This Pan Seared Halibut Recipe is made with fresh halibut, butter, olive oil, lemons, garlic, white wine, capers and garnished with fresh parsley.
Pan-searing is a great way to cook halibut because it creates a crispy crust on the outside while keeping the inside moist and tender. The high heat of the pan allows the fish to cook quickly, which helps to preserve its delicate texture and flavor.
When you pan-sear halibut, you can add additional flavors and seasonings to the fish by seasoning the crust or using a flavorful marinade or sauce. This method is also versatile, as you can use different seasonings and flavor profiles to create a wide range of dishes.
Pan-searing halibut is also a healthy cooking method, as it doesn't require added oils or fats. Halibut is a lean fish that is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health and brain function.
I am an avid lover of white fish, so when I discovered the Lemon Halibut with Capers recipe, I knew it was a hit! I love halibut because it will fill you up guilt free.
- What is Halibut?
- Is Halibut Healthy?
- What is Pan-Seared Halibut?
- Halibut Recipe Ingredients
- How to Make Pan-Seared Halibut Recipe
- What internal temperature should halibut be cooked to?
- What To Serve With Halibut Recipe
- Do you rinse halibut before cooking?
- How do you cook halibut without it drying out?
- Halibut Recipe Variations
- How to store Halibut
- Halibut Recipe Top tips
- Pan Seared Halibut Recipe
What is Halibut?
Halibut is a large, flatfish that is found in the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans. It is a popular fish for consumption due to its mild, sweet flavor and firm, flaky texture. Halibut is a type of whitefish and is low in fat, making it a healthy option for those who are watching their calorie intake.
Halibut is available year-round, but the peak season is from mid-March to mid-November. It can be purchased fresh or frozen, and is sold as both fillets and steaks. Halibut can be prepared in a variety of ways, including grilling, baking, sautéing, and pan-searing, and is often served with a variety of sauces, herbs, and spices.
Is Halibut Healthy?
Yes, halibut is considered a healthy fish that is low in calories and fat and high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Halibut is a good source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, and support brain health. Halibut is also a good source of B vitamins, vitamin D, and minerals such as selenium, phosphorus, and potassium. When choosing halibut, it is important to opt for sustainably sourced wild-caught or farmed halibut that is free from contaminants.
What is Pan-Seared Halibut?
Pan-seared halibut is a method of cooking halibut on the stovetop in a skillet or frying pan. The fish is seasoned with salt and pepper, and then seared in a hot pan with a small amount of oil or butter until a golden brown crust forms on the outside. The halibut is then flipped over and cooked on the other side until it is cooked through and opaque in the center. The sauce prepared in this recipe will compliment the fish.
Pan-seared halibut is a quick and easy way to prepare this popular fish, and it is a great way to showcase its natural flavor and texture. It can be served with a variety of side dishes, such as roasted vegetables, rice, or a simple green salad.
Halibut Recipe Ingredients
- Olive oil
- White Wine
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Pan-Seared Halibut Recipe
Cut one lemon into slices, as shown in the picture. The other two lemons will be squeezed into a bowl. Keep that juice for later!
Before adding the halibut to the pan, salt and pepper both sides with your hands. Start off with adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter on a medium pan on medium high heat. Once the butter completely melts, add the halibut. Add the halibut fillets to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until browned and cooked through. Remove the halibut from the skillet and transfer it to a plate.
Lower heat. Using the same pan and the same juice, add 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter melts, add the garlic and white wine. After three minutes, add the juice of two lemons, capers and parsley.
Add the halibut back on the pan and scoop the juice over and over again onto the halibut. Place the lemon onto to plate.
Garnish with more parsley if needed. Enjoy this Halibut Recipe.
Hint: Make sure not to overcook the fish, and buy the freshest fish possible.
What internal temperature should halibut be cooked to?
The internal temperature of cooked halibut should reach 145°F (63°C) as recommended by the USDA. This is the temperature at which the fish is considered safe to eat and has reached its optimal texture and flavor. It is important to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the fish, as cooking times can vary depending on the size and thickness of the halibut fillet.
What To Serve With Halibut Recipe
There are many side dishes that go well with halibut, depending on your personal taste and the flavors in the recipe. Here are some ideas:
- Roasted or grilled vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, or brussels sprouts
- Rice or quinoa pilaf with herbs and spices
- A simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing
- Roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes
- Steamed or sautéed greens such as spinach or kale
- Roasted or grilled corn on the cob
- Grilled or sautéed mushrooms
- Fresh or roasted tomatoes with herbs and garlic
- Cucumber salad or coleslaw
Do you rinse halibut before cooking?
It is generally not recommended to rinse halibut before cooking. Rinsing the fish can cause cross-contamination in the kitchen by spreading harmful bacteria that may be present on the surface of the fish. It is important to handle and prepare halibut safely, but it is usually sufficient to simply pat it dry with paper towels before cooking.
How do you cook halibut without it drying out?
- Choose a good quality halibut fillet that is fresh and firm, and avoid frozen fillets if possible.
- Pat the halibut dry with paper towels before cooking to remove any excess moisture, which can cause the fish to steam rather than sear.
- Use a hot skillet with a little bit of oil to sear the halibut quickly on both sides. This will help to seal in the moisture and keep the fish from drying out.
- Be mindful of the cooking time, as overcooking can lead to dry, tough fish. Halibut fillets generally only need 3-4 minutes per side to cook through, depending on the thickness.
- Use a cooking method that adds moisture to the fish, such as baking the halibut in a parchment packet with vegetables and herbs, or poaching it in a flavorful liquid like coconut milk or tomato sauce.
- Finally, let the halibut rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute and results in a more tender, moist piece of fish.
If you need to make ingredient substitutions for this dish, here are some options:
- Halibut: If halibut is not available, you can substitute it with other firm, white fish such as cod, sea bass, or haddock.
- Capers: Capers are a key ingredient in piccata sauce, but if you don't have them or don't like them, you can substitute them with chopped green olives or chopped pickles for a similar salty, tangy flavor.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice is a key component of the piccata sauce, but you can substitute it with white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or even lime juice if you prefer.
- Butter: If you need a dairy-free option, you can substitute butter with olive oil or a vegan butter substitute.
- Parsley: If you don't have parsley, you can use other fresh herbs such as cilantro or basil, or omit it altogether.
Halibut Recipe Variations
There are many delicious halibut recipe variations to choose from. Here are a few ideas:
- Grilled Halibut: Halibut is great for grilling because it holds together well and has a mild flavor that pairs well with many different seasonings. Simply brush the halibut with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill for 4-6 minutes per side or until it is cooked through.
- Baked Halibut: Baking halibut is an easy way to prepare this fish. You can bake it with a variety of toppings, such as breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and herbs, or you can bake it with a simple lemon butter sauce. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the halibut is cooked through.
- Halibut Tacos: Halibut is a great choice for fish tacos. Season the halibut with chili powder, cumin, and lime juice, and then grill or pan-sear until cooked through. Serve the halibut in warm tortillas with shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes, and a dollop of sour cream. Check out my Ensenada Fish Tacos in which you can substitute Halibut instead of cod.
- Halibut Chowder: Halibut is a great addition to chowders because it is a mild, firm fish that holds up well in creamy soups. Simply add diced halibut to your favorite chowder recipe and simmer until the fish is cooked through.
- Halibut Curry: Halibut is a great choice for curry dishes because it can absorb the flavors of the spices and seasonings. Simmer the halibut in a curry sauce made with coconut milk, ginger, garlic, and curry powder, and serve over rice or with naan bread.
To make Halibut Piccata, you will need the following equipment:
- Large skillet: You will need a large skillet or frying pan to sauté the halibut fillets and make the sauce.
- Tongs: Tongs are useful for flipping the halibut fillets in the pan and removing them when they are cooked through.
- Fish spatula: A fish spatula is a thin, flexible spatula that is designed for flipping delicate fish fillets without damaging them.
- Measuring cups and spoons: You will need measuring cups and spoons to measure out the ingredients for the sauce.
- Cutting board and knife: You will need a cutting board and a sharp knife to trim the halibut fillets and cut them into portions.
- Serving dish: Once the halibut piccata is cooked, you will need a serving dish to present it.
How to store Halibut
If you have fresh halibut that you want to store, you should wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in the coldest part of your refrigerator, which is usually the back of the bottom shelf. It is best to use fresh halibut within 1-2 days of purchase.
If you have cooked halibut that you want to store, let it cool to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Cooked halibut will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
You can also freeze halibut if you want to store it for a longer period of time. To freeze halibut, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place it in an airtight container or freezer bag. Label the package with the date and place it in the freezer. Frozen halibut will keep for up to 6 months in the freezer.
When you are ready to use the halibut, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Do not thaw halibut at room temperature or in the microwave, as this can lead to bacterial growth and spoilage. Once the halibut is thawed, use it within 1-2 days.
Halibut Recipe Top tips
Here are some top tips for making Halibut Piccata:
- Use fresh halibut: Halibut is a delicate fish that is best when it is fresh. Look for fillets that are firm and have a mild, sweet aroma. Avoid fillets that are slimy or have a strong fishy smell.
- Pat the halibut dry: Use a paper towel to pat them dry and remove any excess moisture. This will help create a crispy crust when you pan-sear the fish.
- Don't overcook the halibut: Halibut is a lean fish that can easily become dry and tough if it is overcooked. Cook the halibut just until it is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. The exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fillets, but it should only take a few minutes per side.
- Use a nonstick skillet: A nonstick skillet is ideal for pan-searing the halibut, as it will prevent the fish from sticking to the pan and falling apart.
- Make the sauce in the same pan: After you remove the halibut from the pan, use the same pan to make the piccata sauce. This will help to deglaze the pan and incorporate any browned bits from the halibut into the sauce, which will add flavor.
- Use fresh lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice is essential for making the piccata sauce. It provides a bright, tangy flavor that complements the delicate flavor of the halibut. Avoid using bottled lemon juice, as it can taste artificial and lack the same freshness.
- Garnish with fresh parsley: Chopped fresh parsley is a classic garnish for halibut piccata. It adds color and freshness to the dish and complements the flavors of the lemon and capers.