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Black Cod


Yesterday I headed down to Pike Place Market with the intention of picking up some halibut, as the Alaska run has started and halibut is one of my favorite fish.  After a little discussion with one of my guys at Pike Place Fish, I decided to go with Black Cod instead.  It had just come in and was looking exceptionally good!  (I can’t stress enough the value of getting to know the people from whom you purchase your food.  They have expertise and love to share it, so get to know them and get the benefit of dealing with an expert!)

I decided to prepare the fish fairly simply, adapting a recipe from Donna Hay.  If you haven’t discovered Donna’s cookbooks and/or magazine yet – it’s time you did!  She is a wonderful, creative chef and a nutritionist, I believe.  I have a couple of her cookbooks.  The pictures are beautiful and the recipes inspiring. 

My favorite book is called Flavours.  Instead of being laid out in a traditional manner by meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner…) or by food category (vegetables, meats, poultry, desserts…) the chapters are organized by flavor (or flavour, as Donna would say).  It’s a really great way to think about food.  There are chapters on vanilla, lemon & lime, chilli, and basil & mint, among others.  I find it inspiring to think of food in this slightly skewed manner. 

If I didn’t already own so many cookbooks, I would definitely purchase more of hers! 

Black Cod with Lime and Sage

1 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 limes sliced in 1/4" slices
1/4 cup fresh, whole sage leaves
1 lb Black Cod steak

Heat butter and oil over medium heat until butter is melted and a drop of water sprinkled in the pan "spits". 

Add lime slices and cook until tender about 1 minute on each side.  Remove from pan and place on towel to drain.  Add sage to pan and fry for about 1 minute.  Remove from pan and place on towel to absorb excess oil and butter.  (When sage is removed from pan it should be crispy.)

Add Black Cod to pan and fry 2 – 3 minutes per side.  Fish should still be slightly opaque in the center.  (Or fry to desired texture, if you prefer.)

Split steak into 2 pieces and divide between two plates.  Garnish with fried sage and lime slices. 

No picture today – it tasted great but I let my butter get a little too brown so it didn’t look that pretty! :-)


  1. LuAnne permalink
    12-Mar-2005 11:37 am

    I fixed Black Cod last night for the first time ever. What a lovely piece of fish! I didn\’t have a recipe. I was at a friend\’s house and they had picked up a nice size piece of Black Cod at the market. I tried looking on the internet for an idea for cooking it and found mostly recipes with Miso. I just pan fried as your recipe suggested with a little red onion, red pepper, a tiny bit of garlic and I did a white wine reduction sauce. The fish itself was a standout. Like butter! I found your blog by doing a search for Black Cod on google! Just interested to see other methods of preparation.

  2. Culinary permalink
    14-Mar-2005 11:08 am

    Hi Food Guru!Thanks much for your comment! Your preparation sounds wonderful! Different flavors but the same idea in letting the fish carry the dish, as opposed to a sauce or other dominant flavors. This is definitely a fish I\’ll use again. I\’m guessing that it would be great grilled since (being an oilier fish) it would stay moist. Also, your comment allows me to add some information that I originally meant to place in the post! Black Cod is also called Sablefish. In fact, I think this is the way it\’s most commonly known. I believe I read somewhere that the Alaskan fisherman call it Black Cod but they are the minority. B

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