Cocoa-Orange Fish



Cocoa powder transforms both savory and sweet dishes. Its luxurious earthy appearance adds depth to protein, like the fish in this Nicole Taylor recipe. Make sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder; replacing the skip seeds with sesame seeds and the maple sugar with light brown sugar is fine. Any variety of hot chili flakes works here too. Other fish fillets, such as wild Alaskan salmon or snapper, can replace catfish. From “Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes From Across the African Diaspora”, edited by Bryant Terry (Ten Speed ​​Press).

Cocoa rub

2 tablespoons of kosher salt

2 teaspoons of skip seeds

1⁄4 teaspoon dried bird’s eye chili flakes

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons of maple sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon of caraway seeds


1 pound of oranges (about 2 medium)

2 pounds of catfish raised in the United States


5 tablespoons of olive oil

To do the friction: In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the mixture and mix well. This seasoning can be prepared ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.

To prepare the fish: Cut the oranges into 12 slices and set aside. Set the oven rack to the high position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse the fish thoroughly and dry it with a clean tea towel or paper towel. Place the fish on a large baking sheet and generously sprinkle both sides with the rub. Drizzle with a drizzle of oil, then place the orange slices on the catfish fillets.

Place the baking sheet on the upper rack and roast until the catfish is moist and gently crumbles, about 8 minutes. (If you are using a thicker variety of fish like salmon, the cooking time will be around 12 minutes.)

Reprinted with permission from “Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes From Across the African Diaspora”, edited by Bryant Terry, copyright © 2021. Published by 4 Color Books, an imprint of Ten Speed ​​Press and Penguin Random House.


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