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May 15, 2009 10:08 AM

Vancouverites miso baked escolar?

im looking to any vancouverites because i know the craze of miso baked black cod etc... in all the vancouver sushi bars and many other restaurants for that matter. i am looking for a fatty white fish to make black cod w miso. my supplier is unable to get me black cod for the time being but tells me a common substitute is escolar. i have had escolar raw in sushi form as they pawn it off here in CR as white tuna and i am not a huge fan. i prefer albacore. but it does have good oily content so my question is has anybody had a miso baked escolar or any cooked form of escolar and is it buttery and or similiar? i am rather close to Chile and have inquired about sea bass as well but the price is horrendous as well i think it is pretty endangered which isnt to appealing so escolar right now seems to be my only option.Ive tried every local Costa Rican fish and nothing works.
P.S. i can get halibut as well.........

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  1. I love making tara miso (miso black cod). You get so much more fish than you would when ordering from a restaurant. If you can't get black cod, another option is sable fish, it works just as well. Not sure if it's the same I know sable fish is another name for something.

    As to who has the best tara miso, it's hard to say, since I started making it at home about 4 years ago, I rarely order it at the restaurants. You can purchase it uncooked and marinated at Fujiya (Clark and Venables). It's not bad and probably a bit less expensive than going out fo it.

    I have made it with tilapia and snapper but it's not the same, still pretty good but you don't get that fatty richness that melts into your mounth.

    2 Replies
    1. re: gourmet wife

      Sablefish is the same as black cod.

      Escolar is usually a fish to avoid as it might give you lower abdominal distress. It contains an indigestable fat that goes right through you. It also has a tendency to develop high levels of histames from what I have read and could severely affect some people. Some people say that this danger is overstated, so YMMV.

      I don't know of any fish that can really replace black cod in that dish, but I have made similar miso dishes using shellfish (a melange of shrimp, prawn, scallops, etc.) and soft tofu.

      1. re: fmed

        "Sablefish is the same as black cod"-that what I thought. If that's the case you should be able to find black cod, it's probably name under sable fish. I just bought 5 lbs of it not too long ago.

    2. Do you have access to grouper (often called mero in spanish speaking countries)? That might be a reasonable alternative - not quite as fatty but rather close in texture.

      7 Replies
      1. re: QAW

        yes i knew black cod sablefish is same thing also called butterfish, i know the best or even better substtute is chilean sea bass but that is very expensive and rather hard to come by as it is on the exctintion watch list.......grouper i dont think has the fatiness. i was just asking because one of my suppliers is from vancouber (where i am originally from) and his claim is that a lot of restaurants subsitute escolar in the place of black cod.......all i know is ive never had anything so buttery and sweet as black cod. i have a escolar sample they gave me that i have marinating in saikyo miso as we speak so ill let everyone know in a day or two how it turns i said before i am familiar with escolar raw in sushi and i am not a fan and i have heard the intestinal clames as well so we will see

        1. re: busterbrown

          I lived in Costa Rica for a time years ago and ate a lot of fish-nothing has the oil content of a Sablefish.

          The closest I could think of that might work for your purposes is the (white meat) Skipjack Tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis).

          I can't remember what name Ticos use for it though.

          Sierra Mackarela (Scomberomorus sierra) is a second choice and only if you can buy it the same day it was caught..

          1. re: Sam Salmon

            thanx salmon, ya i know what you mean.....not to hate but for a country that has so many seafood resources the seafood here is really not that good.....i think it goes back to the cold water thing.....the colder the water the better texture flavor etc.... of the fish, shellfish........of course the yellowfin here is good though....actually on a side note i remember just reading that the US has cut ties with costa rican prawns now because of the way they catch them and kill so many other species in the nets in the process, mainly shark water....real eye opener about this place........

            1. re: busterbrown

              Since you are experimenting anyway...why don't you try to make a confit with a readily sourced whitefish? Basically slow-poach the fish in oil....then glaze resulting confit with the miso glaze.

              1. re: fmed

                the problem is the local fish is just well.....fishy.......not prpoerly handled by the time it makes it to the mainland and very sinyewy......i mean there is some alright fish i guess.....ive tried it with tilapia but that just dried out and didnt work at all......thanx fmed i think ill try the poaching method with maybe a small sea bass fillet. thats olive oil really low heat right? then when done just galze in the miso sauce is what your saying?

                1. re: busterbrown

                  Yes that's right. You can try a more neutral oil so the olive oil flavour won't conflict with the miso...have a look at these recipes:



                  I've done a similar dish. The fish ends up very tender and not at all oily...maybe it will be close enough to a faux-sablefish.

      2. there is a reason that the taiwanese government built a multi million dollar bridhge here for free............and now they just donated thousands of brand new police cars for the force.....what are they looking for in return?????????????hmmmmmmmmmmmm

        1. gonna try the poaching method as the miso escolar just didnt come out right.....dcame out breaking apart dry as opposed to moist and flaking apart........if the poaching method doesnt work i might bight the bullet and get the black cod......30 bucks US a kilo to ghet it here whole frozen......whats the price there in Van roughly....anyone know?

          1. Yesterday I was at T&T (1st and Renfrew) and they had fresh black code for $7.99/lb. It's sold as a whole fish.

            1 Reply
            1. re: gourmet wife

              ya so about double the price then.........