It’s not very often that I have the opportunity to eat halibut. But when the occasion arises, I relish it.
Halibut, like salmon, is rich source of omega-3 essential fats, a form of essential fatty acids in which the standard American diet is sorely deficient. Omega-3 fatty acids provide a broad array of cardiovascular benefits. And just two servings of omega-3-rich fish a week can lower triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides are associated with high total cholesterol, high LDL (bad) cholesterol and low HDL (good) cholesterol) and, therefore, with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
I’ve done my part this week, both courtesy of my uncle, Curt Hendrickson. Last weekend, he gave us two vacuum-sealed packages of fish. Both the halibut and salmon came from Alaska, where my cousin, Paul lives.
I smoked the salmon (using apple chips) for about 3 to 4 hours in my Masterbuilt smoker after it sat the better part of an afternoon in a teriyaki-hoison sauce marinade. It was fantastic.
But I think the halibut was even better. I found a recipe online that is one of the simplest yet tastiest that’s crossed my palate. All the broiled recipe called for was a little butter, olive oil, the herb of your choice (I used dill) and salt and pepper to taste. Along with some sourdough bread, it made for a great meal.
It was so good that I’ve decided to share the recipe, along with another one for halibut with a Thai twist.
Halubut, by the way, is a very good source of high-quality protein, rich in significant amounts of a variety of important nutrients including the minerals selenium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium and the B vitamins B12, niacin, and B6.
Easy Halibut Fillets with Herb Butter
2 halibut fillets
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley or finely chopped tarragon or finely chopped dill (or other herb of your choice)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon olive oil
Make little aluminum foil trays sized to fit each fillet. Wipe the bottom of each tray with olive oil. Put the fillets ugly side up (skin side even if the skin is now removed) on the trays. Mix the butter with the chopped herbs throughly. Place 1 tablespoon of the butter on the halibut. Broil for 4 minutes. Carefully turn each fillet over, not spilling any of the melted herb butter. Broil for 4 more minutes. Remove and plate, pouring the melted sauce over each fillet.
Yield: Serves 2.
1 cup low-fat coconut milk
Grated peel of 1 large lemon
2 medium green onions, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons grated fresh gingerroot
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro, divided
1 medium clove garlic, peeled and minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 1/3 pounds halibut fillet
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce or 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 lime, cut into wedge
Combine milk with lemon peel, green onions, ginger, 1 teaspoon
cilantro, garlic, red pepper flakes and turmeric. Cut halibut into serving pieces and place in an 8- or-9-inch glass pan; pour coconut milk marinade over fish. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours; do not marinate longer as the fish will become too soft.
Line a bamboo steamer with parchment paper and poke holes in paper. Combine lime juice and fish sauce. Remove halibut from marinade and place in steamer set over boiling water. (Discard marinade.) Or set a rack over the water, place fish on a plate and set on rack not touching the water. Spoon half of lime juice mixture over fish and sprinkle with salt. Baste fish with remaining lime juice mixture during cooking time.
Cover the steamer and steam 12 minutes per inch of thickness. Check for doneness. Keep water at a high boil during cooking time.
Remove halibut from steamer and sprinkle with remaining cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
Yield: Serves 4.