WELCOME [ Log In ] SITE [ Search Page Index Recent Changes ] RSS

Sablefish-Black Cod

Black Cod Flavor Scale

Back to Finfish

Fresh Black Cod (Sablefish) is a richly flavored fish with a high oil content and satiny texture. They are highly valued for their buttery texture and are frequently sold to Japan before the US market.

Black Cod (Sablefish) Flavor Profile

Due to its high fat content Sablefish has a velvety texture (hence the name "Butterfish") with a mild but distinctive flavor profile. The flesh is white with large, delicate flakes.

Typical Cooking Methods

  • Bake
  • Broil
  • Deep-Fry
  • Grill
  • Poach
  • Saute
  • Smoke
  • Steam
  • Sushi

Description (Anoplopoma fimbria)

Sablefish are a groundfish with dark gray or black skin on their upper body and lighter gray on the belly.  They average about 8-10 Lbs but can be up to 40 Lbs. Although they are sometimes called Black Cod, they are not a member of the Cod species.  Sablefish are a long-lived species which can reach a maximum age of up to 94 years.

Alternate Names

Butterfish, Black Cod, Blackcod, Coalfish, Alaska Cod, Skilfish, Sable, Gindara (sushi)

Sablefish Blackcod
Image from Wikipidia-click for licensing

Fresh Black Cod (Sablefish) Availability

Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh. Frozen available all year long.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec



Black Cod Butchering Yield Percentage and Recovery

ItemTo Skin/On FilletsTo Skin/Off FilletsNotes
Whole Head/On ungutted 40% 35%  
Whole Head/On gutted 45% 36%  
Whole Head/Off gutted 59% 48%  
Skin/On Fillets -- 80% If you have additional yield info on this fish please leave a comment below.
For detailed butchering yield % and recovery see Black Cod Yield Percentage
Yield % varies according to a number of factors including: size of fish, season, sex, and the skill of your fishmonger.


Range & Habitat

Sablefish are found from southern California to the Bering Sea in the Eastern Pacific, and from Kamchatka, Russia to southern Japan in the Western Pacific. It dwells in muddy areas of the ocean floor at depths of 1000-9000 feet deep.

Black Cod Range & Location
AquaMaps    Data sources: GBIF 

Typical Wholesale Products

H&G, Fillets, Steaks


Sablefish Sustainability Info

NameAlternate NamesCatch MethodCatch
Sablefish Black Cod, Butterfish, Gindara Wild, pots, bottom longline Canadian Pacific, Alaska Green-icon_20.png Green-icon_20.png Green-icon_20.png moderate
Sablefish Black Cod, Butterfish, Gindara Wild, bottom trawl, bottom longline Washington, Oregon, California Yellow-icon_20.png Red-Dot_20.png  Yellow-icon_20.png moderate
Disclaimer: The sustainability info above is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, each program randomly updates their information without our knowledge. We therefore recommend that you verify the current accuracy of this information.

 Green-icon_20.png = Best Choice/Recommended     Yellow-icon_20.png = Good Alternative     Red-Dot_20.png = Avoid/Not Recommended
July 2013

Black cod from WA, OR, and CA are rated Good Alternative either due to bottom trawling which hurts the habitat, or by catch from their bottom long-lines.


Nutritional Information

based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving

* Calories/Calories from fat 334
* Protein grams  23
* Fat grams  26.2
* Saturated fat grams  5.5
* Sodium milligrams  96
* Cholesterol milligrams  84
* Omega-3 grams  2.7
more Black Cod nutrition info



Follow David Buchanan on Google +
David Buchanan is a professional chef and author of Chefs-Resources.com, a site geared towards providing chefs and culinarians useful info to help in their kitchens.
Did you find the information about Sablefish-Black Cod useful? Or did you notice something which is missing on this page?
If so, leave a comment!

Comments [ Add a Comment ]

TIFFANI SEITZ [] [ Jul 30 ]

I think that you need to update your ratings. The California Groundfish Collective has a green rating for their TRAWL caught blackcod from Seafood Watch. 

DAVID BUCHANAN [ Sep 18, 2009 ]

Verify availability.  Another souce states Jan-Sept.