Scrumptious Seafood: Brined, Marinated and Barbecued Sablefish (Black Cod)

Last week, I purchased a sablefish (black cod) for the first time. Having never prepared this type of fish before, I really didn’t know what to do. The Steveston Sales Float fisher, who sold it to me, passed along this recipe and mentioned it was her favourite way to have sablefish. This type of fish can be really soft, so it is best brined before cooking (brining firms the meat slightly).

Now, after having tried it, this too is my favourite way to have sablefish. I think it took me an hour to eat my fish yesterday, as I wanted to savour every last bite! I was truly enamoured by the sweet caramelized smell and flavour of the barbecued steaks and the surprisingly tender fish meat. Oh, how delicious it was!

Here is the recipe we followed. Keep in mind, the marinating of the fish is a two-day process.

Brining:

  • 3 cups cold water 750 mL
  • ½ cup salt 125 mL
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar 10 mL

In a medium bowl, stir together water, salt and vinegar. Add sable fish steaks or fillets and place a plate on top to submerge fish; let stand for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse fish under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels then prepare sablefish as per recipe.

Marinating:

  • 4 Tbsp each of mirin and dark soy sauce 60 mL
  • 2 Tbsp sake 30 mL
  • 1?2 Tbsp sugar 7.5 mL
  • 1 tsp finely grated ginger 5 mL
  • 4 – 5 oz wild sablefish fillets 4 – 150 g
  • mitsuba (Japanese parsley), finely chopped
  • preserved yuzu skin, finely chopped

In small saucepan mix together mirin, soy sauce, sake, sugar and ginger. Bring to a simmer over low heat until sugar dissolves. Remove and set aside to cool. Place fillets in a container just large enough to hold the fish and pour the marinade over. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 48 hours, turning halfway through marinating.

Grilling:

To grill the steaks on the barbecue, cook them at medium to high heat for 2 – 3 minutes on each side (or until cooked). The meat  is done when it becomes flaky and separates easily.

Recipe is a variation of Hidekazu Tojo’s recipe “Baked Wild Sablefish with Braised Shiitake Mushrooms”.

Sablefish is an ocean-friendly choice. Check out the Best Catch Sustainable Seafood Festival this Sunday at the Cannery to learn more about ocean-friendly seafood!