Alaskan Black Cod with Hoisin and Ginger Sauces

April 19, 2010

Now I know that some of you readers, like Amber, fear the fish. And sure, fish can be intimidating, and if you’ve ever had a run-in with bad fish…well, let’s just say that it’s hard to get your Fish Mojo back after that.

But this recipe is light, healthy and easy. And, despite the short ingredient list, really flavorful!

Delicate fish like cod and halibut really thrive under Asian seasonings. The fish becomes a blank canvas for the heady flavors of ginger, sesame and hoisin. Served with some steamed rice and a vegetable, this is a dish light enough for Spring palates, but flavorful enough to satisfy.

Alaskan Black Cod with Hoisin and Ginger Sauces*
from Bon Appetit Magazine
serves 4

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 tablespoon honey
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 1/4 teaspoons hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 7-ounce Alaskan black cod fillets
steamed rice
steamed vegetable of your choice

Whisk first 6 ingredients in a small bowl.

Preheat oven to 450. Stir hoisin and chili paste together in another small bowl.

Heat oil in heavy, large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add cod, skin side up. Cook 2 minutes, then turn cod over. Spoon hoisin mixture over the fillets. Transfer to oven and bake until fish is just opaque in the center, about 5 minutes. Place 1 fillet in each of 4 shallow soup bowls. Spoon ginger sauce around fish and serve with rice.

* A few notes from me: I couldn’t find Alaskan cod, but if you can, I encourage you to use it. If you can’t find cod, another sustainable fish such as halibut can be used. Also, this dish is fairly salty due to the soy and hoisin. I used a lower-sodium soy sauce and found it plenty salty. We liked it with a crisp white wine, like Pinot Grigio.

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities April 19, 2010 at 2:11 am

This sounds positively delicious (not necessarily at 5:09am as I type this), but really any other time :) And love that it pairs nicely with my favorite wine.

(Am not afraid of fish, but I do not eat as much of it as I should. Not sure why. Maybe it's because the kiddos are in a Nemo phase?)


Bryan April 19, 2010 at 2:26 am

Beautiful, Cod is such a good fish for something like this, like you said a blank canvas.


Camilla Baker April 19, 2010 at 2:49 am

Hiya, I don't think I have ever been one of your first to comment!
This looks great, I would never of thought to use hoisin sauce with fish, I'll have to remember this one.


Sherri April 19, 2010 at 3:55 am

Omigosh … all your recipes look so great – I don't know which to try first……


Lindsey April 19, 2010 at 3:56 am

I fear the fish too. But this might just make me give it a whirl!


michelle April 19, 2010 at 4:20 am

Yum. My kids will eat fish when hubs cooks, but me… that's another story. Maybe they'll eat this :)


Phoo-D April 19, 2010 at 4:47 am

What a delicious fish dish! This looks like it would be perfect for the frozen halibut we have in our freezer. I love Asian flavors and fish together.


Jen April 19, 2010 at 4:54 am

Looks so delish…I love hoisin.


Jennifer April 19, 2010 at 5:12 am

Mmm. I think I have some cod in the freezer. Granted it isn't fresh and probably isn't Alaskan, but it would still probably be good.


Lindy April 19, 2010 at 6:05 am

I don't cook, catch, look at or anything else with fish. My Mom served me fish as a child with the head and eyes still on and I've been scarred for life. Won't touch the stuff….wish I could but bleh.


Kristen @ Motherese April 19, 2010 at 7:40 am

One of the best meals of my life involved an Asian-style black cod dish. I don't eat fish anymore, but this is almost enough to tempt me.


Gale @ Ten Dollar Thoughts April 19, 2010 at 8:06 am

Perhaps strange for a girl raised in the Central time zone, I do not fear the fish at all. This looks wonderful. Perfect for spring/summer. Thanks for the tip!


Wendi April 19, 2010 at 8:09 am

I heart hoisin sauce. So here's yet another TKW recipe going into my test folder, thanks hon.


Amy Whitley April 19, 2010 at 9:01 am

I am, like others, afraid of fish. I have no idea which or what to buy, or if it's fresh, and 'free range' or whatever the fishy equivilent is. I just need to poke around in the seafood department and learn though, because this looks good (and even I, the vegetarian, might try it).


Kelly April 19, 2010 at 9:12 am

I only like fish that tastes like something other than fish. This might fit the bill.


mo.stoneskin April 19, 2010 at 9:34 am

Never thought of having Hoisin Cod. Fabulous idea. I've never eaten bad fish but I have smelt bad fish and, well, it wasn't nice.


Jen April 19, 2010 at 9:48 am

P.S. I nominated you for an award because Im cool and annoying like that!!


BigLittleWolf April 19, 2010 at 9:50 am

I do not fear the fish. (You crack me up!)

I do fear complicated fish which require leaving the head on, and complex acts of fileting (is that a word?).

This sounds divine. If I can manage salmon, I should be able to manage this, right?


Nancy April 19, 2010 at 10:48 am

One of my most memorable restaurant meals included an entree of miso-glazed black cod. With the soy and hoisin sauce in this recipe I'm imagining it will taste similarly wonderful – full of umami! Love the texture of black cod, too. thanks!


Good Enough Woman April 19, 2010 at 11:01 am

This looks great! I love sesame, and I especially love ginger. I don't know what hoison is. But I bet I'll love it.


Barbara April 19, 2010 at 11:17 am

Where DO you find your cartoons? They are really fun and give me a big giggle when I see them. (Then I copy them and send them to everyone I know!)

Have some cod in the fridge right now…and wondered what the hell to do with it. I have everything but the chili paste which is OK because unlike your family, I do not need to set my tummy on fire!


Keyona April 19, 2010 at 11:24 am

I don't just fear the fish. I fear the smell of fish in my house. But I do love the fish. :)


Stacia April 19, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Knock on wood, I have never had occasion to lose my Fish Mojo and, consequently, I love fish. Yum!


Juliana April 19, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Nice fish dish…like the idea of using ginger…sounds very very tasty :-)


Contemporary Troubadour April 19, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Love black cod. And the idea of Fish Mojo.


biz319 April 19, 2010 at 3:00 pm

I, too have a fear of the fish. But I did find a fish I finally liked! Chilean sea bass! Too bad my store sells it at $19.99 a pound!

Hope you had a great weekend KW!


ck April 19, 2010 at 4:57 pm

I'll admit that that looks really good…as long as you don't tell my mom.


theycallmejane April 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm

You answered my question at the end – sort of. The whole time I'm salivating and thinking "How in the world am I going to be able to find Alaskan Black Cod?" Thanks for the substitution suggestions! This is going on the list!


Heather B April 19, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Ok, just made my menu for the week and now I HAVE to change it! This looks entirely too good to resist! Asian meets fish – and the Hoisin…. Well, it just can't get any better!!! I'll have to let you know if mine turns out half as good as yours sounds!


Privilege of Parenting April 19, 2010 at 7:53 pm

I'm just getting to this post after doing the dishes, after cooking and eating black cod (your recipe sounds great, I just missed trying it on this last go-round… which came out great nonetheless, grilled atop freshly cut rosemary clippings which kept the skin from sticking to the grill and mixed nicely with smoked sea salt and pepper).

I grew up in the midwest where I definitely feared the fish, but if you can get good fresh fish the world just opens up.


naptimewriting April 19, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Nothin says lovin like hoisin. I'll do this with grilled tofu and pretend it's not just an excuse for hoisin.


Amber April 19, 2010 at 9:12 pm

HAHA! I read the title and thought "No freaking way am I going to try that!" But, your approval makes me want to re-think that. Now that my husband is home a little bit more I will be asking him to make this dish. (I do know one thing: if I'm not cooking, I am more likely to eat something new.)


The Nervous Cook April 20, 2010 at 4:48 am

Let's hear it for hoisin sauce!


Tiffany April 20, 2010 at 7:04 am



~Laura April 20, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Love the hoisin sauce!! Sounds awesome. Now, do you think the kiddos will try it or rebel? I think I might give it a go. Keep the light ones comin!


A Feast for the Eyes April 20, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Now we're talkin'! I don't do plain fish. But, with a sauce like this– oink, oink without much guilt. I'll go for the Kirin beer to round it off. Coming to a blog, soon, near you– like mine!


Siren April 20, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Here's the thing about fish.

1) It seems like every recipe is screaming at you to use Halibut, halibut must be the really in thing, right, but halibut is like, $16.00 per pound or something! Plus I have a feeling with all this halibut-eating, it'll be endangered soon.

2) i really WANT to make all these great fish recipes but I'm scared. I've only cooked fish once. Am i supposed to buy it the same day so it does not smell fishy? I hate fishiness. Or is it ok to buy good fish and freeze it and then thaw it later in the week?


Gibby April 20, 2010 at 7:57 pm

I served cod tonight because Hubs is out of town and he's not a fan of fish. When he called to say goodnight to the girls, Chuckles told him we had chicken for dinner. Why do I even bother???


WhisperingWriter April 20, 2010 at 9:03 pm

I'm a weirdo and I don't like seafood. Well, I guess I like some. My dad made a really good flounder. He covered it with spices so all I could really taste was garlic and lemon.


Falling April 21, 2010 at 11:07 pm

I admit it: I fear the fish. However, we're committed to one seafood recipe each week, and a mild white fish bathing in a delish sauce is right up my (terribly narrow) fish alley.

Ew. Fish alley. Sounds like nasty slang for something. Sorry about that.


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