Sablefish FAQ

Sablefish (Blackcod)

Info and Serving Suggestions

Sablefish is challenged with an identity problem, hence has difficulty in becoming widely known with a common name. The Latin name is Anaplopoma fimbria. In the harvest and processing sector it is commonly known as “Blackcod”. Unfortunately in other markets, given such a name, the public may mistake it with Pacific (Gray) Cod or even Tom Cod. However it is quite different and exclusive in many ways.

Sablefish is harvested in Alaskan waters at 1800-2400’ depths by commercial longline fishermen. Because of its global demand most of this product has typically been exported and yet to be truly discovered by Alaskan visitors or even the American pallet.

Sablefish is best described as the “Fillet Mignon” of Alaskan whitefish. It maintains an elegant uniqueness that is delicate in flavor and velvety in texture. In Hawaii it is known as Butter Fish, and in other circles it is described as a cousin to the Chilean Sea Bass. To keep this product distinguished, it may be encouraged to use “Sablefish” in identifying this product.

Among other Wild Alaskan products, this product is also the best choice for Omega 3 value—great heart and brain food. Given its high natural oil content and richness, it has a buttery finish and more forgiving to overcooking. It lends itself to marinades and best prepared by baking, broiling or searing. Popular serving suggestions come from Japan using a ginger soy marinade or a miso paste mixed with mirin and sesame oil served with rice. Variations of this marinade can be made and more recipes are available on the Alaskaseafood.org website.

Be mindful that Alaskan Sablefish has been qualified as a sustainable fisheries product in our Alaskan waters by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and other certifying agencies contracted by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. Therefore it can also be marketed as a well-managed and renewable resource to the more eco-sensitive consumer. Enjoy!