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Vital Choice at Home: Honey-Broiled Sablefish

Vital Choice at Home: Honey-Broiled SablefishWelcome to Vital Choice at Home!

This series features me, Michelle – a writer and soccer mom from the Rocky Mountains – my husband and two kids, some beautiful Vital Choice seafood and lots of regular home cooking.
(Click here to learn more about me, below.)
I want to feature the products and preparations you're curious about.
Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test?
Email me and help to shape this series.

Wow! Buttery, moist, and delicious WOW!
Before last week I had never even heard of sablefish, let alone cooked with it.
So, to play it safe on my first time around, I used a recipe from the Vital Choice website, adapted from an original recipe by Chef Bob Tam of P.F. Chang's China Bistro.
I chose this preparation because it looked quick and easy, and because it would give us an opportunity to visit the local Asian market, which is always inspiring, in search of dark soy sauce. More about that below! 
The most forgiving fish: getting to know sablefish (AKA black cod)
If you haven't tried Vital Choice Alaskan Sablefish, you are in the for the most delightful experience.
At dinner tonight, my daughter asked me: "How is this like the other cod we've had? It's so much creamier!"
Whether or not creamy is the right word can be debated, but she's absolutely right – the texture is unique and out-of-this-world.
Here's what we learned in our research about sablefish, also know as black cod or butterfish:
  • Because it lives in very deep, very cold waters, sablefish builds up greater fat reserves (and therefore more omega-3 fatty acids) than most other fish, making it incredibly luscious.
  • Unlike other white fish, sablefish is fatty enough to be very forgiving to the home cook, because it's much harder to overcook.
  • About bones: Vital Choice Alaskan Sablefish are skin-on, bone-in fillets. However, two of the three portions I prepared had zero bones; the third had quite a few. Please advise your family and guests accordingly.
The preparation, a few notes and one forgotten sauce
As I mentioned above, we used this recipe as an excuse to visit the Asian market about 10 miles from home.
The aisles are jam-packed with new discoveries, including the organic yam soba noodles we used to create the delicious noodle salad shown above.
I've included the sablefish recipe below with my modifications to serve 3-4 – click here to see the original recipe, which serves 2 and is slightly more complex than my finished dish.
A few notes: The recipe called for a 350º broiler. My oven doesn't have temperatures for the broiler, so I used the Low setting, which worked well.
My fish was perfectly done at 4 minutes – incredibly moist and just beginning to turn opaque and flake. If you like yours a bit more done, you could easily broil 1-3 additional minutes. Just keep an eye on it.
The side dish shown is Bobby Flay's cold buckwheat (soba) noodle salad I found on the Food Network site. It was a wonderful addition to this dish.
One final note: If you check out the original recipe, it also has you prepare a sauce of julienned fresh ginger, tamari soy sauce, lemon juice and oil.
The truth is … I made this sauce, set it aside and promptly forgot about it.
This recipe got BIG RAVES from everyone, and when I tasted the finished sauce after the fact, I'm not sure it would have added much.
So, feel free to try this addition, but I believe the recipe below is perfection without it.
I'm feeling victorious after my first sablefish experience!
My rating: 4 out of 4 stars.
Honey-Broiled Sablefish (Black Cod)
Adapted from a recipe By Chef Bob Tam of P.F. Chang's China Bistro
Serves 4
4 (4-oz. each) sablefish portions (thawed per the Serving/Storage instructions on the product page)
2 tablespoons teaspoon dark soy sauce*
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
4 cups fresh baby spinach
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch of sea salt to taste
*Available in Asian specialty markets. Or, use a low-sodium version of natural soy sauce (tamari).
  1. Brush the sablefish fillets with dark soy sauce and let marinate 15-20 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Heat broiler to medium (350º F). Brush honey on fillets and place fish on oil-brushed broiler pan.
  3. Broil 5‒7 inches from heat, about 3‒5 minutes, until top caramelizes and just until fish is opaque throughout. Set aside while you prepare the spinach.
  4. Sauté shallots in oil over medium heat. Add baby spinach and a pinch of sea salt and sauté just until spinach begins to wilt. Season with juice of half a lemon.
  5. Mound spinach in the center of each plate and top with a fillet. My sablefish slid effortlessly off the skin after broiling.
As I mentioned above, be mindful of bones.
What should I try next? Send me a note with your suggestions!

A Note from Michelle
Like you, I have a passion for beautiful-yet-healthy food that's easy to prepare.
While I do love making the occasional "fancy” dinner, most of the time I'm short on time and have a house full of hungry people who want to eat NOW.
I'm not a professional chef – just a busy mom who loves to cook and who's focused on that intersection of healthy and delicious.
I want this series to feature the products and preparations you're curious about.
Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test?
Email me and help to shape this series.
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