Sablefish with Orange-Fennel Relish

I always love making trips to my favorite seafood shop, Groomer Seafood here in San Antonio.  Everyone is SO friendly and eager to help you decipher your way around all the fish they carry.  I always seem to leave far more knowledgable about fish than when I walked in.  For this particular dish, I wanted something really nice but wasn’t necessarily in the mood for seabass.  Rick (Groomer) asked if I’d ever tried sablefish, also known as black cod.  It’s one of his favorites, and now I know why.  It was, without a doubt, the most silky & buttery fish I’ve ever eaten.  Few fish are as rich in omega-3 laden fats, which actually makes it very forgiving to the novice cook.  The fat acts as a buffer against overcooking…all the better!

Sablefish are found in the North Pacific, mostly caught in the Bering Sea.  They’re quite abundant, and while quite similar to Chilean seabass, the sablefish is not only easier on your wallet but is also the environmentally superior choice since seabass is threatened in some  fisheries. It’s also one of the top choices of high end restauranteurs and foodies and was made famous by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa in his signature dish “Black Cod in Miso”.  Next time you’re looking for a delicious, special fish, head down to Groomers, and give this one a try.

Sablefish with Orange-Fennel Relish

Sablefish with Orange-Fennel Relish

Sablefish with Orange-Fennel Relish

adapted from Best of Cooking Light 2013


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 (12oz) fennel bulb
  • 1 cup fresh orange sections
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup  Castelvetrano olives, halved
  • 4 (6 oz) fillets of fish (I used sablefish aka black cod)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter


Combine first 4 ingredients, 1/8 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper in medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Remove fronds from fennel bulb; chop fronds to measure 2 tablespoons.  Remove and discard stalks.  Cut fennel bulb in half lengthwise, discard core, and thinly slice remaining bulb.  Add sliced fennel, orange sections, onion, and olives to orange juice mixture tossing gently to coat.  Stir in fennel fronds.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle fish evenly with remaining salt and pepper.  Add butter to pan and swirl until melted.  Add fish to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.  Serve with relish.

Liz’s Tidbits:

The original recipe called for sustainable white sea bass (not to be confused with Chilean sea bass).  While I used sablefish, any mild white fish would work equally as well.  It also called for halved Castelvetrano olives.  The only ones I could find were whole olives with seeds, so that’s what I used.
To produce the orange segments called for, you’ll need to “supreme” or segment 2-3 oranges.  See this post for instructions.

One Response

  1. The sear on the fish looks like perfection to me! Yum!

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