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Alaskan Black Cod

Alaskan Black Cod

Imagine tasting a fish that rivals the richness of salmon yet offers a unique buttery flavor unlike any other. That's Alaskan Black Cod - also known as butterfish and sablefish. Revered by food lovers and chefs alike, this seafood gem, with its high oil content, transforms into a culinary delight once cooked.

However, achieving the perfect balance of flavor and texture requires some know-how. Does the idea of cooking Alaskan Black Cod intimidate you? Or perhaps you're not sure how to fully enjoy its distinctive taste?

Don't worry. This guide will set you on the path to savoring Alaskan Black Cod to the fullest. Read on to learn about this wonderful fish and how to prepare, cook, and serve it for the ultimate seafood dining experience.

What is Alaskan Black Cod?

Alaskan Black Cod, commonly called sablefish, is a unique and delicious fish found in the cold waters of Alaska. This fish is famous for its rich, buttery taste and tender texture, making it a favorite among seafood lovers. Its high oil content gives it a luxurious mouthfeel that is hard to find in other types of fish.

Nutritional Benefits of Alaskan Black Cod

One of the reasons Alaskan Black Cod is so popular is because of its many health benefits. It's packed with nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining a healthy heart and brain.

These fats can help lower the risk of heart disease and improve overall brain function. Additionally, Black Cod is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients help keep our bodies strong and healthy.

Sablefish: A Sustainable Choice

When choosing seafood, it's important to consider the environmental impact of your choices. Alaskan Black Cod, or sablefish, is a sustainable option for several reasons.

First, it's wild-caught, meaning it comes from its natural habitat and is not farmed. This helps preserve the balance of marine ecosystems and ensures that its life is completely natural, not altered by artificial foods or antibiotics.

Second, the fishing methods used to catch sablefish are carefully regulated. Fishing quotas and gear restrictions ensure that the Black Cod population remains healthy and abundant. By choosing Alaskan Black Cod from a trusted MSC-certified source like The Popsie Fish Company, you can be confident that you are supporting sustainable fishing practices. The Marine Stewardship Council provides assurance and verification to buyers, markets, and stakeholders that these black cod are responsibly managed and highly sustainable.

The Many Names of Alaskan Black Cod

It's worth noting that Alaskan Black Cod and sablefish are the same fish, and the terms can be used interchangeably. Some people might be more familiar with one name over the other, but both refer to the same delicious and nutritious fish. When you order sablefish from The Popsie Fish Company, you can be sure that you are getting the same high-quality Alaskan Black Cod that is loved by so many.

Preparing Alaskan Black Cod

To start preparing your Alaskan Black Cod, you first need to thaw it. Let us share with you the safest way to do so. After taking your solidly-frozen fish from the freezer, remove its vacuum packaging, place on a paper towel-lined bowl or plate, and cover. Put the covered bowl on the lowest shelf in the refrigerator. This is the gold standard for thawing, so let's explain why.

You remove the wrapper because you want to expose the fish to oxygen as it begins thawing. This prevents the growth of any bacteria (because bacteria thrive in low-oxygen environments). You also want to keep the fish at or below 40°F, which will prevent bacterial growth. (Thus you use the bottom shelf, which is coolest.) 

Thaw your fish overnight, or for no more than two days. This slow thawing process helps preserve the fish's texture, nutrients and flavor.

If in a pinch for time, you can run cool water over the frozen, wrapped fish, but never use warm or hot water. Do not allow vacuum-packed fish to remain at temperatures above 41°F for more than two hours.

Mastering the Cooking Time

The cooking time for Alaskan Black Cod depends on the chosen cooking method and the thickness of the fish. A general rule of thumb is to cook the fish for 10 minutes per inch of thickness at 400°F (205°C). Keep an eye on the fish as it cooks, and use a fork to check if it flakes easily. If it does, your fish is ready to serve.

Choosing the Right Cooking Method

Selecting the best cooking method for Alaskan Black Cod is important to bring out the fish's delicious flavor and tender texture. Here are some popular cooking methods, along with their benefits and tips for success.


Baking is an easy and convenient method that helps preserve the fish's moisture, making it a great choice for those who prefer a simple approach. To bake Alaskan Black Cod, preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C).

Place the seasoned fish, skin side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly greased foil. Bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.


Grilling Alaskan Black Cod adds a smoky flavor and slightly charred exterior, perfect for outdoor cooking enthusiasts. To grill the fish, preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Lightly oil the grill grates to prevent the fish from sticking.

Place the seasoned fish on the grill, skin side down, and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. The fish should be opaque and flake easily when it's done.


Pan-searing gives the Alaskan Black Cod a crispy crust while keeping the inside tender and moist. To pan-sear the fish, heat a non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add a thin layer of oil to the pan and wait until it's hot.

Place the seasoned fish in the skillet, skin-side down, and cook for 3-4 minutes until the skin is crispy. Flip the fish and cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until it flakes easily with a fork.


Broiling is another method that can create a caramelized, crispy exterior while keeping the inside of the fish tender. To broil Alaskan Black Cod, preheat your oven's broiler and place the oven rack in the upper third of the oven.

Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange the seasoned fish on the sheet, skin side down. Broil the fish for 5-7 minutes per side, watching closely to avoid burning. The fish is ready when it flakes easily and has a golden-brown crust.

Perfecting the Seasoning

Seasoning your Alaskan Black Cod is essential for enhancing its natural flavor. Salt and pepper are simple seasonings that work well with any cooking method. Avoid using strong spices that may mask the delicate taste of the fish.

You can also experiment with different herbs, spices, and marinades to create unique and tasty dishes.

A squeeze of lemon or lime juice can add a bright, tangy flavor to your Alaskan Black Cod dish. Citrus can complement the buttery taste of the fish and add a refreshing burst of flavor. Consider adding a drizzle of citrus juice before or after cooking, or try adding some zest to your seasoning mix.

If you're feeling adventurous, try pairing your Alaskan Black Cod with a flavorful sauce. A classic beurre blanc, made with white wine, shallots, and butter, can add a rich, decadent flavor to your fish. Alternatively, a light and fresh salsa made with diced tomatoes, onions, and herbs can add a bright, zesty flavor.

A simple seasoning rub can add depth and complexity to your Alaskan Black Cod. Consider using a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder, or experiment with your favorite spice blend. Gently rub the seasoning onto the fish before cooking, allowing the flavors to infuse into the fish as it cooks.

Alaskan Black Cod Recipes

Trying new and delicious Alaskan Black Cod recipes can be a fun way to enjoy this nutritious and flavorful fish. Here are some simple yet tasty recipe ideas to inspire your next meal.

Simple Black Cod with Lemon and Herbs

For a quick and easy Alaskan Black Cod dish, try this lemon and herb recipe. It brings out the natural flavors of the fish and pairs well with a variety of side dishes.


  • 4 Alaskan Black Cod fillets
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C)
  2. Season the Alaskan Black Cod fillets with salt and pepper
  3. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, and dill
  4. Place the fillets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  5. Spoon the herb mixture over the fish
  6. Bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness or until the fish flakes easily with a fork

Miso-Glazed Black Cod

This miso-glazed recipe adds an Asian twist to your Alaskan Black Cod. The sweet and savory glaze complements the fish's buttery flavor.


  • 4 Alaskan Black Cod fillets
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the miso paste, mirin, sake, sugar, soy sauce, and ginger
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves
  3. Let the mixture cool
  4. Place the Alaskan Black Cod fillets in a shallow dish and cover with the cooled miso mixture
  5. Marinate the fish in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours
  6. Preheat your oven's broiler and set the oven rack in the upper third of the oven
  7. Remove the fish from the marinade and wipe off any excess
  8. Place the fillets on a foil-lined baking sheet, skin side down
  9. Broil the fish for 5-7 minutes per side or until the glaze is caramelized and the fish flakes easily with a fork

Black Cod with Garlic Butter Sauce

Garlic butter sauce adds a rich, indulgent flavor to your Alaskan Black Cod. This recipe is perfect for special occasions or when you want to treat yourself to a gourmet meal at home.


  • 4 Alaskan Black Cod fillets
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Season the Alaskan Black Cod fillets with salt and pepper
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat
  3. Add the fish to the skillet, skin-side down, and cook for 3-4 minutes until the skin is crispy
  4. Flip the fish and cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until it flakes easily with a fork
  5. Remove the fish from the skillet and set it aside on a plate
  6. In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat
  7. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant
  8. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice, then remove the skillet from the heat
  9. Drizzle the garlic butter sauce over the cooked Alaskan Black Cod fillets and serve immediately

Serving and Enjoying Alaskan Black Cod

Once you've prepared your delicious Alaskan Black Cod dish, it's time to serve and enjoy your meal. Here are some tips on how to best present, pair, and savor your Alaskan Black Cod.

Presentation Matters

The way you present your Alaskan Black Cod can make a big difference in the overall dining experience. To create an appealing presentation, consider the following tips:

  • Place the cooked fish on a clean, attractive plate
  • Choose a plate that contrasts with the color of the fish to make it stand out
  • Arrange the fish in a visually appealing way, such as angling the fillets or stacking them if you're serving multiple pieces
  • Add a garnish, like a sprig of fresh herbs or a lemon wedge, to give your dish a pop of color and a professional touch

Choosing the Right Side Dishes

Pairing your Alaskan Black Cod with the right side dishes can enhance the overall flavor and balance of your meal. Here are some side dish ideas that go well with Alaskan Black Cod:

  • Steamed or roasted vegetables, such as asparagus, green beans, or Brussels sprouts, are a great choice for adding color and nutrients to your plate
  • Quinoa, rice, or couscous can complement the rich, buttery flavor of Alaskan Black Cod and help soak up any sauces or juices from the fish
  • Mashed, roasted, or baked potatoes are a classic side dish that can be prepared in various ways to match the flavors of your Alaskan Black Cod recipe
  • A light, refreshing salad with crisp greens and a simple dressing can provide a nice contrast to the richness of the fish

Beverage Pairings

The right beverage to accompany your Alaskan Black Cod will also enhance your meal. Consider these options when choosing a drink:

  • A crisp, refreshing white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, can help cut through the richness of the fish and complement its flavors
  • If you prefer a non-alcoholic option, sparkling water with a slice of lemon or lime can be a refreshing choice that cleanses your palate between bites

Savor the Sea with The Popsie Fish Company

Alaskan Black Cod is a delightful seafood treat that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Now that you know how to prepare and enjoy it, why not experience Alaskan Black Cod for yourself?

At The Popsie Fish Company, we proudly source our wild-caught Alaskan Black Cod sustainably. Treat yourself to our premium quality seafood delivered right to your doorstep.

Take the plunge and shop The Popsie Fish Company today. Your next culinary adventure awaits.

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