If you ever have the opportunity to cook Black Cod or see it in the seafood market, then do yourself a favor, buy a nice big piece of it and make this Ginger Lime Black Cod recipe. I promise you will fall in love with its buttery taste and silky texture.

a plate of fish with asparagus and lime

I originally shared this recipe on January 30, 2015. I have updated the images and text today to share it again with you. Enjoy!

Recipe Highlights For This Black Cod Recipe

  • The flavor of the easy 30-minute marinade, made with garlic, lime zest and juice and fresh ginger is delicious with the rich-tasting fish.
  • There is only 10 minutes of hands-on prep work to make this recipe. Most of the time is hands-off while the cod marinates and then bake.
  • Black cod, also known as Butterfish or Sablefish, is actually high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids; the same levels as salmon, actually! And it is low in mercury too!
  • Black Cod is also on the “Best Choice” list from Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch list, which means it is a sustainable choice and isn’t overfished. So you can feel at ease when you see it in the market!
  • It goes with so many tasty side dishes. We have lots of serving suggestions.

Ingredient Notes For This Recipe

the ingredients for the black cod with labels

Black Cod

Due to its high oil content and buttery texture, it is sometimes also called butterfish or Alaska Cod. Black cod is commonly sold as sablefish too.

It is not actually part of the cod family. It is the genus Anoplopoma fimbria and is fished in the Pacific Ocean and off the shores of British Columbia.

If you love Chilean Sea Bass, you will LOVE the texture of black cod, because they are very similar. It is buttery and fatty, but still velvety in texture. It is not dry like cod can be because it is not as lean.

It is usually sold with the skin on. For this recipe, you will need four portions, each weighing 4 to 5 ounces. You can also purchase one larger piece of fish (1 to 1.25 pounds) and cut it into portions.

Lime and Lime Zest

We all know that lemon and fish are a match made in heaven, but lime happens to be too! For maximum lime flavor, use a rasp-style grater to remove the zest from the outside of the lime, then squeeze it.

Note: I recommend buying Certified Organic citrus for zesting because the skin of conventionally grown citrus fruit can harbor pesticide residues.


The other main flavor component is the fresh ginger root. Use a spoon to scrape the papery skin from the root, then grate it with the microplane grater. You will need 1 1/2 teaspoons for the marinade.


To round out all the flavors, add in a clove of garlic. You can chop this by hand with a knife, or while your rasp grater is out, you can grate it! Either work!

How To Make Ginger Lime Black Cod

whisking the marinade and the fish in a bag with the marinade

Step 1: Make the marinade by whisking together the lime juice, lime zest, agave, olive oil, garlic, ginger and salt.
Step 2: Place the cod in a re-sealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal it shut. Agitate the bag to make sure the fish is coated in the marinade. Refrigerate it for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

the fish before and after it is cooked on a baking sheet

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Drain the fish and discard the marinade. Lay the fish skin side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
Step 4: Bake the fish until it just flakes apart when tested with the top of a knife. Serve immediately with cilantro.

FAQs For Marinated and Baked Black Cod

Where To Buy Black Cod

Most Black Cod is fished in the Pacific, so unless you are in a larger metropolitan area or on the West Coast of the US you will likely have to buy it frozen. It is often available in mail order direct to customer fish companies.

What kind of fish is a good substitute for Black Cod or Sablefish?

If you cannot find black cod (sablefish), sub another mild buttery fish such as Monkfish (Anglerfish) or Chilean Sea Bass (Patagonian Toothfish), make sure to check the Seafood Watch App from Monterey Bay Aquarium to source Best Choice or Certified sustainable fish.

What is the difference between Cod and Black Cod?

Black Cod (Anoplopoma fimbria) is a different fish entirely. Atlantic Cod (Gadus Morhua) is from the Atlantic Ocean and much less fatty. It is flaky and a little dry by comparison. It doesn’t make a great substitute.

Can this be made ahead?

We do not recommend making this ahead. But you can prep the marinade and cut the fish in advance.

How long can I marinate fish?

Fish can take on rich flavor from marinade in as little as 30 minutes. It is best not to marinate fish in acidic ingredients (like lime) for more than an hour as doing so can denature the proteins on the outside of the fish filets and make it tough. The exception for longer marinating times would be in marinades that do not have any vinegar, wine, citrus or other acid in them.


Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container up to 1 day. We like to enjoy the leftover black cod fish served cold, flaked over a salad or with lentils, vegetables or noodles for lunch.

Serving Suggestions

It can be served with lemon quinoa with this radish and carrot salad or roasted asparagus. Or serve it with sesame noodles and Asian Coleslaw or Simple cucumber salad.

The buttery fish and citrus goes great with earthy roasted root vegetables. These sweet Roasted Parsnips are a popular recipe! The peppery flavors in these roasted turnips would also pair well with the fish.

black cod with asparagus and quinoa

More Healthy Fish and Seafood Recipes

  • Our Cod Fish Tacos with easy Avocado Crema are ready in only 20 minutes.
  • This family friendly Baked Fish Sticks recipe works with any variety of flaky white fish.
  • This Fish Casserole is a take on my grandmother’s recipe. It is topped with Swiss cheese, caramelized onions and fresh bread crumbs and it is marvelously good!
  • This Shrimp and Garlic Sauce is one of the fan favorites here on the blog from years and years ago. Try it over pasta!
  • Our Baked Salmon in Foil is a foolproof way to bake salmon in the oven.

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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cod on quinoa with a fork and lime wedges from overhead

Ginger Lime Black Cod

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


In this simple recipe for Ginger lime marinated Black Cod, the fish is quickly marinated with garlic, lime and fresh ginger. The flavor combination is truly delicious with the rich-tasting fish. Serve with fresh chopped cilantro on top. It is a simple way to bake sablefish it in the oven with only 10 minutes of preparation time.


Units Scale
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated with a rasp style grater
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 4-5 ounce portions black cod or sablefish fillet, about 1 pound
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. Whisk garlic, lime zest, lime juice, agave syrup, olive oil, ginger and salt in a small bowl.
  2. Place sablefish in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour the lime mixture over the fish, press the air out of the bag and seal. Agitate bag to coat the fish in the marinade. Refrigerate, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Remove fish from the marinade and discard the marinade. Place fish, skin side down on the parchment and transfer the baking sheet to the oven.
  5. Bake until the fish is cooked through and just flakes apart when pierced with the tip of a knife, 12 to 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro


If you cannot find black cod (sablefish), sub another mild buttery fish such as Monkfish (Anglerfish) or Chilean Sea Bass (Patagonian Toothfish), make sure to check the Seafood Watch App from Monterey Bay Aquarium to source Best Choice or Certified sustainable fish.

Black Cod is often sold with the skin on, but it is not necessary in this recipe, so if yours comes skinned, that is totally fine! 

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: Main Couse
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 4 ounces
  • Calories: 180
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 25 g

Keywords: Black Cod,Lime Fish,Ginger Lime Black Cod, Sablefish Recipe

The images in this post were taken by Foolproofliving.com.