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Black Cod

If black cod were more readily available, we'd eat it all the time. Its flesh is supremely oily, with deep, rich flavor and a meaty texture. Like salmon and swordfish, it is wonderfully juicy when cooked properly, and responds well to any cooking method.

But most black cod is frozen at sea for shipment to Japan or for smoking for domestic use; smoked sable has been sold in Jewish delis since the turn of the century. That which remains may be sold fresh or frozen, usually as rather large (2-pound) fillets and somewhat smaller steaks. It freezes well, surprising given its high oil content. Another name for black cod is sablefish; it is called black cod because it resembles cod with a black skin, although the two are not related.

Marinated and Grilled Black Cod

  • 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cracked fresh coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1-teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 two-pound black cod fillet, skin on Lemon wedges

Mix together the first four ingredients and smear on the flesh side of the fish. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight, pouring off any accumulated liquid from time to time.

When ready to cook, start a charcoal fire or preheat a barbeque or broiler. Wipe off the marinade but do not rinse off the fish. To grill, use a fish basket if you have one, or rub the fish with peanut or olive oil. Grill 4-6 inches from the heat source, turning once or twice and cooking until the fish has lightly browned and begins to flake, about 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges. Serves 4.

Poached Black Cod Salad with Lemon-Oregano Vinaigrette

  • 1-pound Black Cod Fillet, skin off
  • 8 cups fish stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes cut into chunks
  • 8 cups washed, dried mixed greens
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper chopped herbs and onion.

Put the fish in a large skillet with the stock. Bring the liquid to a boil, then turn it off. Let the fish rest for 20 minutes; it will be cooked. Drain the liquid and save for another use, pat the fish dry. Season with salt and pepper, then flake it into a bowl. Toss with the tomatoes, greens and vinaigrette.

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