This easy black cod (or sablefish) recipe is made by marinating fish in homemade teriyaki sauce and baking it until it’s tender and flaky.
Guys, something exciting happened.
I signed up for a CSF (a community supported fishery).
It’s like a CSA (community supported agriculture), but instead of monthly farmer’s market pickups, I get monthly seafood deliveries.
And I am thrilled!
If you’re a seafood lover who has trouble finding specialty or high-end fish, or if you just really love seafood and want to support a fishery directly instead of a supporting a supermarket chain, a CSF is a wonderful option.
We signed up to get deliveries from Sitka Salmon Shares in Sitka, Alaska. So far, everything we’ve received has been exceptional.
That said, there are plenty of CSFs out there, so if you’re interested, look around and find one that works for you!
My first CSF box was full of black cod (sablefish).
What is Black Cod (Sablefish)?
Alaska black cod, also known as sablefish, is sometimes called “butter fish” because it’s so rich and decadent.
Black cod has both more fat and more omega-3s than Alaska King salmon, the fattiest fish I’d eaten up to this point.
And despite the name, this is a totally different fish than regular Alaska cod.
What Fish Can I Substitute In this Recipe If I Can’t Find Sablefish?
Try swapping sablefish for another fatty fish like salmon.
You could also swap sablefish for Chilean sea bass, but make sure the sea bass packaging is labeled with sustainable seafood certifications. Chilean sea bass is often considered an over-fished, at risk species.
What Does Black Cod Taste Like?
The high fat content gives this fish rich, mellow flavor.
From my experience working with King salmon, I knew that extremely rich and fatty fish need a strong, contrasting flavor to help accent, but not add to, the fat.
Black cod also pairs well with flavors like miso, soy sauce and ginger. Miso black cod is a Japanese delicacy.
While I wanted to try miso black cod (and still might at some point), most of the ingredients (like sake, mirin and white miso) are hard for me to find locally. I thought they might be hard for you to find too.
Instead, I started with something a little easier to accomplish for this sablefish recipe: Black cod teriyaki.
And it was so incredibly delicious!
If you have extra black cod (or if you like spicy food!) try this broiled black cod with sweet chili sauce.
If you can’t find black cod, I also tested this recipe with salmon and it was wonderful too.
And if you just love teriyaki sauce on everything, I also recommend trying my seared ahi tuna steaks with ginger soy sauce (a.k.a. teriyaki sauce).
How to Make Black Cod Teriyaki
Start by making the sauce.
Whisk together rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, wasabi (or horseradish), and a little sugar.
Set the sablefish in a baking dish, and pour the marinade over the fish.
Let the sablefish marinate for at least a half hour.
Next, carefully use your fingers to rub most of the marinade off of the fish. Don’t throw away the marinade: you’ll be using it in just a minute.
Set the fish in an oiled oven-safe pan or a baking dish. I used my Lodge 12″ carbon steel skillet.
Slide the fish into the oven.
While the fish bakes, pour the teriyaki marinade into a small pot.
Bring the teriyaki sauce to a boil, and then simmer it for a few minutes to thicken the sauce.
As soon as the black cod is flaky, it’s done cooking.
I like to use a fork and poke the side of the fish a little bit. If it starts to fall apart, it’s ready.
Pull it out of the oven.
Next, brush some of the teriyaki sauce onto the fish.
It’ll look gorgeous before glazing, but after glazing, this fish is downright decadent.
Black Cod Teriyaki (Sablefish Recipe)
- 8 oz sablefish (black cod) Or substitute salmon
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari Use gluten-free certified if needed
- 1 TB shaved ginger (or ginger paste)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp wasabi OR horseradish
- 2 tsp sugar (white or brown)
- 1 TB olive oil
- Whisk or blend together vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, wasabi (or horseradish), and sugar. Marinate sablefish in sauce for at least 30 minutes, or overnight. (Refrigerate while marinating.)
- Preheat oven to 400°F.Brush oil in an oven-safe pan or casserole dish. (Sablefish can be large, so make sure the pan or dish is long enough.)Use your fingers to brush the marinade off of the sablefish and move it to the prepared pan. Reserve marinade.Slide the pan into the oven.Cook sablefish for 10 minutes per 1" thickness, or until the fish easily flakes apart with a fork.Sablefish is very delicate and flaky: do not flip the fish halfway through cooking.
- While the sablefish cooks, pour the marinade into a small pot.Heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil, and then simmer for 2-3 minutes, lowering heat if necessary. Remove from heat and cover the pan to keep the sauce warm.
- When the sablefish is done cooking, remove it from the oven and brush the teriyaki sauce over the fish. Divide the remaining sauce and serve it on the side or drizzled over side dishes (like rice or vegetables.)Serve the fish immediately.