(This is Part 2 of a series on black cod, also known as sablefish. For more about the fish itself and how it’s harvested, please visit Part 1, Seeking the Sustainable: Alaskan Black Cod.)
Our friend Jerry Dzugan is the director of the fantastic Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA), a tireless advocate/teacher working to keep fishermen and other mariners safe. Fortunately for us, he’s equally enthusiastic about inviting friends over for dinner, and is a pro at cooking up Sitka’s natural bounty into healthy, delicious meals. I’ll be forever grateful to Jerry for introducing me to the joys of black cod and sharing this quintessential Sitka recipe.
Black Cod Marinade, Sitka-Style
1/2 c Yoshida’s teriyaki sauce
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/4 c orange juice (I prefer an orange, so we have fresh zest with the juice)
1 pound of black cod. We use tips because that’s what we have; a fillet would produce equally delicious results.
With the fish spread out in a shallow baking pan, we start by grating orange zest over the meat. After that, we squeeze the juice into a bowl and mix in the Yoshida’s and vinegar. Pour the marinade over the fish and let it refrigerate for a while – “a while” meaning a couple hours to overnight, depending on your time frame.
When you’re ready to cook, prepare a skillet over medium-heat with a teaspoon or so of sesame oil and a little minced garlic. We let the pan get fairly hot, so there’s a satisfying sizzle when you add the fish. We pour a couple tablespoons of marinade in and put a lid on. You should be able to flip it over at about 4 minutes in, and may want to add a bit more liquid. After another 4 minutes or so, you’ll know it’s done when the meat flakes apart under a fork. Much of the marinade will have cooked off, leaving a heavier glaze behind.
Such a very simple recipe for something so delicious. My favorite ways to serve these are equally simple: fish as above, rice, and some veggies, or tossing the fish in with stir-fried veggies and yakisoba noodles. (Baby bok choy seems especially happy to be partnered with black cod.) You’ll feel your body thank you for such a good meal!
Black cod is a tremendously versatile fish that Americans have been missing out on. Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series – black cod with miso soup. If you’re still struggling with a cold, reluctant spring, as I am, that one goes out to you, sweet reader.