How to Cook Sablefish / Black Cod

  • Sablefish, also called black cod (although not a cod at all), is a wonderful, rich, flakey, wild, white Alaskan fish. While well known in the state for its amazing flavor and flakey texture, sablefish is rarely found in the “lower-48.” 

    In the above recipes you will find some interesting and sometime wild flavors. Try them but also try just salt and pepper and a hot oven (400-425F) for 5-12 minutes depending on the size of the piece (look for cracks starting to form on the surface then go a few minutes longer). Use a pyrex that is just a little larger than the piece of fish itself so all those wonderful juices are not lost. That is the natural gravy and should be served with the fish.

    >>As a general rule of thumb, cook most high-end Alaskan seafood 10 minutes per inch of fish thickness. For instance, a thinner tail piece of sablefish might cook in just 4-6 minutes, while a thicker collar piece might take 8-12 minutes. A full fillet, a little longer still. Sablefish is eaten raw in Japan and, like salmon, is wonderful when lightly cooked and just barely done inside. So cook it gingerly and enjoy! Unless the piece is very thick, I make it habit of hovering around the oven and watching my sablefish cook so I can take it out at the right time.

    Recipes/Tips for Smoked Sablefish:

    The smoked sablefish should be cooked just like the raw sablefish. The difference is the that the smoked sablefish will brining all its own amazing flavors and should not need to be salted, spiced or brined. After being properly thawed (see below), carefully remove from the package and place in an oiled baking dish and bake or broil at 375-400F for 7-12 minutes. Look for cracks on the surface, give it a few minutes more then take it out. The flakes should separate cleanly from one another all the way through.

    How to Thaw Smoked or Raw Frozen Sablefish:

    Remove fillet or portion and place in fridge still sealed in vacuum bag/package. Allow to thaw slowly for about 24 hours or overnight. If you take a fillet out of the freezer at dinner time on Thursday, it will be ready to cook for dinner on Friday. Don’t try to “power thaw” any frozen fish with a microwave or hot water.

    Recipes for Raw/Frozen Sablefish: