Pacific black cod (sablefish) have long pin bones along the sides of their fillets that are difficult to remove before the fish has been cooked. Once the fillets have been cooked, however, they are easily removed with tweezers or needle-nosed pliers.
Pacific black cod falls apart easily. If you want your result to be more firmly textured, brine the fillets in a salt brine of 1/4 cup of salt to 1 quart of water plus 2 cups of crushed ice for 20 minutes.
Sea bass fillets also work with this recipe. Sea bass fillets are thicker though, so you would want to simmer them on both sides for several minutes until cooked through.
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds skinless black cod fillets
- 1/4 cup sake
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup canola, rice bran or other neutral oil
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
- Dark sesame oil, for garnish
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, for garnish
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
1 In a large sauté pan, mix the sake, rice vinegar, canola oil, soy sauce and ginger. Bring to a simmer on medium to medium high heat.
2 Lay each fillet in the pan. Use a spoon to baste the tops of each fillet until you see the flakes of the fish separate a little, which should take about 30 seconds to 1 minute per fillet.
Let the fish simmer for 3-6 minutes, depending on how thick they are. Estimate 3 minutes for a 1/4 inch-thick fillet, up to 6 minutes for an inch-thick fillet.
3 Gently move the fish to individual plates. If you want, use (clean) needle-nosed pliers or tweezers to remove the pin bones in the fillets.
4 Increase the heat on the sauce and boil vigorously for 1 minute, stirring constantly to reduce the sauce. Spoon a tablespoon or more of the sauce over each fillet and discard the rest. Drizzle a little bit of sesame oil over each fillet, then garnish with the green onions and toasted sesame seeds.