Unfortunately, fresh halibut is only available seasonally, usually late spring through early summer. Halibut spend most of their time in depths up to 3600 feet; much too deep even for commercial fishermen. However, during the spring spawning and summer feeding seasons, the halibut migrate to more shallow waters. The official halibut season begins on March 15th and goes through November 15th, but most fresh halibut is caught and shipped during late April through June.
Fresh halibut cooks very quickly, which makes it a good choice for a cook in a hurry (and who out there isn’t a cook in a hurry!). It can be grilled, fried, or baked, and since it has a delicate flavor and texture, it adapts easily to your favorite sauces and seasonings. The following recipe is one of my favorites; I developed it for my catering menu after tasting a similar dish at Simon and Seafort’s, a great restaurant in downtown Anchorage.
At Simon and Seafort’s, this delicious fish was served with a mound of buttery mashed potatoes, (no garlic or other fru-fru added to overpower or mess up the delicate flavor of the halibut) and several spears of perfectly steamed fresh asparagus arranged decoratively on the plate. If you’re planning to serve Almond Crusted Halibut as the star of a special dinner for family or friends, these accompaniments will compliment the halibut perfectly. If you’re just making a quick weeknight dinner, tiny boiled new potatoes or Rice Pilaf both cook very quickly and will enable you to complete the entire meal in less than 30 minutes.
Preparation Notes: The blender and/or food processor make quick work of the almond coating and Lemon Butter Sauce. The fish may be coated and browned up to one day ahead, then covered and refrigerated until baking in the oven; allow 10-15 minutes additional baking time if the fish has been refrigerated.
Almond Crusted Halibut with Lemon Butter Sauce
2 pounds halibut fillets, cut in 8 pieces
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whole almonds
1 cup dry bread crumbs, preferably Japanese Panko
1/2 cup butter
1 3/4 cups lemon butter Sauce, (1 batch)
- Rinse halibut pieces and pat dry between paper towels; set aside.
- Whisk together the eggs, and water in a small bowl.
- Mix the flour with salt and pepper and place on a plate.
- In food processor, process the almonds until they are finely chopped; add the bread crumbs and process to mix. Transfer to a plate.’li>
- Dip the halibut pieces into the egg mixture, then roll in the flour. When all are coated, dip in the egg mixture and then coat with the almond crumb mixture, pressing the mixture onto the halibut.
- Melt half of the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the halibut pieces and brown on each side. Remove from heat and place in a 400° oven.
- Bake until the halibut is just cooked through, 15-20 minutes.
- Serve with Lemon Butter Sauce.
Lemon Butter Sauce
Makes about 1 3/4 cups sauce
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, (no subs)
- Place the eggs, lemon juice, and salt in blender; blend until well mixed.
- Bring the butter to a boil in the microwave.
- Turn the blender on low, then pour the boiling butter in slowly.
- Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and let sit for a minute or two to thicken.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 517 Calories from Fat 367
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 70% Protein 20% Carb. 10%
Nutrient Amount per
Total Fat 50 g
Saturated Fat 24 g
Cholesterol 237 mg
Sodium 759 mg
Total Carbohydrate 16 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 31 g
Vitamin A 14% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 13%
For More information on halibut, check out this brochure, Flat Out Facts from the University of Fairbanks