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Grilled Sablefish with Thyme-Lemon Salsa Verde (Photo © Stephen Peck)

Grilled Sablefish with Thyme-Lemon Salsa Verde

Sustainable Seafood Recipe

This is a simple grilled dish to enjoy on a balmy summer evening. The fish and bell peppers cook at the same time. Choose fish fillets cut from the tail end because they have fewer bones, and cook without turning the fillet to yield crisp skin and moist meat. Couscous makes a satisfying accompaniment, and takes only a few minutes to prepare. End the meal with sliced fresh peaches topped with vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream and chopped almonds.

Seafood Watch recommends wild-caught sablefish from Alaska and British Columbia as a "Best Choice."

  • (Serves 4)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4, 6-ounce sablefish fillets, preferably cut from the tail end, any bones removed if desired
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large bell peppers (preferably a mix of red and yellow), quartered lengthwise, seeded

Salsa Verde
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced seeded Serrano chile


Sablefish Prepare a charcoal or gas grill on high heat. Brush the fish with oil, sprinkle with thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper and set aside. Place the peppers in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature while preparing the sauce.

Salsa Verde

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Arrange the fish skin side down on the grill. Add the peppers. Cover the grill and cook the fish without turning until it's just springy to the touch and begins to separate into large flakes (with a small knife, lift one of the flakes to see if the fish is just opaque in the center), about 8 minutes. Cook the peppers until starting to brown, about 4 minutes per side.

Divide the fish among warmed plates. Slice each pepper piece lengthwise into 3 strips and divide among the plates. Spoon the sauce atop the fish, dividing evenly. Serve immediately.

Kristine Kidd
Kristine Kidd, Monterey Bay Aquarium Food Editor

Best Choice Sablefish


Seafood Watch recommends wild-caught sablefish from Alaska and British Columbia as a "Best Choice." The Alaska sablefish fishery is also certified as sustainable to the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Wild-caught sablefish from California, Oregon and Washington are considered a "Good Alternative."
iPhone Our app brings you up-to-date recommendations for ocean-friendly seafood and sushi. And the newest version, with Project FishMap, lets you share the locations of restaurants and markets where you've found sustainable seafood. As the map grows, you'll also be able to see what others have found near you.

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