I’ve perfected Nobu’s £53 celebrity-favourite dish at home for a fraction of the price

I’ve perfected Nobu’s £53 celebrity-favourite dish at home for a fraction of the price

Anyone who grew up during the 2010s era of The Kardashians will be all too familiar with the cultural influence Nobu has.

A series of global restaurants and resorts founded by chef Nobu Matsuhisa, centred around its laid back approach to fine-dining, it’s a bucket list location for any foodie that has people coming back time and time again.

Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert De NiroGetty

When you do get the chance to pay a visit, you can expect a Japanese-inspired menu packed with endless options across sushi, sashimi, and various other hot dishes - most notably, its famed black miso cod.

Flaky, buttery, and ultra-refined, it’s almost certainly up there with their best-sellers, and is a firm favourite of celebrity clientele, which is likely factored into its £53 price tag.

Having tried (and of course loved) the dish for myself a number of times at Nobu Shoreditch, I was quickly humbled by the fact I couldn’t justify a weekly Nobu trip without taking out a loan, and set out on a mission to find an alternative way to have it at home.

Nobu: The Cookbook is widely-available already (they know us so well), so one quick flick through, and it was easy to get hold of the recipe they use in the restaurant.

Of course, in the description, they make no secret that the dish is co-owner Robert De Niro’s favourite (he has great taste).

“For centuries, the Japanese have been preserving fish by marination”, the book reads. “Black Cod with Miso is my take on Gindara Saikyo-Yaki, a very traditional dish.

For the recipe, I’d need: Black cod fillets, Hokusetsu sake, mirin, white miso, and granulated sugar.

Now, what makes Nobu so special is that a lot of this stuff you can’t walk into a shop and buy.

Hokusetsu sake is impossible to get hold of in the UK (and over £50 a bottle), and black cod (aka sablefish), is often only available from speciality fishmongers at a higher cost than most regular fillets.

Tesco is one of the only “regular” supermarkets I could track it down in, at £8.10 for one fillet. However, that’s still only a small fraction of what you’d pay at Nobu, so I considered it a treat and refused to check my bank balance after.

If you can’t justify the price, I’ve made this recipe plenty of times using regular cod fillets, and it still tastes great.

Nobu Restaurants

I then opted for whatever half-decent cooking sake I could find - a Yutaka one for £4 - and the rest of the ingredients can be found cheaply down any world foods aisle.

In total, a portion of this dish (using black cod), would cost around £9 to make, or less than half of that if you opt for a cheaper fish. The perfect mid-week meal.

The recipe

Disclaimer: If you want to do this the proper way, you need to start the marination process three days before you want to eat.

The preparation

Boil ¼ cup of sake and ¼ cup of mirin together to evaporate the alcohol, before turning down the heat and adding ¼ cup white miso paste and 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Mix together.

Once cooled, pat dry your fish fillets and lather in the marinade before refrigerating.

Now, be prepared to wait.

A few days later…

Remove your fish from the fridge, it’s time to get cooking.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius. Meanwhile, add a tiny bit of oil to a pan over a medium heat, and cook the fish (skin-side down first) for 2-3 minutes, before flipping and doing the same on the other side.

Remove from the heat, and wrap the fish in foil, ready to be finished in the oven.

Once in the oven, allow 5-10 minutes more cooking time, until it’s nice and flaky with those signature caramelised spots.


And that’s it, no fancy frills or gadgets required, and a delicious way to replicate one of our favourite-ever restaurant dishes from your own kitchen (although we’d definitely still choose Nobu every time…)

Sign up for our free indy100 weekly newsletter

How to join the indy100's free WhatsApp channel

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings

Up next Lifestyle