Here is a black cod dish inspired by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, but probably not in the way one would think. The legendary chef’s arguably most popular recipe is Miso Marinated Black Cod. A preparation that is absolutely worth every accolade. We recently enjoyed his signature black cod fillet at Nobu Paris Las Vegas, along with several other incredible dishes.
But here, I am preparing Alaska black cod simply, sautéed with crispy skin. It is served over a complex broth inspired by Nobu’s cookbook Nobu West where he shares a soup made with watercress (or spinach), dashi, and soy milk.
Black cod’s silky-rich luxurious flesh and its contrasting crispy skin are complemented by the extraordinary broth where spinach brings bright earthy green flavor and color, dashi adds umami and hints of the sea, tamari for salty notes, soy milk for a light creaminess, and rice vinegar for acidity. Steamed white rice is served on the side, it is heavenly dipped in the spinach dashi. Micro watercress is a nod to Chef Nobu’s original recipe.
Black Cod over Fresh Fettuccine in Dashi Broth
Shiitake, Castelvetrano Olives, Fried Garlic, Chives
Here’s another excellent dish inspired by Nobu Matsuhisa, where he gives Japanese noodles in hot broth a Western twist by substituting Italian pasta.
Since there are but a few ingredients – where olives play a big role – choose super-tasty, buttery, meaty Castelvetrano olives. And the pasta has to be fresh, not dried, where the tender velvety texture is heavenly in the savory umami-rich dashi broth. Flavorful earthy shiitakes are wonderful in this dish, oyster or chanterelle mushrooms would work also, however common button mushrooms would be way too boring. Lastly, the star is black cod (aka sablefish), with its silky-rich luxurious flesh and its contrasting crispy skin.
Black Rice, English Peas
Meyer Lemon Lobster Butter
We loved it so much we cooked it twice. Once featuring Alaska Coho Salmon and once featuring Alaska Black Cod…with premium quality fish, a rich and tangy lobster butter sauce, earthy black rice, and plump sweet peas.
The inspiration for this striking colorful recipe came from a heavenly dinner we recently enjoyed at the new Brezza, located in Resorts World Las Vegas. We were quite impressed by the restaurant’s service and ambiance, pristine Tonno Carpaccio, and brilliant Tagliatelle Bolognese with its intriguing hint of cloves, but it was her Chilean Seabass special that we especially craved again and again.
EATER Las Vegas writes that the winners of the 2021 Eater Awards in Las Vegas comprise a diverse group of the finest and most interesting chefs, restaurants and bars in the city.
This glorious sablefish was caught by Alaskan Fishing Vessel F/V Alitak. A simple preparation with a minimum of ingredients lets the silky-rich texture and buttery flavor shine through.
Found only in the Northern Pacific Ocean, Sablefish aka Black Cod is relatively abundant and harvested with methods that cause little damage to habitat and other marine life. For both taste and sustainability, sablefish can’t be beat!
Pan-seared to achieve a crispy skin, or broiled to achieve a caramelized crust – each of these sablefish preparations are equally stellar.
Black Cod en Papillote Red Lentils & Leek, Carrot, Yellow Squash, Zucchini Saffron Cream Sauce
Recently we gave a local upscale restaurant another chance. The place has a spectacular view of the Pacific and a bold imaginative menu. Unfortunately, though pleasant enough, the service misses the mark lacking attention to detail. And while there is nothing wrong with the food per se, the kitchen cannot seem to execute the dishes that sound so wonderful. They arrive at the table lacking finesse and vibrancy. One of the items that sounded promising was a seabass en papillote. The concept was terrific but the dish sadly, was just average, which then prompted me to recreate it at home.
This Black Cod en Papillote turns out to be a fabulous dish for entertaining with panache. All the components can be prepped ahead of time, just let everything come to room temperature, assemble on the parchment paper, crimp, and bake. Simply lift the packets from the baking sheet to the dinner plate. Serve warm saffron cream sauce on the side. The uniqueness of serving the entire main course in parchment plus the addition of a fresh green salad makes this a delightful meal to serve to company.
I like to use a fish with high fat content for baking in parchment. Since the wrapped fish cannot be checked for doneness without opening the package, the fat offers a buffer against overcooking. Black cod is a certified sustainable seafood and also excellent for this preparation. Its silky rich meat with a distinctive sweet flavor and flaky texture is perfect cooked “en papillote.”
Cooking fish and vegetables en papillote is traditional, but it’s the red lentils that provide a surprising layer of flavor and texture, perfect for soaking up the juices. In the sealed package the flavors and perfume of the four vegetables – carrots, leeks, yellow squash and zucchini – mingle with the cod. Finally, the saffron cream sauce is an adaptation from vegan Chef Tal Ronnen. It is dairy-free and has no cholesterol. Just a couple tablespoons add a bright exotic note. It can be made ahead, and gently reheated.