Wild sablefish (also known as black cod) has a delicate texture — when it’s cooked, you barely need to touch it with a fork for its flakes to fall away from the fillet in moist, tender pieces. Its buttery flavor holds up nicely to strong components that balance this richness, and both salt and acid can balance out its fat content, enhancing its decadent appeal.
Have you ever had Nobu’s iconic miso-marinated black cod, aka sablefish? For many, this was our introduction to the fish, a splurge on a special night out. But it’s ridiculously easy to make at home, and we’d be crazy to neglect sharing with you a recipe that honors this culinary, cultural touchstone. If you haven’t had the dish before, the combination of fatty sablefish, the buttery umami of white miso paste, and balance of sweet and savory flavors is going to blow you away when you make a version of this dish at home.
Of course, if you have had this dish before, this recipe from The Kitchn will have you marveling at how simple it is to prepare. The recipe itself uses very few ingredients, so make sure you use high-quality products when you’re making miso-marinated sablefish at home. Also, keep in mind this dish needs three days to marinate if you want to make it the right way. For a shortcut that is just as delicious, check out Serious Eats’ version, which just needs 30 minutes to marinate.
But sablefish isn’t a one-hit wonder. There are so many other flavor profiles and preparations out there that make the best of this special fish for you to enjoy no matter what mood you’re in.
Fresh Takes on Sablefish
Roasted Sablefish with Squash Succotash
While this recipe collaboration from Rob Eggleston of Seamore’s features roasted sablefish served atop succotash made from fall-inspired ingredients, you can adapt it to an early summer menu by using fresh summer squash and cherry tomatoes — whatever veggie medley you think will complement the classic corn-lima bean mixture.
Pan-Seared Black Cod with Black Olives and Lemon
Bon Appetit’s pan-seared black cod, spiced with coriander and cumin, finds an elegant balance with the cured brininess of black olives and the citrusy complexity of a full lemon — peel, pith, and all. Use freshly ground and toasted coriander and cumin to get the most flavor potential from this dish.
Air Fried Sablefish with Fennel, Kale and Grapes
Got an air fryer? This recipe from Blue Jean Chef utilizes this appliance for a one-pot meal of sablefish. The richness of the fillet is complemented by the crisp freshness or fennel and grapes. Everything gets cooked in the fryer basket, so clean-up is a cinch.
Sablefish to the Max
Garam Masala Crusted Sablefish
This maximalist recipe from the Cooking Channel for a garam masala crusted sablefish is over-the-top layers of flavors upon flavors. For instance, not only are you putting a poached egg on the fillet; you’re putting a panko-crusted fried poached egg on the fillet. Oyster mushrooms, accompanied by corn and edamame, are also on the fillet, sauteed in a curry-leaf-spiced brown butter. Like we said: It’s over the top, and we approve.
Sablefish Brulee with a Blowtorch
Yes, you’ll need a kitchen blowtorch for this recipe from Food Republic for sablefish brulee. Marinated up to 24 hours in a sweet, tart, and savory mix of components — pomegranate juice, cranberry sauce, beer, ginger, and garlic — it’s infused with flavor, then slowly braised in this liquid the following day. For the final flourish, you’re creating a crispy shell on its surface with a thin layer of sugar, melted into a candy coating with the help of a blowtorch.
Sablefish Al Pastor
Skin-on sablefish is an excellent choice of fish to throw on the grill, with its high fat content giving you a little grace in cook time so that your lunch or dinner doesn’t dry out in the high heat. This fatty fish also makes it the perfect fillet for Rick Bayless’s recipe for grilled sablefish al pastor, which takes the complexity of classic Mexican flavors and melds it with an unexpected protein. You’ll need specific ingredients to get this dish right, all of which you can pick up at your local Latin grocery store; the effort to be precise, here, is so worth it.