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Feb 17, 2009 06:24 AM

Where to get Sablefish (Black Cod)

Interested in finding a place where I can get some fresh black cod, and any other information such as price, if regular cod will do. I don't really know too much about black cod in terms of flavor/texture.


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  1. Black Cod aka Sable or Sable fish is really at it's best when cold smoked. Then it has a delicate silky texture and unctuous smokey flavor.

    It is a staple of the smoked fish brunch or breakfast particularly in NYC with a good bagle. The others are smoked sturgeon and of course salmon/lox, etc.

    For some reason it is suddenly popular to cook it in high end restaurants, but I don't think it really benefits from cooked preparations.

    Many of the Russian grocery stores sell Sable: Berezka, Bazaar, etc.

    I have seldom seen it fresh.

    4 Replies
    1. re: StriperGuy

      I dunno, that signature Miso-marinated black cod at Blue Ginger is pretty darn good, whatever you may think of the whole Ming Tsai business...;)

      1. re: StriperGuy

        The best smoked sable I've found in the area is at The Butcherie in Brookline. Not cheap though, at close to $30 a pound, but worth it.

        1. re: StriperGuy

          it's a pretty standard grilled appetizer in Japanese restaurants/yakitori places on the west coast (listed as gindara kasuzuke) but apparently not as common around here; if you can't find it, you might substitute some hamachi kama (yellowtail collar) which is also quite oily although not as flakey

          1. re: barleywino

            I had torched sablefish at Takashi in Salt Lake City that was incredible. It's known by locals as Sex on Rice.

            18 West Market St., Salt Lake City, UT 84101

        2. I highly recommend a visit to New Deal fish market in Cambridge. They have a great fresh fish selection usually including cod (but I'm not sure about Black Cod, you can call and ask) and if you want to learn anything about fish just ask the guys working there. Most of them are pretty fish savvy. They'll let you know what fish can sub and so on and so forth.

          3 Replies
          1. re: foxspirit

            I've gotten black cod at New Deal, it's great. Very rich, very delicious.

            1. re: Splendid Spatula

              You guys are convincing me that maybe I need to try it cooked again.

              That said, it is delicious cold-smoked.

              1. re: Splendid Spatula

                Coincidentally I was at New Deal this past Saturday, looking for black cod (which I've cooked and loved) but no dice. Got a piece of halibut instead and roasted it after wrapping in prosciutto. Lovely, but I'm still craving some black cod.

            2. Cod is not a substitute for Black Cod. Sablefish is quite oily and rich, quite the opposite of cod. It is great smoked, and also quite good fresh. I've had it at Blue Ginger in a seafood melange w/ veggies. It's good as an app, very rich for a main course. I have gotten it from Captain Marden's, but I believe it was previously frozen.

              1. You can find it from time to time at Kotobukiya in the Porter Exchange, usually cut and wrapped in smaller pieces. I've never tried, but I suppose you could ask at the counter for a larger piece of the fillet.

                I don't recall seeing it at Reliable in Somerville but you might try there as well.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Chicken with a Capon

                  I'm pretty sure you won't find it fresh around here until much later in the spring.

                  1. re: Wursthof

                    I actually got some last spring at Whole Foods at Charles Circle. Foolishly, i think I just tried to broil it, and ruined it. this time, I'll be ready!

                    1. re: galleygirl

                      Broiling is a great way to cook it. Just don't overbroilovercook it. The miso/sake marinade is a great addition. I find the previously frozen stuff gets mushy and watery, not nearly as good as fresh.

                      1. re: Wursthof

                        I think I've had previously frozen in the past.

                        1. re: StriperGuy

                          Wait until late April or May to get the Alaskan stuff. Worth the wait. Not sure when the Canadian season opens.

                2. Temple Bar does a Butterfish dish right now, which I believe is the same thing, no?