Sake Miso Marinated Chilean Sea Bass

When a local haunt shutters after nearly twenty years and it was owned by the handsome, generously spirited celebrity chef, Ming Tsai, there is real cause to wonder if a dish that has graced the menu for two decades might really be cooked at home. Ming credits his signature sake miso black cod as one of the dishes that cemented his career. It is this fish that helped catapult this Ivy League graduate with a mechanical engineering degree into a coveted circle of James Beard award-winning best chefs in America status. The consummate teacher, Ming, shares this recipe in his first cookbook, BLUE GINGER.  This recipe veers only from Ming's in that it is simplified by serving without sushi rolls and Ming's soy syrup glaze, but a wasabi potato puree instead. So yummy is this fish it just may become part of the regular family dinner rotation, or at the very least a not soon to be forgotten meal for social gatherings.


Kitchen Notes

This miso sauce is equally delicious on salmon, chicken, and other white fish such as halibut or black cod (aka sable fish). Seek out pure wasabi paste without additives.



1 cup light miso (shiro-miso, mellow miso)

1/2 cup mirin

1/2 cup sake

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger

1/2 cup safflower oil

1/4 cup sugar

4 (5" x 3")  7 ounce pieces skinless and boneless Chilean sea bass (cut from the fillet)

Finely ground white pepper

Sweet soy sauce

Wasabi oil (1/4 cup wasabi powder, 1 tablespoon mirin, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 cup safflower oil blended)


2 russet potatoes, peeled & cut into even chunks

4 Yukon Gold potatoes peeled & cut into even chunks

8 tablespoons of butter

1 cup skim milk

1 tablespoon prepared wasabi

Sea salt



1. In medium nonreactive bowl, combine the miso, mirin, sake, ginger, oil & sugar. Stir to blend. Add the bass, turn to coat and marinate, covered & refrigerated overnight (or for at least 4 hours).

2. Prepare the grill, (or heat a heavy cast iron skillet in a 500 degree F. oven for 20 minutes).

3. Wipe the marinade from the fish with a paper towel and season with white pepper.

4. Grill the fish, turning once, until just cooked through, about 10 minutes (or move the hot skillet to the stovetop and turn the heat to high and add the fish).

5. Remove the fish to ia serving platter or individual plates and serve with wasabi mashed potatoes, sweet soy sauce and wasabi oil.


1. Put the potatoes in a large pot, fill with cold water and 1 tablespoon of sea salt. Boil until tender (a knife should slide easily through the chunk and the potato should not be falling apart).

2. Pour the potatoes into a colander and drain excess water completely. 

3. While the potatoes are cooling a bit, warm the milk and the butter in a MEDIUM SIZED HEAVY BOTTOMED POT

4. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, push them through a potato ricer and into the butter and milk mixture. Stir in the wasabi and taste for seasoning.