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How to cook halibut like a pro

a close up of food on a plate

It’s the fish my dreams are made of; moist, flaky, flavourful.   We catch it right on the BC coast  during the summer months, so this is the best time to enjoy it.   The key is to buy really fresh fish.  Don’t be shy at your fishmongers,  smell it and make sure it doesn’t smell fishy at all.  Here is the most simple, tasty way to cook it. – Chef Robin

If you want to see how it’s done, come out to our Halibut vs Salmon Pop-up Restaurant in Vancouver with Chef Jacob Deacon-Evans (West, Wildebeest, Supermarina; he’s the king of fish in BC) on Aug 20th, 2016!  Details here

Pan Seared Halibut RecipeHalibut recipe

How to cook halibut… it’s simple!
  • 2- 8-ounce halibut fillets (about 2 inch thick)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Grapeseed oil (good high temperature, neutral flavoured oil)   Don’t use canola, that stuff is disgusting:)
  1. Take the fish out of the fridge and let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Season each side of the halibut fillets generously with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large saute pan, add enough grapeseed oil until it reaches about ⅛ inch of the side of the pan. Heat over high heat until oil starts to shimmer and pan is hot.  Make sure the oil doesn’t smoke.
  4. Add each halibut fillet to the pan.  Reduce heat to medium-high(not smoking) and cook for 4-5 minutes. When the bottom of the fish is golden brown, flip it. Reduce heat to medium-low and heat until cooked through, making sure not to overcook the fillets, about 2-4 minutes. Transfer to plate with a paper towel to remove some of the excess cooking oil.

Once the fish is perfectly cooked, you can serve this many different ways. With a tarragon beurre blanc is classic, plain with stir fried veggies… sky’s the limit.  Serve with a nice crisp white wine or Kettle Valley Rose is perfect as well if you are in for a BC wine.

Chef Robin’s cooking  tip: The cooking time is the most important step, you don’t want to overcook the fish!  You have to watch it carefully till it starts to flake and then remove it immediately from the pan.  It’s hard to give time estimates to cooking for each side as it really depends how thick your fish slice is and every fish store cuts differently.  So, when you first start cooking halibut, don’t be afraid to test a section of the fish, just use your fork and see if a side flakes when you pull it apart, if it doesn’t pull away easily, it isn’t cooked yet.  Once you get to know what the ‘flakey’ stage looks like then you can stop pulling your fish apart to test.

Perfectly cooked halibut from Robin Kort on Vimeo.