Blackened Black Cod with Sauce Gribiche

Featured: Black Cod and Sablefish

Chef Vitaly Paley, Paley's Place, Headwaters, The Crown


Blackened Black Cod (Serves 4)

  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 2 pounds black cod, skinned, boned and cut into 4 or 6 equal portions
  • 1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil
  • Half of 1 lemon, seeded
  • 2 tablespoons persillade (recipe follows)
  • Sauce gribiche (recipe follows)

Sauce Gribiche (makes 1 to 3/4 cups)

  • Aioli (recipe follows)
  • 2 tablespoons cornichons chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon picked, washed, dried and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley picked washed, dried and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chives finely chopped
  • 1 hard boiled egg coarsely grated
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Cold water


Blackened Black Cod

  • In a small bowl mix the salt, pepper, herbs and spices. Generously coat the fish on both sides with the spice mixture. Heat a large iron skillet over high heat until very hot. Brush the bottom with 1 tablespoon of oil (the pan should be hot enough for oil to smoke). Carefully place the fish fillets in it and cook until blackened on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.
  • Remove onto a platter, squeeze the lemon over the fish, sprinkle with persillade and serve hot with sauce gribiche on the side. (see following recipes) 

Sauce Gribiche

A sauce gribiche is an approximate counterpart of American tartar sauce. You should find it familiar and easy to make. Sauce gribiche has more complex taste and offers broader range of uses. It is equally at home with poached artichokes or grilled asparagus, or with a number of fish and shellfish preparations.

  • In a small bowl mix all ingredients. The resulting sauce will be thicker than you expect it to be. If you think it needs thinning, add a bit of cold water. Refrigerate, tightly covered, until ready to use.
  • Gribiche is best when made the same day it is served because the fresh herbs in it deteriorate quite rapidly. 



  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  • Place the garlic and salt into the mortar and grind to pulp with the pestle.
  • Add the egg yolks and Dijon mustard and stir to form a homogenous paste.
  • Slowly drizzle the oil, whisking with the pestle to keep the mixture emulsified.
  • When all the grapeseed oil has been incorporated, incorporate the olive oil in the same manner and finish by whisking in the lemon juice.



  • 1 bunch Italian Parsley, washed, dried and picked
  • 3 large cloves garlic peeled


  • Finely chop the parsley and gather it to one side of the cutting board.
  • Finely chop the garlic.
  • Mix the two together and chop some more until well incorporated.
  • Transfer it to a small container, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to use.