometimes I also like to add mirin too which I didn’t in my takikomi gohan post. Hope this helps, would love to know how it turns out. I love reverse engineering recipes from what I eat at restaurants so I’m having a great time with this 🙂

      • Oh Thanks Thanks Thanks

        No it didn’t come with the fancy clay pot, it came in a bowl, no crust, no smoke smell. So I think I just set off to find a good bamboo them. I did make it with dashi broth, soy sauce and made a mistake with fried the raw rice with sesame oil. I will use miring instead and go lighter on soy sauce and NOT going to fried the rice before cooking. (I normally don’t do but I didn’t know what was I thinking back then)

      • Cam

        Great! I think you will like the addition of the mirin. I find it gives a slightly sweet round note. I would recommend you use a 本みりん hon mirin (“true mirin”) if you can find it. It’s a sweet cooking sake that has ~12% alcohol content and doesn’t contain salt like 塩みりん shio mirin (“salt mirin”) or 新みりん shin mirin (“new mirin”) which contains corn syrup with chemical flavorings and <1% alcohol. I like to use Takara brand which you can find at Japanese markets and Asian markets that have a big Japanese section. You can also make a mirin approximation by substituting 3 parts sake to 1 part sugar (eg 3 tbsp sake + 1 tbsp sugar = 4 tbsp mirin substitute). Also, just an FYI, my local Japanese market sells fresh bamboo shoots sold in buckets of water in the produce section. Can’t wait to hear how it turns out. Now I’m having a craving for takenoko gohan 🙂

      • I made it but still 😦 You can take a look at the picture on my instagram http://instagram.com/p/Yo0FY-SppM/)

        I think I put too much soy sauce or something still wrong. I didn’t have the right kind of Mirin yet. I have the old hon mirin but I want to try your brand. I put 1 1/2 cup of rice and about 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 1/4 cup mirin, 1/4 cup sake and 1 cup of soup stock.

        No this is not it yet…I have to try again.

        I had a Yuba night 🙂 BTW have you ever made your own tofu?

      • Cam

        I agree, too much soy sauce. When I make takikomi gohan (generic Japanese mixed rice, not with just 1 main vegetable like bamboo shoots/takenoko gohan) I use 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp mirin (or 1 tbsp sake + 1 tbsp mirin if I want a stronger less mellow taste), 2 c dashi broth (I like kombudashi which is made with kombu/seaweed kelp) and 2 c uncooked sushi rice + whatever veggies I want to add which makes enough for 4 servings. Actually, I just picked up some fresh bamboo and shiitake from the Japanese market so I’m going to try my hand at this and see how I do. I’ve seen this made with only bamboo shoots but often shiitake and aburaage (fried tofu) are also included. You have me intrigued and since this is a spring dish it seems like the time’s right 🙂

      • Cam

        And nope, I’m too lazy to make my own tofu but I bet it tastes amazing fresh.

  2. Wow! This looks amazing. I can just imagine the tasty caramalized glaze…

    • Cam

      Yeah, I made the recipe so that you end up with twice as much glaze as you need … just in case you need to glaze other things like sweet potatoes, eggplant, your fingers … 😀

  3. I didn’t even read the recipe, Cam, and I already hit the like button and pinned the recipe. That photo sold me. I’ve all the ingredients and will be buying a pice of fish the next time I go out. This sounds too good not to make and make soon. Thanks, Cam.

    • Cam

      I hope you enjoy this, it’s so simple but the sweet-savory glaze really makes you want to lick anything that might have a particle or two of sauce on it lol

What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: