Although any way of cooking halibut will work, we suggest pan-searing a halibut fillet. Pan-seared halibut is another popular restaurant dish. This is because, when done correctly, this approach provides the fish a great sear without drying it out or overcooking it, which can quickly happen in other ways. Unlike broiled or grilled halibut, it’s also simple to master, unlike broiled or grilled halibut, which requires some guessing to get the cooking times right.
Let’s talk about seasoning before deciding whether to cook baked halibut or grilled halibut. Some cooks choose to season halibut with their preferred herbs and spices before cooking it, such as salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, or parsley.
Others choose to use a marinade to enhance the flavor of halibut, which is often bland, to begin with. Either method works, but if you don’t pat the fish dry before grilling, broiling, baking, or searing, the marinade may prevent the fish from crisping up. Remove extra liquid from the fish with a paper towel before frying. When you use a method that allows for crisped edges, it should brown nicely.
What is Halibut?
Halibut is the largest flatfish, belonging to the Pleuronectiformes order, including flounder, turbot, sole, plaice, and fluke. It’s a firm, meaty fish also highly lean, with a mild flavor that’s never fishy. It comes in thick fillets and steaks and lumps dazzling white meat. It’s one of the more expensive fish, costing upwards of $25 per pound.
How to Cook Halibut?
Halibut is typically sold in fillets with the skin removed; however, if the skin is present, it should be removed before cooking because it is chewy. The most important thing to remember while cooking halibut is that it is a very lean fish that can quickly dry out. As a result, smoking halibut is not advised.
Halibut is best cooked using moist heat methods such as poaching, steaming, or braising. That isn’t to say it can’t be baked or grilled; nevertheless, you must be careful not to overcook it. Aim for an internal temperature of 125 to 130 F when cooking halibut over dry heat, and use a probe thermometer to verify it.
The following cooking methods are the most common and easy ways to cook halibut at home.
Baked halibut is a quick and easy technique to prepare seafood. It takes around 15-20 minutes to cook in a 425-degree oven. There are no messy, oily pans to warm up; all you need is a baking dish with a rack inside for the halibut fillet. Furthermore, baking halibut is a healthy cooking method that requires no oil. Instead, season the fish with salt and pepper and bake it until the edges are faintly crisp.
Broiled halibut is a cooking method that gives your fish a crispier exterior. However, using simply the broiler may result in dried-out fish because it cooks quickly under high heat. Instead, bake this delicate seafood for around 10 minutes before serving. Then, turn on the broiler for another 3-5 minutes, or until the halibut is crisp.
Because fish may be so delicate, grilling turns people away. That is correct. It takes a little skill to master grilling halibut, but the results are well worth the effort. If you’re going to utilize this method, we recommend cooking the halibut steak or fillet on a grill pan rather than directly on the grill grate. As a result, you’ll get the grilled flavor without the risk of the fish sticking to the grill.
Pan-searing halibut is another name for pan-frying halibut. Whatever you call it, one thing is sure: this way of cooking is quick, simple, and produces delicious fish. Begin by heating a pan with a bit of butter or olive oil to sear the halibut. Add the halibut fillet once it has been thoroughly cooked. On one side, sear for 3-4 minutes. Then flip and sear for another 2-3 minutes on the other side. To keep the halibut warm, remove it from the pan and tent it with foil for 2-3 minutes.
Deep-fried halibut is another alternative, albeit it is not usually the healthiest way to eat halibut. Use your preferred batter or bread seasoned with your favorite spices to bring out the flavor. If you want a fried taste without the fat or calories, use an air fryer instead of a deep fryer.
Steaming halibut is a healthy technique to prepare this fish because it only requires a small amount of water to cook thoroughly. The result is a juicy, fully cooked halibut that can be served in just a few minutes. Unfortunately, the halibut’s outside will not be seared, so this isn’t the best option for those who prefer a crispier outside.
Poaching halibut produces a similar outcome to steaming, but you can add flavor by cooking it in a liquid of your choice. To infuse the flavors into the fish, poach halibut in vegetable stock with a splash of lemon and a sprinkle of thyme.
Where to Buy Halibut?
Halibut is one of the most generally available fish, readily available at both the seafood counter and the freezer area of supermarkets. It’s generally marketed in fillets, boneless cuts cut parallel to the backbone, and occasionally in steaks, which are sliced across the backbone and contain a part of it.
Because halibut is often treated and flash frozen on the fishing boat to capture its optimum freshness, the frozen version is usually the best quality, like other fish and seafood. Halibut can also be bought frozen through online shops. Halibut caught in the United States and Canada are deemed sustainable and harvested ethically according to US standards. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, on the other hand, has rated halibut from Mexico as “avoid.”
How to Store Halibut?
You can keep frozen halibut in your freezer until you’re ready to consume it if you buy it in a vacuum-sealed package. Transferring it to the refrigerator the night before you plan to use it is the best method to defrost it. Halibut that wasn’t frozen when you bought it shouldn’t be stored and should be cooked the same day. If that’s not an option, you should use it within a day or two. It’s also not a good idea to freeze it because it was most likely frozen and then thawed, and refreezing thawed products is one of the most fundamental food-safety no-nos.
Is Halibut a Healthy Fish?
Halibut is high in omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, selenium, and magnesium, beneficial to your heart. While no DRI exists for omega-3 fatty acids, the Adequate adult Intake (AI) recommendation for women and men is 1.1 and 1.6 grams, respectively.
1. May Reduce Risk Dementia
Fish like halibut, salmon, tuna, and other omega-3 meals contain omega fatty acids. Omega-3s are abundant in the brain and are essential for behavioral and cognitive (performance and memory) functions. Infants who do not receive adequate omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for nerve and visual disorders.
Higher circulating levels and dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) have been related to a lower risk of dementia in recent research. The link between fatty acid levels in red blood cells and cognitive markers of dementia risk in old and middle-aged people was investigated in a cross-sectional cohort of research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
2. May Help Lower Breast Cancer Risk
Compared to people with low ratios, high dietary consumption ratios of fish containing omega-3 PUFAs, such as DHA and EPA, relative to omega-6 arachidonic acid, have been related to a lower risk of breast cancer. According to research published in the International Journal of Cancer, dietary intake of fish or omega-3 PUFAs has been found to have an inverse link with breast cancer risk in both prospective cohort studies and large-scale case-control studies in Japan.
While Japan has the highest fish consumption globally, breast cancer incidence has climbed in recent years. Why? Adoption of the Western diet includes increased meat, animal fat, and saturated fatty acids consumption. The ideal total omega-3:omega-6 dietary ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 is generally acknowledged as connected with a reduced incidence of breast cancer to help prevent breast cancer.
3. Protects Against Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors
The link between fish diet and the risk of cardiovascular disease has been thoroughly researched, with the bulk of findings supporting fish consumption’s cardioprotective effects. Fatty fish like halibut, mackerel, salmon, and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids and have a lot of beneficial HDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol acts as a vacuum cleaner, sucking up plaque from artery walls, preventing blockages, and transporting cholesterol back to the liver. A lower HDL cholesterol level in the bloodstream is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
Fish-eating may have cardioprotective effects, according to new research. Fish consumption has been linked to overall beneficial benefits on arrhythmia threshold, lipid profiles, inflammation and endothelial function, platelet activity, atherosclerosis, and hypertension. In 2004, a meta-analysis revealed 13 cohorts from 11 independent prospective investigations, totaling 222,364 individuals (3,032 CVHD fatalities) with an average follow-up of 11.8 years. Individuals who ate fish once a week had a considerably decreased risk of cardiovascular death than those who never ate fish or ate it less than once a month.
The Atlantic halibut, the Pacific halibut, and the Greenland halibut, often known as Greenland turbot, are the three primary varieties of halibut. The Atlantic variant is the largest of the three, weighing 400 pounds. While overfishing has decreased Atlantic halibut stocks, US rules ensure that the stocks are managed responsibly. California halibut is sometimes confused with Pacific halibut, although the California halibut is much smaller, weighing up to 60 pounds, compared to the Pacific halibut, which may weigh up to 300 pounds. The California halibut is occasionally mistaken for a flounder rather than a real halibut.
Because they are both flatfish, halibut and flounder are frequently compared. Some flounder are also called halibut, and vice versa. The size of the fish is one of the most significant differences between the two. While a regular flounder may reach a maximum weight of 30 to 40 pounds, Pacific halibut can reach 300 pounds, and Atlantic halibut can reach 400 pounds or more. Halibut is meatier and less flaky than flounder and has a firmer texture, and Halibut has lower fat content than flounder. Both halibut and flounder have a mildly sweet flavor devoid of any fishy flavor.