Mrs. Hanamoku’s Special Salmon Misoyaki for Bodhi Day Dinner

Butterfish Misoyaki. My favorite meal for pretty much my entire life.

Butterfish Misoyaki has always been my favorite dish, as well as Mrs. Hanamoku’s. It’s a Hawaii favorite. But not living in Hawaii anymore, having this dish isn’t as easy as picking up a bento from Times Supermarket or the neighborhood okazuya.

A variation of this dish, Salmon Misoyaki, has become our traditional Bodhi Day meal. That is of course, along with the rice and milk dish that Siddhartha Guatama ate upon his Awakening (as told to me by The Eternal Fishnu).

“Butterfish” is black cod, which is not a staple where we live in the Pacific Northwest. But salmon is! Mostly, the fish should be a fatty sort, as is black cod and salmon.

Here is Mrs. Hanamoku’s recipe for our traditional Bodhi Day meal:


· ¼ c White Miso

· 3 T Mirin

· 2 T Sake

· 1 T Sugar

· 1 T Shoyu

· 4 Salmon Filets


Mix all the ingredients except the salmon in a bowl to form a marinade miso sauce.

Marinade the salmon filets for at least 24 hours.


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and bake the filets for 5 – 8 minutes.

Move the baked filets to the broiler for 2 – 3 minutes until caramelized. Be careful about burning the fish at this step.

Enjoy with gohan (Japanese “sticky rice”) as an accompaniment. For you vegetable haters out there, serving the misoyaki on a bed of finely-cut cabbage is a surprisingly tasty way to eat your veggies.

Dried-Salted Black Cod

Alternatively, we’ve tried rehydrated salted-dried black cod and it actually works very well misoyakied. It’s not any easier to find where we live, but I know it’s very abundant in many other places – like Iceland, where we learned about it from our friends there. But then, miso is probably hard to find in Iceland … haha!

When I was a kid and my grandmother made misoyaki, black cod was readily available at the Hawaii supermarkets. But as I think about it now, I wouldn’t know if it was rehydrated from the salted-dried sort or not.

I know a restaurant near where we live mentions having “fresh black cod”. It seems to work either way for misoyaki. As the Christmas song goes, “As long as you love miso …”

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