Black cod, also known as Sablefish or Butterfish, is not actually a type of cod at all but has a similar taste and appearance of cod. It's a member, instead, of the Anoplopomatidae family, a group of fish confined to the North Pacific. Black Cod is a migratory species that can be found from Mexico to Alaska, with the highest concentrations in Alaska. They tend to be found in deeper water, where they’re known to feast on lantern fish, squid, octopi and krill.
Black Cod came to be appreciated several centuries ago by the Makah Indians who fashioned kelp fishing lines and hemlock hooks to capture their prized fish.
Black cod mature quickly and have long life spans―the oldest recorded was 94 years old. That means they can reproduce early and long, making them a good sustainable seafood choice. Black cod makes an excellent substitute for Chilean sea bass, an Eco-Worst choice.
A valuable source of high-quality protein, Black Cod also furnishes important minerals, among them: iodine, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc and calcium. The fats in Black Cod are highly polyunsaturated and thus well-suited to low cholesterol diets and full of heart-healthy Omega-3’s. It contains nearly as much omega 3 as salmon and is relatively low in mercury and PCBs for a fish of its size and lifespan.
Black cod is a moist and delicate fish with a distinctive sweet flavor. It is a very forgiving fish that can be cooked on the grill, broiled or baked. There are many ways to prepare black cod but it is commonly prepared with miso, a fermented soybean paste, which is used as a marinade or a glaze on the fish before being baked.
Miso Glazed Black Cod
Mix the sugar, miso, mirin, sake garlic and ginger in a small bowl. Rub this mixture into the cod then cover and refrigerate overnight.
Move the oven rack to the second position from the top and turn the broiler onto the “high” setting. Scrape any extra miso off the fillets and place them on a rack on top of a baking sheet, skin side down. Put the pan under the broiler and broil until the Black Cod is golden brown on the top side. Flip the fillets skin-side up and continue broiling until the skin is lightly charred and crisp. If you have thicker fillets, insert a fork into the thickest part of the fillet to see if it’s cooked. The meat should be opaque and come apart readily. Because of its high oil content and thus its rich flavor, this fish is a great alternative to the "Chilean Sea