Also known as sablefish, black cod is an oil-rich yet mild fish from the Pacific waters with melt-in-your-mouth flavor and texture. It is superb when smoked but is equally as wonderful when baked or simmered in miso or a sauce containing vibrant herbs as in our recipe here. Despite its name, black cod is not actually a member of the cod family, its flaky white flesh more akin in flavor and texture to Chilean sea bass.
This good for you fish (it's as rich in omega-3 fatty acids as wild salmon) has a number of tiny pin bones which are more easily removed when cooked. I prefer to cook it with the bones (as well as the skin, which easily slides off when cooked) as they add flavor and depth to the simmer sauce. Serve with fluffy white rice and sautéed bok choy for an excellent meal!
Ginger and Lemongrass Simmered Alaskan Black Cod
4 black cod fillets or steaks (preferably with skin and bones)
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 teaspoon instant dashi granules (instant fish stock)
1/2 cup sake
1/4 cup mirin (sweet cooking rice wine)
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced or julienned
2 stalks lemongrass (tender light parts only), sliced
6 green onions, white and green parts, sliced on the diagonal and divided
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Heat 1 1/2 cups of water in the microwave for 2 minutes. Add instant dashi granules and stir until dissolved,
Pour sake and mirin into a medium pot and bring to a simmer, then add the dashi, soy sauce, sugar, and stir until combined.
Add the ginger, lemongrass, half of the green onions, and the fish. Simmer on medium to medium-high, basting frequently with a spoon, until the flakes of the fish begin to separate a bit, about 5-7 minutes depending on their thickness.
Using a spatula, gently remove the fish to a serving platter.
Increase the heat to high and reduce the sauce for about 1 minute. Spoon sauce over the fish and garnish with the remaining green onions and toasted sesame seeds.