Black Cod

Marion Nestle talks again about calories in her blog Food Politics. The interesting take away is that, although the business of calories is quite complicated and the studies somewhat inconclusive, in order to lose weight one must reduce their caloric intake. In other words, no matter what kind of a “diet” you choose, you need to eat less. When any diet works it is because it is somehow makes people eat less. The biggest problem with every diet is that there is some sort of compromise and, worse yet, some sort of removal of something that you like that will eventually make you want it even more and BREAK your diet.

I have talked at length about the 80% rule. If you want to cut something out of your life (possibly other than cigarettes or soda or a spouse) you should only do it about 80% of the time. Sure you can quit chocolate most of the time, but why not have a piece once a month or even once a week; a little piece. I love wine. If I want to reduce my caloric intake I can stop having wine most of the time. But I am not going to deprive myself to such an extent that I end up sitting in my garage and sucking up  a 5 gallon carboy of red wine with a straw. Instead, I will not have wine during the week and reward my good behavor with a few glasses on the weekend.

It seems that there are two hurdles in the diet world. The first is that you should never compromise your nutritional needs to lose weight. Not only will you end up craving something if you eliminate it altogether, it is usually not very smart to do so. The fad diets that completely cut out carbs or fat or whatever are not very clever. They may work for the short term but that is really not a diet. That brings us to the second challenge which is maintaining a lower weight. Most people that are overweight and need to lose some excess have a hard time keeping it off. This is because for people that are overweight, the reduction of calories is not temporary. You might need to reduce further than necessary to initially lose the weight, but you will always need to eat less than you did before.

Here is a wonderful and not very calorie dense dish. I use a store bought marinade which is rare for me, but the one that we have found has no junk in it. You can substitute a homemade sweetened soy sauce (or miso dressing) with ginger, garlic and rice wine vinegar. I suggest finding a Trader Joe’s and do what I do.

Serves 4


  • 2 Black Cod Filets
  • 1 Cup Soyaki Sauce (from Trader Joes) or Homemade sweetened soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter


  • Bowl for Marinating
  • Sauté Pan with Lid
  • Spatula
  1. In a bowl or dish, marinate the fish in the soy sauce. Optionally, you can add some fresh ginger.
  2. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
  3. Melt the butter in the sauté pan over medium heat.
  4. Add the fish, skin side down.
  5. Cover, leaving the lid slightly askew, and sauté for 5-6 minutes.
  6. Carefully flip fish and cook for another 2-3 minutes uncovered. If you have trouble manipulating the fish you can cut it in half. That is how you will serve it.
This entry was posted in Fish.

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