Halibut is a wonderful fish to cook. It has little oil and no overpowering flavor of its own. It takes sauces wonderfully, and the only thing you have to watch out for is to not dry it out during the cooking. The following can apply to either steaks (bone-in) or fillets (boneless strips of fish). Halibut get quite large and you can have an 8 to 10 pound boneless roast if you like! In all cases, the fish is done when you can flake it with a fork.
For any kind of cooking of non-oily fish, a rule of thumb is ten minutes per inch of thickness in a hot oven (this means 400°F or more). Most of my fish pieces are 3/4 to 1 inch thick, so both broiling and barbequing follow this time rule fairly well. When you lower the temperature, things get interesting and sauces have more time to interact with the flesh. From my experience, by lowering the temperature to 325°F or so, this increases the cooking time to 1 1/2 hours.
- Put the fish in a baking dish, cover about 2/3 with milk, a small pat of butter on each piece, and bake for 1 1/2 hour at 350°F.
- Cook as above, but cover with a can of Mushroom Soup. This is the first way I ever baked halibut and it isn’t bad and it is certainly easy.
- As above, but cover 2/3 with chicken broth.
- Kids love this breaded, you can even use ‘Shake and Bake’. I rinse fillets, dip them in flour, coat them in an egg mixture (I use the yolks and whites), roll in crumbs, and bake. You can also do this but instead of baking, put in a medium hot frying pan with a tablespoon of oil.
- I’ve cooked halibut for 100 people by arranging fillet chunks in large baking dishes, covering about half way with 2% milk, putting a small dab of butter on each piece, baking as above, then sprinkling with paprika before serving to give it a little color.
- Small dab of butter and squeeze some lemon on each piece. Broil about 7 to 10 minutes, turning once.
- As above, but brown some shredded Parmesan cheese on top just before serving.
- coat with olive oil, put on a medium hot grill, turn once, done in about 8 minutes.
- dab of butter and squeeze of lemon, turn after 4 minutes and dab and squeeze side two
International Pacific Halibut Commission – Dedicated to the preservation of Pacific halibut in waters off Canada and the United States of America
This content was produced by Steve Kaimmer, a biologist with the International Pacific Halibut Commission