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miso sea bass on a plate with rice and kaylan

Easy 6-Ingredient Miso Marinade for Fish

  • Author: Christina
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 1x



2-3 white fish fillets, such as branzino

2 tablespoons neutral oil

3 tablespoons white miso paste

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons sriracha


  1. To begin, mix all marinade ingredients in a shallow dish. Use a wire whisk or fork to combine well.
  2. Dry your fish fillets well with paper towels. Move the fillets to the shallow dish of marinade. Coat on both sides with the marinade, then cover tightly with plastic wrap or press parchment paper over the marinating fillets and refrigerate for 8-12 hours. (Sometimes I am able to marinate for a full 24 hours, but usually I make the marinade in the morning and soak the fish all day before dinner.)
  3. When you're ready to prepare the fillets, remove from the refrigerator and let the fish come up to room temperature for about 15 minutes. Remove the fillets from the marinade and let some of the excess marinade drip off of the fillets. (You want to keep the flavor in the fish, but remove any extra marinade that may burn.)
  4. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons neutral oil. Sear fish on each side for 4 minutes. The sugars in the marinade will create beautiful caramelization, which brings delicious flavor. But left unattended, those sugars will go from caramelized to burnt in just a minute. So keep an eye on the fish as it sears.

  5. When the fish is cooked through, serve with steamed rice and sauteed vegetables. 


I used branzino in this recipe, but black cod is certainly a great option. If you're a salmon lover, grab a few fillets and use them instead of white fish. Salmon fillets are generally thicker than branzino, so you may want to leave the fish in the marinade longer.

Sriracha is a popular hot sauce that adds both flavor and a bit of heat to the marinade. If you prefer a completely mild experience, omit. If you like sambal or chili crisp, substitute.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Easy Recipes
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Keywords: Miso Fish Recipe, miso marinade for fish, miso cod