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Togarashi Sablefish with Kale Kimchi and Black Garlic Aioli

Togarashi Sablefish with Kale Kimchi and Black Garlic Aioli

Togarashi Sablefish with Kale Kimchi and Black Garlic Aioli
Recipe by Kevin Lane, The Cookery, Seward

Courtesy of Alaska Seafood

Makes 4 servings
Time: 45 minutes (plus fermenting time)

Prepare kimchi, if possible, at least 5 days before serving. Recipe makes more than you will need, but kimchi will keep stored in airtight container in refrigerator at least 2 weeks. *Substitute sweet rice flour and sugar with 1 large ripe pear and 1 tablespoon Alaska honey.

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 (6-ounce) portions wild Alaska black cod (sablefish), preferably skinless
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sichimi togarashi (Japanese 7-spice mix)
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
Alaska Kale Kimchi (see recipe)
Black Garlic Aioli (see recipe)

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Toss together 1 tablespoon oil with onion slices; spread evenly across the bottom of an oven-proof dish. Place black cod on top of onions. Brush with remaining canola oil and season evenly with salt and togarashi. Bake until cooked through, about 18 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with Alaska Kale Kimchi and Black Garlic Aioli.

Kale Kimchi
2 bunches Alaska Grown kale
1/2 cup kosher salt
3 cups water
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Alaska Grown red onion, peeled, cut into julienne (strips)
2 Alaska Grown carrots, peeled, cut into julienne (strips)
2 Alaska Grown turnips, peeled, cut into julienne (strips)
2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled, grated (about 1 (2-inch) long piece)
4 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
4 Serrano chilies with seeds, stems removed, chopped
1 cup garlic chili paste
2 bunches green onions, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces

1. Remove kale leaves from stems, discarding stems. Rinse leaves and cut into 2-inch pieces. Place leaves in a large bowl; sprinkle with salt. With clean hands, rub salt into kale to break down the leaves. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
2. While kale is resting, place water, rice flour and sugar in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside to cool.
3. After 2 hours, rinse and drain kale. Stir rice flour mixture and remaining ingredients together; mix thoroughly with kale. Place mixture in a clean glass or plastic container with a tight fitting lid, cover and let sit at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours to ferment. Refrigerate for at least 4 days before serving.

Black Garlic Aioli
Black garlic, used in Asian cooking, is made of whole bulbs of garlic “fermented” over several weeks. The flavor is slightly sweet and pungent.

6 black garlic cloves, peeled
2 large Alaska Grown egg yolks
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 cup olive oil

1. Place garlic, egg yolks, soy sauce, salt, and lime juice in a blender and puree until smooth.
With motor running, very slowly drizzle in oil until thick and mayonnaise-like. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Smoked Sablefish and Apple Chowder

For the apple butter:

  • 565 grams tart apples such as Granny Smith, unpeeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

For the chowder:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, cored and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 centimeter cubes
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup white wine or pale ale (not too hoppy)
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 455 grams golden smoked sablefish, skinned, deboned, and diced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled and shredded
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or scallions
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Apple Butter (see above)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


For the apple butter:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for one hour or until the liquid is reduced by half and the fruit is tender. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Press the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the skins. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. (This recipe makes extra. Apple butter will keep for several weeks, or freeze for longer storage. Gently warm before serving on the fish.)

For the chowder:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and fennel, and sauté for seven minutes or until vegetables are softened and translucent. Add the garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook about one minute more or until fragrant. Add the potatoes and thyme and bay leaves, then pour in the wine (or beer), stirring to scrape up the browned bits.
  2. Stir in the milk. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce to medium-low, and cook for 15 minutes. Add the cream, sablefish, and corn, and cook for another five minutes or until the potatoes are tender and fish is warmed through.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper if desired.
  4. Ladle the soup into individual bowls, add a tablespoon or two of diced apples, and sprinkle with the chives (or scallions). Dot each bowl with a teaspoon or two of the apple butter, and drizzle with olive oil.

Chef’s notes: Try using fruit butters with roasted halibut, spot prawns, scallops, and even salmon ice cream! Create variations by replacing the pears with quince or stone fruits such as peaches, apricots, and nectarines.

Mediterranean Sablefish with Olive Tapenade and Parmesan-Chive Polenta

Mediterranean Sablefish with Olive Tapenade and Parmesan-Chive Polenta

Recipe developed by Natalie Janicka.

Yields 4 portions. 


Mediterranean Sablefish

4 sablefish portions, 6 oz each

1 tablespoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

Olive Tapenade

¾ cup Kalamata olives, pitted

1 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1 tablespoon capers, drained 

1 tablespoon sweet onion, diced

1 clove garlic, rough chop

½ lemon, zested + ½ tablespoon of juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

⅛ cup parsley, chopped

⅛ cup basil, chopped 

Parmesan-Chive Polenta

4 cups water

1 cup polenta

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chives, minced

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

To make the sablefish:

Salt and pepper sablefish filets, set aside. Heat a large saute pan to medium-high. Once the pan is hot add oil, then sablefish, skin side up. Turn heat down to medium and allow fish to cook for 6-7 minutes. Flip fish filet and cook for another 4 minutes.

To make the tapenade:

Place all ingredients into a food processor, and pulse until the olives have become roughly chopped. Be careful not to over blend into a smooth paste.

This can be made several days in advance to allow the flavors to meld. If made in advance, allow the tapenade to come to room temperature before serving.

To make the polenta:

In a medium saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil. Slowly stir in the polenta. Adjust the temperature down to a low simmer. Cover and stir occasionally until the liquid has absorbed and the grains of corn are fully cooked, approximately 25 minutes. 

Once the polenta is cooked, take it off the heat and stir in the Parmesan and chives. Hold warm for service.

To assemble:

Place the polenta in the center of the plate, then put sablefish atop the polenta. Spoon ¼ cup of the tapenade on the sablefish filet and serve.