Tuesday Drops: Black Cod

The Davis drop will be getting black cod today. This is a new fish for this location. If you have never had black cod before I recommend starting out with a miso marinated black cod. My recipe can be found here, but there are many MANY variations out there.

The fish will arrive to you filleted, scaled, skin on, with pin-bones in. Black cod is notoriously difficult to pin bone, so my usual strategy is to pull them out after cooking. They slide right out then.

Keep your fish in the coldest part of your refrigerator on ice. Click on the black cod category below to check out all past black cod information and recipes. You can also share your recipes over in the forum.

Dungeness Crab AND Black Cod Week

I must apologize for the lateness of this recipe. I am battling a cold that has killed my ability to do anything other than take baths and DayQuil. Don’t punish the recipe because I was late posting it! It’s a nice little cheesy recipe that combines black cod and crab in a grand and tasty way.

I have been knocking this around in my mind for awhile, and the opportunity to pounce presented itself this week when I decided that I could not do JUST black cod two weeks in a row. I doubt that anyone would complain and I feel weird calling it JUST black cod, but it would feel like quite a defeat to send out identical shares back to back. So, black cod and crab are headed your way. The crab will arrive cooked and whole, ready to crack and eat. You will get black cod fillet with the skin on and the pin bones in. Both are delicious on their own and both will freeze beautifully. I will link to handling instructions and fisherman backgrounds after the recipe.

I had the pleasure of doing recipe development night with Ms. Sandra Larsen, my mother. She’s the lady who made me love food in the first place, and it was so fun spending time in the kitchen with her. This was going to be Dungeness Crab Stuffed Black Cod, but the black cod refused to be stuffed. It did, however, agree to be topped.

Dungeness Crab Topped Black Cod

Serves 2 (Double this for a full share.)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup diced fennel bulb

2 Tbsp chopped fennel fronds

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs (sourdough is best)

1/4 cup grated fontina

1/2 cup ricotta

1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano

1 cup dungeness crabmeat (About one crab’s worth)

Salt and pepper

2 four ounce black cod fillets, skin on and pin bones removed (If the pin bones  are being mean, it is perfectly acceptable to leave them in. Make sure you warn your guests to look for bones!)


1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. In a small sauce pan, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced fennel and cook until just softened. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.

3. In a large bowl, combine the fennel and garlic mixture with the breadcrumbs, fontina, parmigiano, ricotta, crabmeat and half of the fennel fronds. Using your hands, mix until just combined.

4. Salt and pepper both sides of the black cod fillets. Place the two fillets, skin side down, on a lightly oiled baking sheet.

5. Form the crab stuffing mixture into two balls and mold one ball over the top of each black cod fillet.

6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the stuffing is golden brown and the fish is opaque. Top with the remaining fennel fronds and serve hot.




Black cod fillet instructions.

Fish caught by the handsomest man in Ft. Bragg!

Dungeness Crab Season: A Meditation (RANT)

How to break down a Dungeness crab.

Black Cod and Chorizo Stew


It’s rainy! Finally! My reaction to the first big storm of the season is to crank up my fire, put on some good music, and cook cozy food. The past few Tuesday nights I have had my dear friend Emily over to my house to test out recipes for Siren. It is grueling work, but we gladly take it on. We are aided in our task by records that I stole from my parents (Hi Nels and Sandra!) and respectable quantities of booze. We were testing out this stew with the impending rainstorm on our minds, and I had the very strong suspicion that it would taste even better when it was actually raining. Being a scientist at heart, I needed to test my hypothesis. I gave a healthy portion of Black Cod and Chorizo stew to some fish plant buddies this afternoon as it was starting to pour. Raves. Freak outs. Marriage proposals. Either I’m a real charmer, or this stew is GOOD.

The Siren SeaSA Test Kitchen


Black Cod and Chorizo Stew

Serves 4

2 Tbsp olive oil

8 oz. chorizo, cut in half and then into 1/2″ pieces

1 lb fingerling potatoes, cut into 1/2″ chunks

2 large leeks, remove the dark green parts, quarter and cut into 1/2″ strips

3 cloves of garlic, minced

Salt and pepper

1 cup white wine

1 cup chicken stock (or fish stock if you have it)

1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes

1/4 tsp saffron

1 lb black cod fillet, skin on, pin bones out, cut into four pieces

1/8 cup chopped parsley


1. In a large pot, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add chorizo and cook until browned. Remove the chorizo from the pan, leaving the delicious greasy goodness behind.

2. Sauté potatoes in chorizo grease for 8-10 minutes, until they are golden brown and beginning to soften. They will stick to the pan. This is fine, you will be deglazing later on.

3. Add leeks and sauté until softened. Add garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about a minute.

4. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, loosening the yummy bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook until the wine is reduced by half.

5. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, saffron and chorizo. Stir well to combine and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

6. Generously season both sides of the black cod fillets with salt and pepper. Arrange the fillets skin-side down on top of the stew. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. The black cod should be opaque, and as it is a very fatty fish, you do not need to be too concerned with overcooking it.

7. Spoon the stew into four serving bowls. Place one black cod fillet on top of each bowl of stew. Sprinkle with parsley, drizzle with olive oil, and finish with black pepper.

I recommend a big hunk of crusty bread on the side.




Black Cod

Whoa. This week was down to the wire. I tried for some trapped rock fish, but the fish I had a shot at buying looked haggard. Three-day bender in Vegas haggard. They were slimy, with busted eyes and lots of missing scales/fins/skin. I had to pass. Trapped fish are usually gorgeous. It was such a letdown. Due to all of the shuffling, I did not know what I was delivering until 4:00 this afternoon. That is about 48 hours later than I usually know.

Our black cod was caught by Augustino Tarantino, using traps in Ft. Bragg. These fish are lovely. Not a missing scale and completely in rigor when I received them at the plant. Rigor mortis is a good sign in fish. The length of time in rigor depends on the species, the water temperature, and how the fish were treated after catch. For black cod caught in our chilly ocean, a nice long rigor is expected. If the fish are limp when they arrive, they have been out of the water longer than you think.

Black Cod Links

You can find black cod fillet care instructions here.

The lovely Victoria Nguyen over at The Local Dish wrote about Siren, and I contributed my version (There are thousands) of Miso Black Cod.

Swordfish and Black Cod!


Hey! The weather cooperated and I got to bring in two kinds of fish! Sourcing was actually a joy. These last couple of weeks it has been a series of increasingly depressing phone calls followed by lots of pacing and cursing. Well, most things I do involve some cursing. I DO work with fishermen.

This mixed share deal is pretty exciting and I am so glad that it worked out. These shares also made the packing process take FOUR TIMES longer than it normally does. Ugh. In fact, I just finished up about 30 minutes ago. There was approximately triple the normal amount of cursing involved in packing these orders, but that was mostly due to my fingers going numb in the cold fish plant. Do you feel sorry for me yet? You shouldn’t. I was having fun and hanging out with my fish plant buddies. It was actually one of those times when I realize that I am strangely equipped to do what I do. I laugh and curse at my numb fingers trying to close zip lock bags. Packing fish can be FUN!

I had grand blogging plans that are being simplified out of necessity. Fishmongering is an activity that is best approached with at least 6 hours of sleep. Trust me friends, no one wants to see my grumpy face. This will be a MEGAPOST that will match the MEGACOOLER that you will take home tomorrow.

Black Cod

Well, we are really talking sablefish here, but the accepted and widely used market name for this fish is black cod. No matter what you call it, it’s goooooooood. Your fish will come to you with the skin on and the pin bones in. The skin is on because you should make it salty and crispy and then you must eat it. It’s delicious. The pin bones are in because the fish gets mushy in transit without them. Pin bones are easy to remove. A good video tutorial on how to do that can be found here. I would like to add that it is helpful to place the fillet on top of a bowl skin side down. That makes the pin bones easier to identify.

Our black cod comes from the handsomest man in Ft. Bragg. I talked about him here. Any one that is new to Siren and did not try Mike Lee’s excellent Hacked Sous Vide Black Cod recipe should do that this week. You will not be sorry. If you would like some additional inspiration, please check out everything that Siren subscribers did with their last black cod share.


This is our first go at swordfish. Quite frankly, it will be a rarely sourced item for Siren. Swordfish are at the top of the food chain and they live for quite a long time. Those two characteristics can lead to high mercury levels. While it is not advisable to eat swordfish every day, it is a great occasional addition to your diet. This fish is gorgeous, brought in on Thursday in Monterey. I did not see a single worm in the entire fish. Most wild fish have some sort of parasite in them. Most parasites are not visible to the naked eye, but the worms that are commonly found in swordfish are quite visible. As with all wild fish, you must cook or freeze it before eating to be certain that you have killed all of the parasites. I know that everything I just wrote sounds like a really good reason to NOT eat swordfish, but trust me, you want to eat this.


Swordfish with Lemon Dill Vinaigrette

This recipe was suggested to me by Bruce Cole of Edible San Francisco. I made a few adjustments this week as I was trying it out and here we have the finished product. I like it so much that I made it twice! BONUS: It’s cold outside and turning on your broiler warms up your kitchen very quickly. BONUS 2: This is a really good recipe if you want to finish off your produce CSA box. Night one I had my swordfish on an arugula salad, and night two I had it roasted sweet potatoes. There will be enough vinaigrette to dress whichever vegetable you decide to pair with the fish.


2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons lemon zest

2 teaspoons table salt

a pinch of granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground pepper

8 oz. swordfish, cut into two 1/2 inch thick steaks (I just sliced mine in half horizontally with a VERY sharp knife.)


1. Preheat your broiler. Place the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, sugar, dijon mustard, and dill into a bowl and whisk until combined. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking continuously until it is completely incorporated. Season with ground pepper (I used A LOT.).

2. Broil the swordfish steaks over high heat, placing them as close to the heat source as possible until they are cooked through. This should take about 6 minutes. Turn the steaks once halfway through cooking. Transfer the fish to a platter and poke several holes in the steaks with a fork so that the vinaigrette can seep in. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the fish. Reserve some vinaigrette to dress you salad or vegetables.



Something New!

This week I will be trying out something a little different. Shares will be half black cod and half swordfish. It could be bad and it could be beautiful, but it will definitely be delicious. Black cod is a very rich fish, so the typical serving is a 4 oz. fillet. A half share will have enough black cod to serve two people as well as enough swordfish to serve two. A full share will have enough of each kind of fish to serve four.

I had unexpected access to a beautiful local swordfish AND a black cod boat with quota that I have been stalking for weeks finally made it out. So, we have MEGABOX, or rather, MEGACOOLER. I will post the recipes and fisherman bios tomorrow. Yep, there are TWO of each.

Black Cod Wrap-up

Black cod was a great way to get back into the fishmongering game. It’s delicious and not too messy. I’m still having sticky squid ink flashbacks after the SQUID DAY FROM HELL that I put myself through last round. My car, my fingernails, my clothes, my body, and the trusty Siren coolers on wheels were covered in squid muck. We won’t be doing that again any time soon! Let’s get back to pleasant black cod thoughts, that fish makes everyone happy.

I was so happy to see all of my old buddies (aka subscribers) from last round and put some faces with the names of my new friends. A big part of the reason I enjoy this so much is that I get to interact with a good number of my customers every week. I love handing fish to people and hearing about their plans for it. I am a little bummed that I don’t get to meet most of my South Bay, East Bay, and Petaluma customers in person. I think that we will have to have some sort of big fishy party to remedy that sad situation. How about a crab feed with a twist on December 10th? You’re all invited. Official announcement coming soon! Woo!

I’m always anxious to hear what everyone made and what they thought of the fish. Keep the feedback coming. I take it all into consideration when searching for recipes and sourcing fish. Now that Siren 2.0 is alive and delivering, I will be posting weekly wrap-ups of what y’all did with your sea creatures. Nothing crazy, just a little rundown to remind us all of good times with good fish. We will also be able to look back on what other people did with their fish when that particular creature shows up in your cooler again.


Subscriber Blogs and Photos

Photo courtesy of Marcus Rector http://www.eatsforone.com/

New subscriber Marcus Rector posted an excellent rundown of his first Siren SeaSA experience on his blog, Eats for One. Marcus followed Mike Lee’s recipe for Hacked Sous Vide Black Cod that I posted on the blog last week. As you can see in the picture above, he got excellent results. That looks delicious! Read all about it on Eats for One.

Photo courtesy of Nom Nom Paleo http://nomnompaleo.com/

Another new subscriber documented her black cod experience over at her completely cute and beautifully photographed blog, Nom Nom Paleo. There are photos of the entire process of cooking the black cod with a legit sous vide set-up. Hell yes. She made the fish look damn sexy. Check it out over at Nom Nom Paleo! Twitter: @nomnompaleo



You can follow Siren SeaSA on Twitter! I blabber on and on about fish and finding fish and cooking fish and eating fish. FISH! Here are some tweets from subscribers about the yummy black cod and what they did with it.

@NextMoon      Saturday’s black cod was delicious! Thanks so much.
@Jesse_Hirsch  Hey @SirenSeaSA I invented a new recipe for broiling the black cod, with ginger, garlic, two types of peppers, sake, sesame oil. Win!
@Nuggetacious A BIG Thank you to all involved in this past Saturday’s Black Cod Extravaganza ! The fish was pristine. We loved it !

@gharp          Picked up some Black Cod at @SirenSeaSA + Herbes de Provence, sprinkled salt, crushed pepper + baked in butter w/chopped scallions = yummy


Facebook and Email

Chef Neil Davidson, who contributed a genius beer steamed mussel recipe to this blog, smoked his black cod fillets. They look heavenly. Save some for me? Please!

Nancy in Petaluma followed a recipe from Alice Waters, which is never ever a bad plan.

“I used the Alice Waters slow-poach approach, and barely simmered the cod in a large pan of water with salt, some herb sprigs from the garden, a few slices of Meyer lemon, and, since I was nibbling on celery as I was waiting for it to cook, added some celery tops. Sooooo tender. Melt in the mouth.” 


On the Siren SeaSA Facebook page, Kristina shared her approach.

” It was fantastic! I steamed it with garlic, ginger, chillies and lime, and served it with brown rice and stir-fried kale.”

And Emily shared hers.

“I tried the hack sous vide… not so successful for me, but the cod still tasted delicious! I pan fried some the next day, and now I’m eating the last bit for lunch in a fish taco!”

Mmmmmmmmmm fish tacos…

Like us on Facebook. I talk about fish there as well. I really am a one-trick pony.

I can’t wait to see what everyone does with their halibut. Keep me posted!

Pin Bones are IN

Hello hello! Just a quick note on how to avoid the unpleasant experience of choking on a fish bone. Your black cod will arrive in large fillets, scaled, with the skin on and the pin bones in. Please eat the skin. If you don’t, never tell me about it. We won’t be friends anymore. Please don’t eat the pin bones. You can remove them before cooking with some tweezers of pliers, or you can remove them after cooking. If you are making Mike Lee’s recipe, I would advise you to remove the pin bones before cooking.

If you can, store your fish on ice in the coldest part of your refrigerator. You want to keep those pretty fresh fillets ice cold.

Yay for getting started tomorrow!