Grilled Black Cod with Udon, Spinach, and Soy Broth

Black cod, also known as sablefish, is one of my favorite fish to eat. They have a lot of great attributes in their favor.  Sablefish are nicknamed “butterfish” due to their rich, buttery taste.  They are one of the most sustainable fishes, have a great texture, and have a high level of omega-3s.  It’s a white fish, so it takes on flavors readily as well.  This recipe is based on “Hong Kong” style fish recipes.  In Hong Kong-style dishes, the fish is steamed and plated over noodles with soy broth.  I prefer to grill my fish to add some additional flavor, so my Grilled Black Cod with Udon, Spinach, and Soy Broth was made.

How to grill fish

Grilling fish can be difficult, depending on the fish itself.  Filets with a more delicate texture, such as crappie, perch, or Chilean sea bass are a bit more difficult to grill as they can fall apart.  You can use a fish basket for these, or you can set your grill up properly.  When grilling fish, I always have a two-zone fire.  I have one side that is “grilling hot” and one side that is medium hot.  I always season the fish (this time with my Garlic Blend seasoning) and then apply some grapeseed or other high-heat oil to the fish, and oil the grates right before putting the fish on the hotter side (around 500 degrees.) Don’t try to flip the fish too quickly, you want the side of the filet on the grill to cook and release naturally.  Using a fish spatula, gently ensure that the filet has been released, then get your spatula fully under the filet before moving it.  I cook fish with an eye toward getting the filet 60-70% before ever turning the fish.  I usually then flip the filet to the cooler side (but not cool, more like 400 degrees) to finish.  This is for the most delicate fish.  Cook firmer fish, like tuna and mackerel, more like a beefsteak.  I still usually follow my 60/40 rule, but it’s not near as hard to turn the fish or worry about the filets sticking to the grates.

Always have a good, instant-read thermometer.  You definitely don’t want to overcook fish.  All seafood is recommended to finish at 145 degrees.  Grill it until it reaches 140-142 degrees internal temp, then let it rest.

Black Cod with Udon, Spinach, and Soy Broth

Black cod is very easy to grill.  I have seen it termed as a “delicate” texture all the way to a medium-firm texture.  In my opinion, it’s a bit of both.  For handling on the grill, I categorize it as a medium texture fish.  You want to be careful, but it’s not just going to fall apart on you too easily.  In terms of mouthfeel, when properly cooked the texture is simply a delight.  It’s flavorful, flaky, and just a great dinner item.  For this recipe, you can easily pre-make the mushroom soy broth component right before you cook the fish.  If I know I’m cooking this for dinner, I even cook a lot of it hours to even the day before.  You can easily reheat the components in a pan or even the microwave.

The broth in this dish is really good, and I actually use it with several different proteins.  A lot of Asian-influenced recipes that I try are just too salty.  I made this recipe to have more of an umami flavor, with the mushrooms, soy, and vegetable broth.  Feel free to change it up according to your tastes.  Sometimes I squeeze in limes or blood oranges, sometimes I add a TBS of oyster sauce or chili-garlic sauce.  It’s adaptable!

Anyway, as always I hope you enjoy it! Now, get out there and grill!

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Grilled Black Cod with Udon, Spinach, and Soy Broth


This recipe adds the amazing umami flavors of a soy broth to the wonderful textures of udon noodles and sauteed spinach.  Topped with an amazing, grilled filet of healthy and sustainable black cod, you can’t go wrong with this for dinner!



4 black cod filets

1 lb fresh spinach, roughly chopped

4 oz dried udon noodles, cooked according to directions

8 oz cremini (or “baby bella”) mushrooms, sliced thinly

2 TBS sesame oil

2 cups vegetable stock

1 TBS grated ginger

1 TBS minced garlic

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tsp Melissa’s Garlic Blend Seasoning

Sesame seeds and chopped cilantro, for garnish, optional


Cook the noodles according to directions, set aside.

In a small saucepan, add 1/2 TBS sesame oil, garlic and ginger and mushrooms.  Cook until fragrant.  Add in soy sauce and veggie stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes, adjust for taste, and set aside.

Saute spinach in 1 TBS sesame oil until wilted.  Set aside.

Heat grill in two-zone fashion.  Season fish filets with Garlic Blend seasoning, then spritz on sesame oil. Before grilling, coat grates with grapeseed or other high temp oil.

Grill fish filets for 5-6 minutes on hot side, then move to cooler side, flipping the filets.  Cook until they reach 142 degrees.  Remove, lightly cover, and rest.

To plate, in a shallow bowl, add 1/4 of the udon noodles and spread around the bowl.  Add 1/4 of the spinach to the center.  Add a filet on the spinach.  Pour in 1/4 of the broth in each bowl over the filet, and serve.  Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro, if desired.