The air fryer miso cod makes an easy dinner with the perfect balance of sweet and savory with succulent and buttery meat.
When it comes to fish, one of my favorites is black cod, or sablefish. We get fresh black cod from local fishermen at the Tuna Dockside Market for $8 per pound and pay a couple more bucks to have it cleaned and filet. We love making Japanese miso cod for dinner, a popular dish created by chef Nobu Matsuhisa that appears on just about every Japanese restaurant’s menu. I used to grill or pan fry miso cod but have recently switched to using the air fryer to cook this delicious dish. The result is perfectly cooked fish with an intensely rich, caramelized flavor and buttery texture.
- Black cod: known as sablefish, black cod has white and fatty meat with buttery texture. It’s quite fatty like Chilean sea bass.
- Miso: miso is a traditional Japanese condiment made with fermented soybean paste, rice, barley, or other grains, salt, water, and a fermentation starter called koji. It lends a salty umami flavor to the final dish. Many types of miso exist. Make sure you use sweet white rice miso for this recipe and not white miso which is more salty.
- Mirin: mirin is a Japanese rice wine made from mochi rice that has about 14 percent alcohol and adds a mild sweetness and aroma to the final dish.
- Sake: cooking sake is used to tenderize meat, and also to remove unwanted smells and flavors. Cooking sake contains salt so it adds some flavor to the fish.
Tips for Cooking Cod in the Air Fryer
I love cooking miso cod in the air fryer because the marinade has quite a bit of sugar and does not burn as easily compared to grilling or pan frying.
- For the miso cod, marinate the fish for at least 24 hours and up to 72 hours.
- Depending on what air fryer you own, you’ll need to follow the instructions and preheat it. Preheating the air fryer will help crisp up the edge of your fish.
- Make sure the cod filets are similar in size. The time needed to cook the cod depends on the thickness and size of the filets. Using the same size ensures that the cod will cook evenly.
- Spray the air fryer basket to prevent food from getting stuck to it. For cooking fish, I add a piece of foil right underneath the piece of fish. Depending on what kind of material your air frying basket is made of, the skin might get stuck to the bottom and make it harder to clean. With the foil, I can easily lift the fish out of the basket.
- Don’t overcrowd the basket. Overcrowding the basket can result in undercooking some of the food and burning the other half. The food needs room on all sides to have the circulating air cook it. If you’re scaling up the recipe, divide your batch to ensure the fish cooks evenly.
- Cook the cod for another 2 minutes in the air fryer if the middle part is still not cooked through.
After cooking in the air fryer, the miso cod turned out buttery and succulent with a rich, caramelized flavor. The miso marinade imbued the delicate cod with just the perfect balance of sweet and savory. We enjoyed the miso cod with warm Jasmine rice, a sprinkle of furikake, pickled radish, and fresh cucumber.
For more air fryer inspiration, check out these recipes:
- AF Vietnamese tamarind salmon,
- AF chicken satay lettuce wraps
- AF crab rangoon
- Healthy AF salmon with ginger and scallion.
Air Fryer Miso Cod
- 2 4-ounce black cod fillets
- 1 tablespoon white miso
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- ½ tablespoon sake
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- steamed Jasmine rice for serving
- pickled radish for serving
- 1 Persian cucumber, sliced into rounds
- 2 small radishes, thinly sliced with mandolin
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon white rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Pat the cod fillets dry with paper towel.
- In a lidded container, whisk miso, mirin, sake, sugar, and salt until well combined.
- Add the cod fillets to the miso marinade and leave in the fridge for at least 24 hours and up to 72 hours.
- When ready to cook the miso cod, spray the bottom of the air fryer basket with the olive oil spray.
- Put a piece of foil underneath the fish and carefully lower it into the basket of the air fryer.
- Attach the air fryer lid. Press the Air Fry button and set the temperature for 375 degrees F for 10 minutes then press Start.
- Remove cod from the basket immediately or it will continue to cook. Discard foil and transfer fish to a serving plate.
- Serve immediately with rice, fresh cucumber, and pickled radish.
- To make the pickled juice, in a medium sauce bowl, whisk vinegar, water, and sugar until dissolved. Add the sliced radish to one bowl and the onion to the second bowl. Let them pickle for 2 hours.