Winter Braised Blackcod with Onion Salad

March 1, 2013 in Recipe

Sablefish $23/lb

Smoked Sablefish $29/lb

Now that Spring is just around the corner, we have to remain patient for a short while longer.  The following savory winter smoked blackcod recipe was created to infuse nutrients and flavor in order to draw attention back to the pleasure and simplicity of a relaxed home cooked winter meal.  I recommend serving this dish with quartered and roasted purple Yukon potatoes, fingerlings, Baby Red or Yukon Gold.  Potatoes should be cooked ahead of the fish and kept warm.  The acidity of the braising liquid compliments the starch of potatoes and the richness of blackcod and all will contrast nicely to the zesty fresh flavors of an onion salad.


1 ½ cups of any white wine
½ teaspoon  sea salt
½ cup water
4 [smoked or unsmoked] black cod fillets with skin on, 5 to 7 ounces each – thawed
dash of [smoked or sweet] paprika for garnish

Salad Ingredients:

1/2 bunch of choped flat leaf parsley – leaves only
1 purple onion – 1/4 inch slices
2 Tbs sea salt
¼-½ tsp sumac seasoning to taste [purple Turkish spice]

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a small glass dish just large enough to place (4) cut and portioned fillets skin side up, combine the first three ingredients.  Then place the portioned fillets skin side up in the dish and let stand for ½ hour at room temperature.
  • In a small bowl, combine sliced onion and 2 Tbs of salt.  Let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Turn over the smoked blackcod fillets in their liquid and place the glass dish on the top rack uncovered into the 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Use a timer if available.
  • While fish is cooking, gently squeeze the salted onion slices in over the sink to drain off excess moisture.  Taste the onion to check if it is too salty to serve.  Onion should be softer and not too salty.  Onion can be rinsed with cold water and resqueezed of excess water if necessary.  When the onion is salted just right to taste, add the parsley and sumac to the onion.  Serve braised blackcod hot; after pouring any remaining braising liquid over the fish and other vegetables garnish the cooked smoked  blackcod with the dash of smoked or traditional paprika and serve with Onion Salad.  Avoid excessive smoke flavor by using sweet paprika on smoked blackcod and using smoked paprika if using raw blackcod.
  • Serving suggestion – Roasted root vegetables such as baby red potatoes, beets and red carrots or squash such as acorn or butternut go well with this dish. Roasted vegetables can be cleaned, cut, oiled and placed into the oven before the recipe is started.  The blackcod can be added to the oven about 15 minutes before the vegetables are done.  Because blackcod is harvested in the fall it is an excellent fish to serve in the winter and its bright white color provides appealing contrast to the rich colors of beets, red or gold potatoes, red carrots, or squash while blackcod’s abundant trace minerals compliment the vitamins of the fresh fall harvest.