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.
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.
Sustainable Roasted Sablefish
Butternut Squash and Bok Choy in Green Curry
Red Chili, Lime
Roasted simply with olive oil, salt and pepper – the flavor is rich, sweet, and buttery due to its high oil content. It’s texture is velvety smooth with large delicate flakes. Silky sablefish pairs very well with bold Thai flavors, nutty butternut squash, and slightly crisp bok choy stalks and slightly bitter bok choy leaves.
Last weekend I joined chefs, fishermen, local experts and educators at The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Expo 2016 to share sustainable seafood recipes and samples; talk about fisheries, habitats, and species management; and to promote and sustain wild, diverse, and healthy ocean ecosystems that will last long into the future.
Caught of the California coast with bottom longline method, sablefish is rated a “Best Choice” for sustainability by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.
steamed sablefish with sautéed shiitake
wrapped in bok choy leaves
over NAVY beans, mung bean sprouts, kizami shoga
NAVY bean emulsion, society garlic blossom garnish
uss abraham lincoln cvn-72
nimitz class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
commissioned november 1989
docked in the port of los angeles
For five days I could see the “island” of the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln from my kitchen window. An aircraft carrier’s “island” is the command center for flight-deck operations, as well as the ship as a whole. The island is about 150 feet tall, but it’s only 20 feet wide at the base, so it won’t take up too much space on the flight deck. The top of the island is outfitted with an array of radar and communications antennas.
She is a jaw-dropping sight – at 1092 ft. (over 3 football fields long), 252 ft. wide, weighing 100,000 tons, she accommodates approximately 70 aircraft. She is powered by two nuclear reactors which enable her to operate continuously 20 years without refueling. Her life span is an estimated 50 years. The USS Abraham Lincoln is the first aircraft carrier to be docked in the Port of Los Angeles in more than 20 years. Her visit here is the inspiration for my dish, featuring NAVY beans…
Fresh Black Cod, also known as Sablefish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Population levels are moderate and no overfishing is occurring. The life-span of a Sablefish is estimated to be longer than 90 years! More information on habitat and sustainability can be found at FishWatch U.S. Seafood Facts here.
Nobu-style Saikyo Miso
3/4 c. saké
3/4 c. mirin
2 c. white miso paste
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
1. Bring the saké and the mirin to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol.
2. Turn the heat down to low and add the miso paste, mixing with a wooden spoon. When the miso has dissolved completely, turn the heat up to high again and add the sugar, stirring constantly with the wooden spoon to ensure that the bottom of the pan doesn’t burn. Remove from heat once the sugar is fully dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
Miso recipe from Nobu: The Cookbook by Nobuyuki Matsuhisa. This recipes yields 3 cups. Since we did not use it all for the cod, we tried it the following night with fresh salmon and it was equally impressive.
Rinse the cod, pat dry with paper towels, then coat with the miso mixture. Nobu recommends marinating for 2 to 3 days. Since I only had an hour, that is how long it steeped. And it was still fabulous! Broil the cod under high heat until it browns, then bake at 350° for about 10 minutes until the fish is cooked through.
Black radish is at its peak in winter. Peel completely and slice into very thin rounds.
It has a lovely interior pattern. The crunchy somewhat pungent radish and slightly salty and citrusy ponzu are a great complement to the caramelized luxurious cod.
Nobu serves his Black Cod with Miso with a simple garnish of a few more drops of miso and a stalk of hajikami (pickled ginger stick).
We served the Black Cod with Miso over sliced black radish and ponzu sauce. Radish sprouts make a lively garnish.