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Getting to Know Sablefish

Sablefish, also known as butterfish or black cod, is a deepwater species found in the Northern Pacific ocean. This delicate and mild tasting fish can be prepared in a variety of ways. Read on to learn more about this delicious ocean dweller. 

What does Sablefish Taste Like?

Sablefish is a mild and flaky white fish with a soft texture akin to Chilean sea bass. Because sablefish has a high fat content compared to other white fish, it can handle high heat applications such as frying or grilling without as much risk of overcooking or falling apart. Gentle cooking applications, such as smoking, or no-cook applications, such as sushi, are other popular ways to prepare this multipurpose fish. 

How is Sablefish Served?

Image Credit: Flickr user lesphotosdejerome (CC BY 2.0)

In Japan, sablefish is often marinated for a few days in a combination of miso and sake lees before being broiled. The savory fish combined with the sweet miso and flavorful sake makes for a delicious dish. 

In New York, sablefish is readily available at Jewish delicatessens among other smoked fish products. Sablefish on a bagel is the perfect harmony of smoky rich fish and tangy cream cheese all piled high on a chewy bagel. 

Sablefish can easily be cooked at home by sauteing filets on the stovetop, baking in parchment, or poaching in flavorful broth. Sablefish filets brushed in oil and broiled over high heat with a little salt and pepper makes for an easy and delicious weeknight meal. 

Where Can I Buy Sablefish?

Look for fresh sablefish behind the fish counter at your local supermarket (keep in mind it may be labeled as black cod). Looked for smoked sablefish alongside smoked salmon and other cured seafood items. If you have trouble finding it locally, consider ordering it online. 

Feature Image: Ian G. Taylor – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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