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Sablefish


ScotteeM
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I've got Sablefish (filet) on the menu at home tonight, and I've found less than a wealth of recipes on line for it.

I am hoping to grill it, but I'm open to other methods.

I'm also at work all day, so long marinating is out of the question tonight.

Thanks in advance!

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Sable is also a wonderful candidate for slow-roasting, which when done right results in a custard-like consistency.

I had grilled sable at Beacon in Culver City the other night--the chef is Japanese-American, formerly the chef at Chinoise on Main in Santa Monica for many years before opening his own place. The fish was grilled with a sweet, soy-based glaze (almost like a teriyaki sauce) and had sesame seeds on top. It was served with a sauce made of white miso (probably mixed with dashi broth, a little rice vinegar and ginger. It was delicious. I also had a glass of lychee-infused sake there that was intriguing, and would be fairly simple to make.

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This probably is of no help right now, but perhaps you could coax Mark Slater in getting you the recipe for the Sablefish wrapped in caramelized onions that they are currently serving at Citronelle. It is truly a brilliant dish.

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Where do you find fresh sablefish/black cod in this area? 

You don't say where you live, but it can be found at good quality fish markets. Call first to see if they have any:

BlackSalt on MacArthur in DC

River Falls in Potomac, MD

I have seen it at Whole Foods in Upper Georgetown--though it didn't look that good the day I saw it there--and you might check the Vienna and Arlington branches, and try Wegman's in Fairfax and Sterling.

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I got my piece of sablefish at the Whole Foods in Springfield. I don't recall ever seeing it before, and I haven't seen it since. However, Whole Foods does say (at least they used to) that you can request a specific fish and if their purveyors have it, they'll get it for you within a day or two.

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Where do you find fresh sablefish/black cod in this area? I've been keeping an occasional eye out for it ever since I had it at the 2941 DR.com dinner back in November.

I had a perfectly cooked piece of sablefish at CityZen a few nights ago.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Often when a post is removed from its original context (i.e., thread or topic where it responded to earlier posts) to serve as the initial topic of a brand-new, spin-off thread, it is bewildering to someone who hadn't read the original post.

In this case, I would like to know what meal sounded so wonderful to Sthitch.

Would it be possible to reserve a link to the original thread for the sake of clarity?

Thanks.

P.S. Fabio loved his black cod plated with mushroom jus.

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Often when a post is removed from its original context (i.e., thread or topic where it responded to earlier posts) to serve as the initial topic of a brand-new, spin-off thread, it is bewildering to someone who hadn't read the original post.

In this case, I would like to know what meal sounded so wonderful to Sthitch.

If you click on the red arrow next to "QUOTE (jpbloom @ Feb 6 2009, 09:19 AM)" it will take you to the topic.

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I bought black cod from Slavin's today. It looks fresh, smells fresh-excited to cook it. However, once I got my hands on it, it was full of pin bones. Is this acceptable or expected when you buy fish from the fish monger?

I am surprised, but maybe I shouldn't be. I tried to take my best pair of tweezers to it to remove the bones, but gave up (realizing that I was pulverizing the flesh with my lack of skills). I cut the filets into 2 pieces, along the line of bones. And, there were other bones here and there in different directions.

So, after spending $20 on 2 filets, I'm eating it! We'll be mindful of chewing on bones,, but what are your thoughts and experiences?

Again, I don't have experience with fish, so, would you expect your filet to be de-boned?

TIA

Also just want to add that the cooked fish was delicious-fresh, flaky...no bones in what I made. So, thanks for your replies

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I bought black cod from Slavin's today. It looks fresh, smells fresh-excited to cook it. However, once I got my hands on it, it was full of pin bones. Is this acceptable or expected when you buy fish from the fish monger?

I am surprised, but maybe I shouldn't be. I tried to take my best pair of tweezers to it to remove the bones, but gave up (realizing that I was pulverizing the flesh with my lack of skills). I cut the filets into 2 pieces, along the line of bones. And, there were other bones here and there in different directions.

So, after spending $20 on 2 filets, I'm eating it! We'll be mindful of chewing on bones,, but what are your thoughts and experiences?

Again, I don't have experience with fish, so, would you expect your filet to be de-boned?

TIA

Also just want to add that the cooked fish was delicious-fresh, flaky...no bones in what I made. So, thanks for your replies

That seems to be the name of the game with black cod. You just have to cut closely along both sides of that line of bones down the center of the filet, and cook it either in strips, or cut the strips into pieces.

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So, I head to Black Salt for randomwhatever'sfresh fish and settle on the Black Cod aka Sablefish. Set it out to warm a bit, squeegee the skin side in pursuit of crisp, sautee the greens and and melt the grapefruit buerre blanc, and fling the fish on the pan. Hot to brown a bit before flipping onto the skin side and finishing -- we've done this before.

The filets came out about as pretty as a filet can set on a pile of sauteed greens, waiting for its grapefruit buerre blanc. And then touching the skin with the knife turned it into a mashed potatoes/mushier-than-gefilte-fish mush. Thank goodness for Stephanie's Israeli cous cous.

I'm hungry as hell but, more than that, curious.

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This happens. On a certain percentage of sablefish, they look absolutely perfect and they cook u0p absolutely perfect looking bt they are mushy watery. I remember last year when we did Sablefish for a while, we got 8 small fish and 7 were kick ass and 1 just was water! All from the same guy the same day's catch even!

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It smelled and looked great prior to and after cooking.

I can not even begin to tell you how wretched this dish was. Remember the craft paste from a jar? Make it a little looser and then consider forking into your mouth with some greens. Bleergh.

It was also almost like the colloidal suspension reaction you get with corn starch and water but when it lost its cohesiveness it never got its firm structure back.

Yup, was almost like that, only less fun.

Cat liked it though.

As a recovering Catholic, learning to like fish, this is not a good thing.

Mushy watery kind of explains it Dean. but doesn't quite capture the horror on our faces as we looked down on our much anticipated repast. Wish somebody had caught that "reaction video" :lol:

Does anybody know why this happens?

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Fascinating link, Poivrot, but is there not a "squeeze test," like testing for a mushy tomato?

There is not. Only regret, like having squeezed sex (consensual, naturally) from all of the straight female softball teammates. As for the milky vs opaque appearance of Pacific halibut, the left center fielder and 3rd baseman suggest that it may be a result of spawning, with respective halibut. 1st base says that you can judge how far a salmon has come upstream from the ocean by the color of its skin; the darkest being furthest out, hence fattier, though the fat content varies by river origin.

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Fascinating link, Poivrot, but is there not a "squeeze test," like testing for a mushy tomato?

The fish looked, felt and smelt fine, it smelled quite good in fact. The only thing that gave me pause (but given the prior three observations I chose to ignore) was that the fish had an odd (to me)split in the meat where I didn't expect to see one.

Myoliquification :blink::lol::D

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According to NOAA fisheries experts/softball teammates, it is the result of the Kudoa parasite, though it is not listed as affecting said fish in the link. It also seems to appear in sardines.

As a proud --if not distinguished -- alumnus of the United States Department of Commerce I am pleased to hear that my former colleagues seem to have bead on my dinner. Until another theory arises, this one wins.

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Received a detailed and informative response regarding the sablemush disaster from MJ at Black Salt. I warned him that I was discussing this on line, so I don't think there's any breach of trust in reproducing the relevant portion of the gracious (as expected) not from MJ, the fishmonger:

"It was purchased that day coming out of the West Coast and the fish looked beautiful. We ran it in the kitchen that night as an entree and the dish turned out beautiful, for the most part. There were a few instances, about 3 portions, where the same problem happened for us. It is an odd situation because we had a shipment from the same supplier the day before and there were no instances of this happening in the kitchen (we ran it Friday night as an entree also).

"I am not completely certain on this matter, but I believe that with the Kudoa there are some outside signs before cooking that indicate that the fish is afflicted, such as discoloration or unusual soft flesh [MJ and Poivrot can duke this one out]. We inspect our fish very thoroughly here, each piece as it comes in, and there were no indications of anything wrong with the fish. The flesh was firm, pink, and quite buoyant. There was no smell whatsoever and we were all excited to have fresh never frozen black cod because most of the fish get frozen for the Japanese market. This was a real treat to get in. In my experience I have seen this happen before with black cod and typically it has been a result of spawning fish or fish that has been left struggling on a line to a point where the enzymes begin to break down the protein. In both cases there is no way of knowing for sure if this is case until after cooking. [emphasis added] We purchased around 15-20 whole fish between the two days and looking at the break down we believe that it was most likely one to two fish that there was an instance of this problem occurring..."

I am, of course, looking forward to my next Black Salt visit, though I may be in the mood for something firmer -- halibut or tuna -- until the BC memories fade a touch more.

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Picked up some black cod/sablefish on my way home tonight from Black Salt, not cheap $32.99/lb. They advertised on their Facebook page yesterday noting they were getting a fresh (unfrozen shipment) in today. Purchased 1-1/2 lbs for the family.

Made up a miso glaze and and soba noodles with mustard greens. Everything looked and smelled great until...

Took it out of the oven and it was a mushy, watery mess. Very disappointed and a waste of $50 worth of fish.

Probably the last time I try to make this fish at home - at least dining out it can be sent back.

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Sable fish is likethat. A certain portion of it just gets watery when cooked. Don't know why. I have had the experience with one fish of of a group from the same catch, the same boat etc.

from what I understand it has to do with lactic acid buildup in the flesh as the fish dies. some fish have more than others depending on their struggle. the problem is, is that you can't tell good from bad until you cook the fish. i suggest that if you ever have that problem again, call the place you bought the fish from and if they are reputable, they should replace it or refund you the money.

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Sable fish is likethat. A certain portion of it just gets watery when cooked. Don't know why. I have had the experience with one fish of of a group from the same catch, the same boat etc.

What a shame, considering sablefish can be so delicious. According to British Columbia Seafood (http://www.bcseafoodonline.com/files/sablefish.html), "When buying sablefish avoid fish with belly burns and soft, dried out flesh. The flesh should be firm and elastic, and the skin bright, supple and not discoloured. The meat colour of unsmoked sablefish should be pearly white while the meat colour of smoked sablefish should be golden-yellow. The larger the fish, the better the texture and flavour of the meat. Nearly all sablefish are harvested live in traps, a method proven to be best in preserving quality and freshness. The use of traps also virtually eliminates any bycatch and avoids juvenile fish. A small portion of the harvest is caught by long-line. Sablefish are brought live into the boat where they are bled, cleaned and frozen on-board within minutes. Experiments have proven that bleeding fish which have been landed live is the most successful method of eliminating bruising and preserving taste and texture. Frozen-at-sea (FAS) sablefish is generally considered superior to fresh."

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