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What is sablefish?

Many seafood aficionados expound the virtues of smoked black cod. They know which market has the best selection and which menu does their favorite fish the most justice. What they probably don't know is that the black cod they so enjoy is no cod at all. It's a sablefish (anoplopoma fimbria). And although sablefish does resemble cod, it does not belong to the codfish family. It's a member, instead, of the Anoplopomatidae family, a group of fish confined to the North Pacific.

Although this premium quality whitefish can attain a length of 40 inches and may weigh up to 40 pounds, the average commercially-caught sablefish measures about two feet long and weighs less than 10 pounds. Thanks to its rich oil content, Alaskan sablefish is exceptionally flavorful and an excellent fish for smoking. Indeed, most of the sablefish consumed in this country is smoked.

Sablefish came to be appreciated several centuries ago by the Makah Indians who fashioned kelp fishing lines and hemlock hooks to capture their prized fish. Today, most Alaskan sablefish is longlinedin the cold, deep waters of the Bering Sea or in the Gulf of Alaska where the world's largest sablefish population exists. After it is landed, the sablefish is usually thawed then smoked.

A valuable source of high-quality protein, Alaska sablefish also furnishes important minerals, among them: iodine, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc and calcium. The fats in sablefish are highly polyunsaturated and thus well-suited to low cholesterol diets.

Sablefish nutritional information
Serving size: 3 oz cooked edible portion

Calories 205
Calories from Fat 145
Protein 14 g
Fat 16 g
Saturated 3 g
Cholesterol 55 mg
Total Carbohydrate 0 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Sodium 60 mg
Calcium 40 mg
Iron 1.5 mg
Vitamin A 430 RE

Adopted from Alaskaseafood.org

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