su-Sablefish with Savoy Cabbage and Fennel Slaw
Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: George Dolese
Yields Serves 4 Total Time 45 mins
AuthorKate Washington

Savoy cabbage is mild and tender even when raw, making it ideal for this light accompaniment to rich sablefish. The recipe is also excellent with 4 boned trout fillets, and the slaw tastes good with chicken or pork too.

How to Make It

Step 1
1

Toast fennel seeds in a 12-in. nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Set aside 1/2 tsp. Finely grind remaining seeds with 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a mortar or clean coffee grinder. Rub mixture evenly all over fish and set aside.

Step 2
2

Chop enough fennel greens to make 3 tbsp. Tear off any remaining small fronds; set aside. Trim and discard fennel stalks and any tough outer layers from bulb. Cut bulb in half lengthwise, core, and slice very thinly crosswise.

Step 3
3

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, sliced fennel, and chopped fronds.

Step 4
4

In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tbsp. oil, the lemon zest and juice, orange zest, reserved 1/2 tsp. whole fennel seeds, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and toss with your hands until well combined. Add orange segments and 3 tbsp. chives and toss gently. Set aside.

Step 5
5

In the frying pan, heat remaining 2 tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Add fish skin side down (it may spatter) and cook, occasionally tipping pan and basting flesh with oil, until skin is well browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking and basting until flesh is no longer translucent in center (cut to test), 3 to 4 minutes longer. If fish is thicker than 1/2 in., or if it isn't done yet, cover pan and cook 5 to 7 minutes more.

Step 6
6

Spoon slaw onto 4 plates. Top each mound with a fish fillet. Sprinkle with reserved fennel fronds and remaining 1 tbsp. chives.

Step 7
7

*To segment orange, cut off peel and outer membrane, following curve of fruit. Then cut segments (also called supremes) free from inner membranes.

Ingredients

 2 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
 3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
 4 skin-on sablefish (black cod) fillets, each about 6 oz. and 1/2 in. thick; or use 4 skin-on trout fillets
 1 medium fennel bulb with a lot of feathery greens attached
 5 cups very thinly sliced savoy cabbage (from a 1-lb. cabbage)
 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  Zest of 1 lemon
 3 tablespoons lemon juice
 1 teaspoon orange zest
 1 orange, cut into segments*
 1/4 cup sliced chives, divided

Directions

Step 1
1

Toast fennel seeds in a 12-in. nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Set aside 1/2 tsp. Finely grind remaining seeds with 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a mortar or clean coffee grinder. Rub mixture evenly all over fish and set aside.

Step 2
2

Chop enough fennel greens to make 3 tbsp. Tear off any remaining small fronds; set aside. Trim and discard fennel stalks and any tough outer layers from bulb. Cut bulb in half lengthwise, core, and slice very thinly crosswise.

Step 3
3

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, sliced fennel, and chopped fronds.

Step 4
4

In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tbsp. oil, the lemon zest and juice, orange zest, reserved 1/2 tsp. whole fennel seeds, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and toss with your hands until well combined. Add orange segments and 3 tbsp. chives and toss gently. Set aside.

Step 5
5

In the frying pan, heat remaining 2 tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Add fish skin side down (it may spatter) and cook, occasionally tipping pan and basting flesh with oil, until skin is well browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking and basting until flesh is no longer translucent in center (cut to test), 3 to 4 minutes longer. If fish is thicker than 1/2 in., or if it isn't done yet, cover pan and cook 5 to 7 minutes more.

Step 6
6

Spoon slaw onto 4 plates. Top each mound with a fish fillet. Sprinkle with reserved fennel fronds and remaining 1 tbsp. chives.

Step 7
7

*To segment orange, cut off peel and outer membrane, following curve of fruit. Then cut segments (also called supremes) free from inner membranes.

Sablefish with Savoy Cabbage and Fennel Slaw