This broiled black cod (sablefish) is cooked until tender and flaky, and is served with an easy, homemade sweet chili sauce.
This summer has been fish-tastic.
We signed up for a CSF (community supported fishery) and have been indulging in some truly delicious seafood.
If you’re interested in signing up for a CSF, I highly recommend Sitka Salmon Shares. They did not sponsor this post and I do not make money if you sign up–I’ve simply been really happy with their seafood!
One of my favorite fish deliveries (so far!) was a box full of black cod (also called sablefish).
Black cod can be difficult to find, especially if you’re on the east coast, so this was extra exciting. Happily, the box was packed full with lots of sablefish, and I was able to try out a few different recipes.
Exciting times, my friends. Exciting times.
Because black cod pairs well with flavors like soy and ginger, I started with a black cod teriyaki. And it was delightful.
But guys, black cod also pairs extremely well with chili. It’s like they were made for one another.
This broiled black cod (sablefish) is glazed with an easy, homemade, spicy chili sauce that will leave you wanting more!
What Can I Substitute for Black Cod (Sablefish)?
Both black cod and salmon cook similarly, and both are delicious with spicy chili sauce.
If you can get your hands on some King salmon, it’s an especially great substitute for black cod, because both types of fish are extremely fatty.
Despite the name, black cod is not the same as regular cod, and cod is not a good substitute in this recipe.
Why Broil the Black Cod?
Broiling is one of the easiest ways to cook fish.
In this recipe, broiling is a nice option because it helps bring out the sweet notes in the fish. The sweet helps balance the spiciness.
How Spicy Is The Sauce?
As written, this recipe is mildly spicy.
The sweet chili sauce on its own is somewhat spicy, but it’s mellowed out by the fatty fish.
It’s probably the same level of spicy as General Tzo’s chicken. If you were ordering this as take-out, it would be somewhere between a mild and medium.
That said, I should probably give a spice disclaimer.
I am very spice-tolerant, and order my take-out extra-hot. If you don’t like any heat at all, or are very sensitive to spicy heat, either use a little less of the red chili paste or stick with my black cod teriyaki.
If you prefer an extra-spicy sauce, check out the recipe card notes (at the end of the recipe).
I tried a few different versions of this sauce, and while I personally preferred the hotter sauces, I knew most of you wouldn’t want it that hot. If you like heat, there are recipe notes for a spicier sauce.
What is sambal oelek?
Sambal oelek is a type of red chili paste.
If you can’t find sambal oelek (or don’t have it on hand), you can substitute red chili flakes or Korean gochugaru chili flakes.
Red chili flakes are (in general) much hotter than sambal oelek, so use about half the amount (unless you want the sauce extra-hot!).
Korean gochugaru chili flakes are (in general) not as hot as red chili flakes, but have a different flavor than sambal oelek. You can substitute these flakes in equal amounts to the sambal oelek.
Want to try gochugaru? I like Mother-In-Law’s gochugaru chili flakes.
It’s time for another spice-level disclaimer.
Everything I just said about the spice levels can change if you buy a chili paste or chili flakes marked “extra hot.” Adjust the recipe accordingly.
Additionally, if your dried chili flakes are old, they may have lost some (or all) of their heat. If you bought your chili flakes from a $1 bulk bin, they might be old.
If you’re not sure if your chili flakes still have heat, I recommend tasting them before using them in this sauce.
How to Make Broiled Black Cod with Sweet Chili Sauce
Start by whisking together the chili sauce.
You’ll need rice vinegar, soy sauce or tamari, a little sugar, garlic powder, the sambal oelek (or chili flakes), and (if you want) a dash of cayenne.
Set the sablefish in a dish, and pour the sauce over it. Set it in the fridge to marinate.
When you’re ready to cook the fish, use your fingers to brush the extra marinade off the fish.
Move the fish to an oiled, oven-safe pan, and slide it under the broiler.
You’ll cook the black cod for 9-10 minutes per one-inch thickness.
While the black cod broils, pour the marinade into a small pan and simmer it to thicken.
Keep an eye on the sablefish while it broils.
It’s done when you can easily flake the fish apart with a fork.
When the fish is flaky, pull it out of the oven.
Brush it with the sweet chili sauce.
Broiled Black Cod (Sablefish) with Sweet Chili Sauce
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari Use gluten-free certified if needed
- 1 TB sugar (white or brown)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 TB sambal oelek (red chili paste) Or substitute red chili flakes (much hotter, use 2 tsp) or Gochugaru pepper flakes
- ½ tsp cayenne (optional)
- 1 TB olive oil
- 8 oz sablefish (black cod) Or substitute salmon
- Whisk or blend together vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic powder, sambal oelek, and cayenne (if using).Marinate sablefish in sauce for at least 30 minutes, or overnight. (Refrigerate while marinating.)
- Move an oven rack to about 4" away from the broiler. Preheat broiler to high.Brush oil in an oven-safe pan or casserole dish. (Sablefish can be large, 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 9-10 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 sweet chili 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.