bits and pieces

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Black Cod in a Maple-Soy Glaze - en Papillote.

Black cod aka Sablefish aka Butterfish. A yummy, healthy, hard to
cook terribly, all around perfect piece of fish. Topped with mango
Sablefish (or  butterfish, or black cod) is probably the best fish in the world. If the name butterfish is any indication this fish tastes like heaven. It’s soft, it isn’t at all fishy, and it’s silky and perfect. It has the nicest taste and texture of any fish I have ever had. If you are not a fish eater and you really want to try to like fish. Start here. It will ruin you for any other fish. This is actually my favourite fish in the whole wide world.

The only downside to this rockstar fishy is that it is quite expensive. A piece the size of a decent steak can cost upwards of 25$. I'm trying to get my head around this though - if I'll buy a 20 dollar New York steak for my boyfriend - why can't I buy myself a 20 dollar chunk of heaven-fish? I feel like this is actually important question I have to address in my life.

Feminist musings aside, some of you may know, my second/third job is working at Pacific Fresh in Regina. I work there 2-3 Saturdays a month for the extra few hundred dollars and the sweet heavenly discount on seafood. Plus it's kind of fun being a fish-wench. Yet even WITH my fish-wenching, this fish is still ludicrously expensive. Once in awhile though it's a splurge I have to make. Taylor is the most carnivourous of carnivores - even if I've made 3 glorious vegetarian dinner options, he will not be happy unless there is a dead animal somewhere on the plate. But when I cook sablefish - he will mow it down like a happy little shark.

Prices aside, I am a huge proponent of spending more on seafood. I like knowing where my fish came from and that they were sustainably caught. Sablefish is an excellent sustainable fish - almost a replacement for the very unsustainable seabass. Most of them are longline caught off the coast of BC/Alaska. Not nearly enough of those end up in my tummy.

I  had actually intended on this being a miso - maple fish, but I can’t find miso paste anywhere in Regina. If you can find miso paste, it is scrumptious if brushed on this fish with a little maple syrup! If you don't eat a lot of fish, yet you are finding yourself seduced by my pescatorial prose - I will add one further note of awesome - cooking fish is super easy, quick, very healthy, and impresses people. Especially if you cook it en papillote. Now go buy fish.


2 pieces of sablefish
2 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp white wine
a big splash of olive oil
a pinch of salt + a shake of pepper
mango salsa (click here for the recipe)

other things you will need:
parchment paper
a baking tray for your fishies

your fish - wrapped up and coming
out of the oven!
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a shallow dish or ziplock bag, combine your marinade (maple, soy, wine, oil) with your fish. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  3. I use this time to make mango salsa. This is amazing on top. I also highly recommend swapping out the mango for pineapple. Heaven.
  4. Once the 30 minutes have elapsed, remove your fish from the fridge. Tear two big pieces of parchment paper. In the direct centre of each piece, place your sablefish skin side down (you can remove the skin beforehand if you like, but it pulls right off once the fish is cooked so I leave it on). Spoon a tablespoon or so of the marinade over the fish.
  5. Now you have to wrap your fish en papillote - it’s not very complicated but it’s pretty looking, easy and the healthiest way to cook fish (or other meat!). You are essentially going to wrap up your fish like a little candy. Grab two sides of the parchment paper and roll them closed like you're closing a brown paper bag. Then grab the two ends and twist them to shut your fish-candy. Repeat with your other piece of fish.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. Fish normally cooks at a rate of 10 minutes per inch of thickness and black cod fillets are normally pretty thick so anywhere around 12 minutes should be spot on.
  7. Remove from oven and open envelopes. Either serve in the envelope topped with salsa, or remove and serve on the plate.

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