Monday, July 7, 2008

Cobia with a Sweet Chili Rub

This past weekend we were in the mood for fish! Saturday night we went to one of our favorite sushi restaurants and enjoyed a couple of large plates of Saba (Mackerel), Unagi (fresh water eel), Shake (fresh Salmon) and Idtakko (baby octopus) just to name a few. My partner in all things food mentioned that I should have brought our camera to capture the beautiful work of our sushi chef, but unfortunately I left it at home. This is a mistake I will not make twice.
Sunday rolled around and we were still in the mood for fish so we visited our local fish market. It was less than a half hour before closing time so we were a little nervous about what we would find. To our surprise there was a beautiful piece of Cobia that was calling our names.
Cobia is a fish that we were introduced to just a few short months ago when we saw it on a menu at a Cajun restaurant. I found a lot of useful information about Cobia such as: Globally, there is no significant Cobia fishery, this is because adults are often solitary or travel with just a few other individuals, frequently in the company of sharks. This makes them a difficult species to target and capture is therefore often incidental. Despite this, however, cobia is a highly sought after food fish throughout its range. In Mexico, for example, it is known as "esmedregal" and is the fish of choice for weddings and celebrations. In Belize, where it is known as "cabio", a captured cobia likely won't make it to market because the fisherman will keep it as a family treat. Cobia is also highly prized as a game fish. Here is where you can find that information and more.

As I have mentioned in previous posts about fish, my partner in everything food is the chef at our house when it comes to les poissons. For the first time while preparing and cooking fish he decided to use a rub. Continue reading to discover how he did it.


  • 1lb of Cobia (we cut it into 2 filets after cooking--whether you have filets prepared before or after cooking is your choice)
  • .25 tablespoon salt
  • .25 tablespoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • .25 tablespoon cinnamin
  • .25 tablespoon nutmeg
  • .25 tablespoon garlic powder
  • .25 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • .5 cup sweet white wine (we prefer Riesling)


  • paper plate
  • paper towel
  • medium skillet or saute pan
  • fish turner
  • small glass bowl
Combine all dry ingredients in small glass bowl. This will be your rub. Place Cobia on paper plate and pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Apply rub generously to fish covering both sides and all edges. The goal is that the entire fish will be covered with the rub. Over medium high heat place butter in the saute pan. Once the butter melts, add fish to pan. After about one minute, add half of the wine. Cook for 5 more minutes. Flip the fish and cook for one minute. Add the remaining wine. Cook for another 5 minutes. Plate and serve!

***The cobia is shown here served over a mix of fresh vegetables cooked in a sweet balsamic glaze. I will be posting this side dish later. Check in soon!


EAT! said...

The cobia looks like something my family would like - also the balsamic glaze is a favorite of mine.

Dragon said...

I've never had Cobia before. You made it look amazing. Great photo!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Your cobia looks fab! I love all of the spices! Great job!

DocChuck said...

Cobia is indeed a special treat.

Fortunately, my wife and I know a particular fish monger (family) at the Lexington Market who alerts us when they are able to procure some genuine FRESH cobia.

When they call, we hightail it to Baltimore to pick up their special "package."

Your spice treatment sounds good, but be careful not to mask the wonderful flavor of the fish itself, by over-powering it with too much spice.

Great post. Thank you.

the Aspirant Abecedarian said...

We understand your concern and certainly take your advice of not overpowering the fish with too much spice. We think about this every time we cook fish. In fact, we ask ourselves the question, "How can we enhance the flavor of the fish, not mask it". I will admit that when I first heard the idea of a rub with chili powder I was not enthusiastic, but I was proved wrong by my partner in everything food. This cobia tasted amazing and I strongly encourage anyone who likes cobia to try this recipe.

Donna said...

This past weekend fresh Cobia was caught and I stumbled upon this recipe. Three different ways to
prepare were made-it was a nice
big fresh cobia with great steaks-
and this was the hands down favorite!

g8r_chick said...

Tried this with some wonderful cobia that we caught. My family loved it. I couldn't get over the nutmeg. It seemed to overpower the other spices. I will definitely try this again but without the nutmeg. The wine deglazed nicely, also.