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.
White King Salmon
Lobster Butter Sauce
Gnocchi, Edamame, Roasted Maitake
White King Salmon Sashimi: Nobu-Style
Jalapeño, Garlic, Cilantro, Lemon Ponzu
White king salmon are special, and rare. About 5% of king salmon do not have the ability to metabolize and store the red-orange pigment, carotene, in their muscle cells.
In the past it was believed that white and red king salmon consumed notably different diets, leading to their flesh color distinction. Scientists now believe that variation in flesh color is controlled by genetics. White king salmon cannot metabolize these pigments from their food sources, leaving their flesh white. (from Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game).
There is no way for the Alaskan fishermen to know if their catch is white until it is sliced open. Because of its precious nature, much of this treasure doesn’t make it to the lower 48. Who could blame them for keeping it and enjoying on the spot?
The white kings that do make it to the lower 48 are highly prized for their flavor, texture, and unique color – and are often offered as a pricey nightly special in many high-end restaurants.
It is not only the pure ivory color that is extraordinary. These fillets taste very different than red-orange flesh king salmon. The cooked flesh is silky, and tastes fine and delicate, more mild in an elegant way. It is curiously soft and buttery.
Sashimi style white king has even more appealingly complex qualities – it is simply luscious with sweet, clean, buttery, and moist characteristics.
Spicy Salmon with Shrimp Chips
Avocado Mash with Lemon, Sliced Jalapeños
This tasty snack was inspired by Nobu Restaurants’ “Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna” where fried sushi rice cubes are served with a little bowl of spicy tuna and light soy sauce on the side. A version of the Nobu recipe went viral a while back on TikTok with the addition of avocado and jalapeño.
The original authentic dish can be enjoyed at many of the over 50 Nobu Restaurants around the world including all three in Las Vegas – Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas, Las Vegas Virgin Hotel.
With the remainder of a nice piece of sockeye salmon leftover from making an Aguachile de Salmón for my guests, I decided to make a quick snack paired with store-bought shrimp chips. These puffy-crisp chips are made from a dough of tapioca flour and ground shrimp. The dough is steamed, thinly sliced, dried, then fried. The result are crunchy little crackers full of umami flavor.
Topped with a tiny scoop of spicy salmon and/or avocado plus an optional jalapeño ring, these make a zippy one-bite snack bomb that is packed full of flavors, textures, and spice! And unlike the original dish which has many steps to prepare the fried sushi rice, this appetizer is quick and easy…