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Best Black Cod

Believe it or not I just discovered this dish very recently. Now I'm search for the Best Black Cod in the city. Any suggestions?

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  1. Nobu - The Original. He made the dish famous here.

    1. There is no such thing as Black Cod, pal. Sorry, but Nobu made up the name to sell his dish at a high price range. That's right, Black Cod is none other that common Sable. The same Sable that has been bought for decades in NYC for a few dollars per pound. Nobu re-named it and glazed it with a Miso paste (also dirt cheap) and then threw a high price on it. Nobu does have the best, but they are ripping you off big time.

      Then again you got to hand it to the guy, a great money maker, that is delicious and sees a monster profit margin.

      6 Replies
      1. re: ChuToro

        Black Cod and Sablefish are the same thing. Black Cod is the Canadian term. He uses that term, as many Japanese places do, probably because it's closer to the literal Japanese translation which has the Japanese word for "cod" in it. In Japanese the dish is called 銀ダラ西京焼き (Gin Dara Saikyou Yaki)."Gin Dara" actually means "silver cod". "Saikyou" is a type of miso. It's not "dirt cheap" and can be of very good quality....I have no idea about Nobu, his choice of ingredients, or prices. But the dish is not unusual in Japan...As to Sablefish and it's reputation, you should keep in mind that there was a time when o-toro and your namesake, chu-toro, were not considered delicacies in the Japanese sushi vernacular. The appreciation of the fattier cuts is really quite a recent thing.

        1. re: Silverjay

          If by "recent" you mean the 1950's, then you would be correct. It became a delicacy in Japan as a result of a marketing campaign by the Japanese goverment to help with shortages of Tuna, believed to be caused by weapons-testing in the Pacific.

          As I said, "Black Cod" is a name invented by Nobu and now used by thousands of sushi restaurants and sea food restaurants world wide. You could call Sable anything you like, and obviously it would still be Sable.

          Miso paste used for "Glazed Black Cod" goes for around $22.00 per 10 lbs. in NYC, enough for well over a hundred servings. The dish goes for just over $20 at Nobu (downtown). I'd say that is DIRT CHEAP, but obviously its just my opinion.

          1. re: ChuToro

            Black Cod is the Canadian term for sablefish, it wasn't invented by Nobu. It sounds closer to the Japanese name of the fish and to your point, probably is better than "sablefish miso yaki". Black cod and many other fish, glazed, marinated, or cooked in miso are very common in Japan. At a restaurant in Tokyo, it's usually about $12-18 . But I'm with you, $20 is expensive. Then again, people here are willing to pay a premium even on sushi with mayonnaise jammed in it, so go figure....To the original point of the thread, I would guess that many other Japanese restaurants serve this dish. Nobu probably just introduced it.

            1. re: Silverjay

              You certainly may be right Silverjay. My info on the thread is from from an interview with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. He claims he came up with the name: Black Cod, because it sounded exotic and sexy, whereas Sable, mostly here in NYC is a fish most associated with Jewish brunch, and not particularly sexy. Perhaps he's in error and he did not invent the name or the dish, either way, he certainly popularized it.

              1. re: ChuToro

                Further to Silverjay point, in french black cod is called 'Morue charbonnière' or if you prefer coal cod. I believe the french ancestry in Quebec influenced the name black cod.

                Nobu is not that good anyway and mostly an american chef celebrity. This cooking is quite common in Japan, and that I can attest prior to Nobu celebrity.

        2. re: ChuToro

          Black Cod or Sablefish, they're both delicious. However a few dollars per pound is not at all realisitic for Sable, try upwards of $22/lb.

        3. Order the Black Cod from Chance on Smith Street in Brooklyn. Ive had the one at Nobu also and I was reminded of it after eating the one at Chance. It is excellent.

          1. Sablefish is cured and smoked Black Cod which is it's proper market name. Black Cod sells for upwards of $17 a pound fresh but is mostly only seen frozen. It's is also been referred to as Butterfish on the west coast.

            1. I'd bet big money that the name black cod precedes Nobu.

              Also, I always thought butterfish was pompano.

              When I was a kid sable was the budget smoked fish; now I think it's as expensive (or almost) as sturgeon, which was the luxury item.


              1. maybe that's the next movement in food art, Chefs that create their own fish. I'll start work tomorrow on my signature gamebird. I wonder what I'll name it...

                1. Sorry no one decided to answer your question. I had great miso black cod at en Japanese Brasserie.

                  1. Has anyone tried the "Miso Smoked Black Cod" from Asia de Cuba? I thought it was absolutely fantastic...any insight on how that dish is preprared????

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jziolkowski

                      I have had Asia de Cuba's and thought it was very good. I have a recipe that tastes similar . . . Basically combine 1/3 cup each of soy, sake and mirin, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 tablespoons red miso. Mix well and pour over your fish. Marinate in the fridge for 30 mins to 2 hours. Broil 4-5 mins per side and serve with fres There you have it!

                    2. I had a great black cod at Ilili during RW this year.

                      1. Check the black cod at Woo Lae Oak in Soho. Absolutely trumps Nobu

                        1. If you're in a DIY mood I often order the Alaskan Black Cod from Fresh Direct @ $18 ish per pound. Tis the season in winter. One very quick and simple preparation involves the following: Combine 4 tablespoons each of high quality balsamic vinegar and olive oil with two cloves of minced garlic. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and pour over fish filets. Marninate 30 minutes to 2 hours in fridge. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. I find that 12 oz of this rich, flavorful preparation generously serves 2, which brings you in well under what Nobu is charging for a single serving these days.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Nikitenka

                            One recipe l have been using for decades is called black cod sake kasu. The sake kasu is the schmutz left at the bottom the tank when making sake and is miso like but even more interesting IMHO. Got mine at Katagiri, and a pound container can last a lifetime. Smear some on the fish, marinate a bit, put under broiler till cooked, then remove extra schmutz as salty and belly up.

                          2. you can buy the fish and miso sauce from fish mkt in Chelsea Mkt.

                            I like Nobu. Sushi Seki makes a good one too.

                            1. I second the En Brasserie on Hudson vote. Most delicious. They also have it deep fried. It melts in your mouth it is so good.

                              1. I had a superb black entrée at Haiku which recently opened on Mamaroneck Avenue in Mamaroneck. It was beautifully presented moist and delicate. One of the best fish dishes I've had was comparable to a salt cod entrée I had in Macau before it became part of China

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: blrozner

                                  Correction: It was not Haiku, although I had excellent sushi there , I had the Black Cod dish at Ginban, also on Mamaroneck Ave., Mamaroneck, NY.

                                2. BLT Fish on West 17th between 5th and 6th (upstairs only) has the best black cod I've ever tasted. Laurent Tourondel's recipe is very simple and is one of his signature dishes. He marinates the black cod fillets overnight in acacia honey, low-sodium soy sauce, grapesed oil, and white wine vinegar. He roasts the fillets and reduces the marinade to make a sauce. Really delicious!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Tom Steele

                                    the caramelized wild sablefish with mustard green relish and salmon roe at Shang is superb.

                                  2. hi everybody. Glad to hear some buzz about black cod. I am a black cod fisherman in Alaska, and I can report that Sablefish is the official name, which appears on our permits and such, and black cod is what people in Alaska and B.C. have commonly called it for decades. It's not exactly "common", either, having one of the most consistently high dock prices of any species of seafood caught up here. The Japanese buy all they can get, since they fished it entirely out of existence on their side of the Pacific many years ago. Now the domestic market is stronger than ever, and the Chinese are starting to compete for it. even with our freezer full of King Salmon and Halibut, it is still my family's favorite food. When we do any kind of miso/ginger/garlic/lime type marinade we then barbeque it until it looks inedible, then it's extremely edible. Nearly impossible to overcook. Stocks are very healthy besides. Enjoy

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: fergusfiddle

                                      Hi fergusfidle,im a fisherman also in alaska and baja mexico for black cod...
                                      I will really appreciate you get in contact with me to share some information about black cod.
                                      We also cook black cod here in mexico at a la Veracuzana stile its fantastic.

                                    2. Yes, the black cod at Nobu is excellent. Also very much enjoyed the version at Koi (NY).

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: gnocchicroissant

                                        First time I had the black cod at Nobu, I thought I died and went to heaven.

                                        1. re: nooyawka

                                          I have to disagree with you there (disclaimer, I had the black cod in Nobu Melbourne). The fish is the star. Fail to see what Nobu is doing any different that any good place or that I can DIY. Nobu is overrated in my book. Go to Japan and try same price restaurant (if you can afford go all in) and the experience will be life changing (almost mystical).

                                      2. I haven't tried it yet, but I have heard great things about the BLACK COD+ caramelized fennel & concentrated tomatoes at Scarpetta.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: steakrules85

                                          That was the one dish that didn't impress me when I went to Scarpetta with a friend of mine. The fish was a bit fishy and the dish was otherwise just not that tasty. Most of the rest of our meal - both his and mine - was great, and I do recommend the restaurant based on our meal.

                                          1. re: Pan

                                            I've eaten it since and it was fantastic actually. One of the more noteworthy dishes for me.

                                        2. The black cod at Buddakan is my all time favorite - it has delicious Japanese eggplant with it and not as sweet as Nobu's.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Jenny34

                                            Try Zenkichi in Williamsburg. Amazing Black Cod. My husband said it was better than Nobu.