Traditional recipes

Tamarind-Glazed Black Cod with Habanero-Orange Salsa

Tamarind-Glazed Black Cod with Habanero-Orange Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 6-ounce black cod fillets, with or without skin
  • Habanero-Orange Salsa (see recipe)

Recipe Preparation

  • Heat chiles over gas flame or in broiler until softened, turning often with tongs to avoid burning, 1 to 2 minutes. Cool. Remove stems and seeds. Tear chiles into 2-inch pieces; place in small bowl. Add 1/2 cup hot water. Let stand until softened, about 20 minutes. Place chiles with soaking liquid, orange juice, and next 6 ingredients in blender. Puree until smooth. Strain into small saucepan; discard solids in strainer. Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until slightly thickened and glaze measures 1 1/3 cups, about 10 minutes. Season glaze with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

  • Preheat broiler. Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper. Broil until brown, about 2 minutes per side. Spoon 1 tablespoon glaze over each fillet; sprinkle with pepper. Broil until just cooked through and glaze is bubbling, about 2 minutes. Top with Habanero-Orange Salsa; serve immediately.

Recipe by Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken

Nutritional Content

One serving contains the following: Calories (kcal) 573.3 %Calories from Fat 58.8 Fat (g) 37.4 Saturated Fat (g) 6.6 Cholesterol (mg) 69.5 Carbohydrates (g) 39.6 Dietary Fiber (g) 3.7 Total Sugars (g) 27.4 Net Carbs (g) 35.9 Protein (g) 22.0Reviews Section

Tamarind-Glazed Black Cod with Habanero-Orange Salsa

When I saw this glazed black cod recipe in the June issue of Bon Appetit, the title alone convinced me to try it. There’s a glaze that’s basted onto the fish while it broils, and then the fish is topped with a spicy, fruity salsa before serving. I do so enjoy a spicy, fruity salsa with fish, and a glaze involving tamarind was intriguing as well. Happily, black cod, also called sablefish, is a best choice on Seafood Watch. It’s a mild, white-fleshed fish, and halibut would also have worked here, and now that I’ve tasted the glaze and salsa, I think I’d like to try them with salmon too. The glaze is thick like barbecue sauce, and the tamarind adds a sour, tangy side to the mix of smoky, earthy, and sweet flavors.

Ancho chiles were rehydrated and then pureed with orange juice, honey, garlic, tamarind concentrate, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. The puree was strained into a saucepan and then simmered until thickened. The glaze and the salsa can be made in advance making this a very quick dish to prepare at the last minute. The salsa included a seeded and finely chopped habanero, orange segments, cilantro, red onion, and red wine vinegar and olive oil. The fish was broiled for a few minutes on each side before the glaze was basted onto the top. It went back under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the glaze was bubbly hot.

I like a quick and easy fish preparation using the broiler, but this would also be delicious, if slightly more time-consuming, cooked on the grill. The salsa was perfect for topping fish, and mango in place of orange would be another route to take with it. But, the tamarind glaze was the key element here. I’ll be using that again and again for fish, and it would be great brushed onto tofu or used as a sauce for barbecue chicken.


Tamarind is the most widely distributed fruit tree of the tropics. It is a slow-growing and long lived massive tree that can grow to 100 feet in height. The fruit of the tree are the tamarind pods that hang gracefully in abundant bunches from its leaved branches. There are types of tamarinds that are sweeter than most. One in Thailand is known as 'Makham waan' and one distributed by the USDA's Horticultural Department, known as 'Manila Sweet'.

The tamarind tree is native to tropical Africa. Its growing regions covers nearly the entire tropical belt throughout Asia, Pacific Islands and the Americas. It is cultivated most widely throughout Mexico and Asia.


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