Sablefish: Main Image

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Buying Tips

Quality sablefish is easy to recognize. Fresh sablefish never smells fishy; it smells fresh like the ocean. The eyes should appear bright and clear, almost alive. The gills should be clean, and the skin moist and with tightly adhering scales. Fresh sablefish flesh will give slightly when you press it with a finger, then spring back into shape. When choosing sablefish steaks or fillets, whether they’re fresh or previously frozen, look for moist, translucent (never dried out) flesh.


Sablefish can be found fresh, as frozen fillets and steaks, or commercially smoked and called smoked black cod. The quality of the fish varies with the depth of water at which it is caught—the deeper the better.

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The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2024.