Simply Halibut

The eater’s Mom was in town this weekend for Mother’s day, a quick visit, and a business trip. She played the role of gracious house guest, taking us out to eat several times over the weekend. Monday night I thought I would give her a taste of what I’ve been cooking lately.

I decided on an unadulterated, simple, seared halibut. I was aiming to keep the dish to an Asian theme using blanched mizuna and a Thai red curry sauce. I wanted to keep the dish simple but elegant and I think I managed to pull it off in the end.

The halibut was the one of the best looking fish I could find at Whole Foods; while they aren’t known for their affordable prices, they do have a quality fish monger. I’m always impressed by the quality of the fish and the attention to detail on the fish’s origins; it’s also nice to know that this wasn’t caught using some of the more sinister fishing methods. After talking a bit with the fish monger, I decided on an oversized, two pound, monstrosity of a fillet.

The dish required just a little bit of prep: chopping onions, cilantro, and sweet peppers, washing and trimming the greens, and skinning and portioning the fish. The end result, I was told, was a restaurant quality dish.

Seared Halibut with Asian Greens and Red Curry Sweet Potatoes
4 six ounce fillets of Alaskan Halibut

1 medium bunch of mizuna

5 sweet potatoes
1/2 cup diced onion

1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup sake
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Salt, white pepper, oil
fresh lime juice

preheat oven to 350F

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and quickly blanch the mizuna. Shock them in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and reserve.

Place sweet potatoes in a large pot of cold water and cook over med-high heat until fork tender.

While potatoes are cooking, saute the onions in oil and add the curry paste. Add the sake and most of the coconut milk reserving a little to adjust the consistency of the sauce. Add cooked sweet potatoes and cilantro and keep warm.

Rub both sides of the halibut with oil and season with salt and white pepper. Heat a large stainless or cast iron frying pan until very hot. Do not add any
oil. Add the oiled fish, presentation side down, to the frying pan and sear
on one side until a nice crust forms. Remove from skillet and place on a baking sheet with the seared side up. Finish cooking in oven for 7-12 minutes.

Warm up mizuna and place on a heated serving plate. Add potatoes and top with halibut. Artfully drizzle sauce around the plate and top off with a squeeze of lime juice.

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6 Responses to “Simply Halibut”

  • Amrita says:

    I doubt anyone could make fish look any more moist!! mmm!

  • Scott at Realepicurean says:

    Halibut is a great fish with a simple clean taste and nice texture. One of my personal favourites for steaming.

  • foodie says:

    Julie: I’d classify this as semi-healthy, but don’t let that scare you.

    Amanda: Wow, you’re making me blush. I’ve been working on my camera skills and got some new gear. I’m hoping I can keep the good photos coming. Getting that carmelization smoked the house up good, but it was worth it!

    Alice: I didn’t drive to far to get the fish, but it did cost most of an arm for the 2.25lb fillet. The curry paste is going to make its way into some strange places, you’ll see.

  • Alice Q. Foodie says:

    Nice going Jef! I don’t cook fish at home very often (because it is so hard to get good fresh fish without driving 20 miles and spending an arm and a leg) but this might motivate me – I even have some red curry paste I haven’t used yet!

  • amanda says:

    seriously, the photos are fantastic for this post and my god the caramelization on that halibut and how moist and perfectly cooked it appears has me drooling. this is so up my alley. rockin’!

  • Julie says:

    That will definitely be on my healthy menu, looks great.

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