Last year my husband and I went to the Boat Show at Shilshole Marina in Seattle. After the show we went to Ray's Boathouse and hit the bar upstairs for some outstanding sunset views and some grub. We ended up having a number of appetizers rather than entrees and one of those included a sample of smoked Sablefish.
Sablefish is also known as Black Cod and I was floored when I tried it at Rays for the first time. It is the silkiest tasting fish I have ever had. It practically melted in my mouth.
That's why when I was visiting Gemini Fish Market in Issaquah this week and spotted black cod in the case I jumped on it. Even though I never cooked black cod before I thought that most of my salmon recipes would work well with the fish because both have a high fat content. I brought out one of my favorite cookbooks, Salmon by Diane Morgan, to find the perfect match.
First I Googled black cod recipes and I found out that many chefs are using a Japanese approach to preparing this increasingly popular and sustainable fish. That included a very interesting looking recipe from Iron Chef Morimoto that I would like to try sometime. But for this time around I wanted to make it as simple as possible because my biggest fear was ruining this perfect piece of fish.
In Diana Morgan's book I found a recipe for Honey-Soy Broiled Salmon that definitely has a Japanese flair. It looked simple enough that not even I could make a mess of it and perfectly transferable from salmon to black cod. The results were beautiful and it was a huge hit in our house.
HONEY-SOY BROILED BLACK COD
1 lb black cod fillet cut into 4 pieces, skin on
2 T soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup mirin
1 tsp peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
4 tsp wasabi powder
2 T fresh lime juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
Combine 2 T soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin and ginger in small bowl. Pour over black cod fillets in small bag to marinate for 30 minutes. Do not marinate longer than 1 hour because it will begin to cook the fish.
Place all ingredients for sauce in small saucepan, mix, and heat over medium-high heat until it boils while stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and turns syrupy. Set aside and keep warm.
Place black cod fillets on cookie sheet skin side down. Put under broiler (about 3 to 4 inches below heat) and cook until it begins to color - about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn over so skin is up and broil another 3 to 4 minutes. Don't worry about skin burning since you will remove it before serving.
Remove fish from broiler and pull skin off the back. Place perfectly cooked fillet over bed of steamed rice and pour a nice dribble of the sauce over the whole thing. Enjoy.