I can’t think of a better way of celebrating National Seafood Month than with the seasonal harvest of a regional favorite: Pacific Northwest wild black cod. Sometimes referred to as sablefish or butterfish, black cod has a very buttery and mild taste. It is a deep-water fish sometimes found in depths of 650 feet in the coastal waters of Oregon, Washington and Alaska.
I’m taking this culinary jewel of the sea and glazing it with a honey-soybean fermented miso paste. In this recipe, we place the sweet, glazed cod atop a non-traditional, Native American-inspired succotash. While traditional succotash contains lima beans and corn, my version eliminates the lima beans and spices up the corn a bit with mild padron peppers, Washington state apples, bacon and cippolini onions. You’re not limited to black cod. Feel free to use any seafood (such as halibut) that you have available to create this mouthwatering dish.
For the black cod:
1½ pounds black cod, cut equally into 4, 6-ounce boneless-skinless filets
For the miso glaze:
½ cup miso paste (available at most supermarkets or specialty stores)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup honey
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
4 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
Mix all the ingredients together and pour one half of the mixture over the black cod filets and refrigerate for 4 hours. Retain the other half of the mixture for final pan searing of cod.
In a hot sauté pan, add 1 tablespoon of butter. Place the fish in the pan and brown. Repeat with the other 3 pieces. Cook until the top is brown but still rare. Place the pieces of cod on a sheet pan with foil and pour the rest of the miso sauce over the top of all the pieces evenly and set aside (reserve about ¼ cup of the miso sauce for the final plating). Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
For the succotash
¼ cup olive oil
¼ pound or 6 slices bacon, sliced in ¼-inch thick strips
1 pound sweet potatoes, cut and diced into ½ inch pieces
½ pound cippolini onions, peeled and quartered
½ medium red apple, skin-on, cored and diced into ½-inch pieces
½ pound corn (kernels cut off the cob)
1 cup padron chiles, sliced ¼ inch (sometimes referred to shishito). You can substitute with Pasilla chiles or red bell pepper.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Heat the olive oil in the pan and add diced sweet potatoes and cut bacon slices. Cook until it is ½ cooked. Add onions, Padron peppers, diced apples, salt, and pepper. Cook it all until brown and semi-soft. Set it aside and keep warm.
Just prior to serving time, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place a single layer of cod filets in the oven for approximately 5 minutes (or until the seafood is cooked to an internal temperature of 130 degrees). Spoon the hot succotash into the center of four plates. Place the cooked cod on top for serving then pour the remaining miso glaze over each piece.
Perry Mascitti is the executive chef at Tulalip Resort Casino. Mascitti manages nearly 260 kitchen staff, including chefs, sous chefs and cooks. He has been at Tulalip since 2007 and has over 30 years of culinary experience.