Two Low-Calorie Healthy Ideas for Alaskan Black Cod
For years I thought black cod was the same fish that I buy from the supermarket to make fish pie or fish and chips. Perhaps better sourced, perhaps better cooked. I’ve eaten miso-glazed black cod in some of London’s top restaurants. And, I just thought that the chefs were MUCH better cooks than me. Well, they are of course…but it turns out that actually what is called black cod isn’t from the cod family at all.
Alaska has the world’s largest black cod population – it’s also called sablefish and it’s something of a predator, eating all sorts of other fish. It can live for over 90 years…and unlike regular cod, it has a high fat content and is also high in omega 3 fatty acids, just like wild salmon. So, it’s very good for you as well as being buttery and delicious. The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute sent me some to try cooking with and I have to admit to being just a little excited.
I started off by making a slimline version of the miso-glazed black cod that was made famous by Nobu. The ‘real’ version involves marinating the fish for a few days. And, it uses quite a lot of sugar to give a beautiful caramelization. If you want to try for yourself, there are plenty of recipes to pick from. My slimline version includes a little ginger and garlic and the minimum amount of sugar that I thought I could get away with. As a result, the caramelization isn’t as pronounced as you sometimes see, but the overall taste is still fabulous. I also lack patience so I managed to marinade the fish for all of 2 hours! But, with fish this wonderful I prefer the lighter, slimline version to ensure the flavour isn’t overwhelmingly of miso glaze, however nice that is.
It was utterly delicious and I’d definitely make this again – I’ll be using the same glaze for salmon and tuna too.
- 2 Medium Portions of Black Cod This fish is quite rich - 100g is plenty
- 1 tablespoon White Miso Paste
- 1 tablespoon Mirin
- 1 tablespoon Sake
- 2 cloves Garlic crushed
- 1 teaspoon Fresh ginger grated or chopped very finely
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- Mix the sugar into the mirin and sake and stir well till dissolved
- Stir through the miso, garlic and ginger
Place the fish in a tupperware container and pour over the glaze, turning the fish to ensure it is fully coated
- Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or longer if possible. You should be able to marinade the fish for 24 hours if it is fresh enough
- Remove from the fridge about an hour before you want to cook and bring to room temperature
heat your oven to 220C. Take the fish portions out of the marinade, keeping as much of the glaze as possible
Heat a non-stick, skillet or frying pan and cook the fish for 1 minute, service side down.
- Turn the fish and place the pan in the oven for 6-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the portions, until it is cooked, the edges are nicely caramelised from the glaze and the fish is opaque
- Serve with rice, steamed or stir-fried green vegetables and lime
My second recipe was intended to showcase the fish again. Pan-fried black cod with chermoula on a bed of spiced Puy lentil. Another winning dish, though I’m going to share the picture and link through to this recipe for the chermoula
I pan-fried the cod in a mixture of olive oil and butter but you could use any cooking oil. Pan-fry the fish service side (the white bit) down for about 2 minutes over medium heat. Then, turn it carefully and continue to cook for 3-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish. You are looking for the fish itself to JUST become completely opaque. It works quite well to take the pan off the heat a minute or so before it looks cooked and let the fish continue cooking gently.
Both of these dishes work well if, like me, you are trying to lose weight. The nutritional analysis for the black cod recipe comes in at well under 300 calories, which allows for rice and stir fry veg if, like me, you are following the 5:2 diet.
So why not pin this post for later – you could substitute Alaskan Pollock or Wild Sockeye Salmon if you can’t get hold of Black Cod – though for a special occasion, I’d really recommend you try!
Disclosure: I was sent samples of Alaskan seafood and paid a fee to produce these recipes on behalf of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. All comments are editorially given.