Pacific halibut is found primarily along the North American West coast and is commercially fished mainly off Alaska and British Columbia. In 1923, with reserves suffering from being overfished, the United States and Canada signed a convention on halibut, leading to the creation of the International Pacific Halibut Commission, which today regulates Pacific halibut fishing. Members meet annually to review research, check on the progress of the commercial fishery, and make regulations for the next year’s season. This management allows for a maximum of sustained halibut harvesting.
Fished for in Alaska and British Columbia, halibut are the largest of all flatfish. The biggest ever recorded for the northern Pacific was a 495-pound fish caught near Petersburg, . Alaska
Halibut is valued for its sweet, mild flavor, firm meat, and snow-white color; it is the second favorite fish in the Northwest, surpassed only by salmon. Market forms of the fish include steaks, fillets, and fletches (split body-length fillets), plus the extra-tasty cheeks so applauded by their culinary fans.
I have included a very simple recipe for Grilled Halibut with Lemon Herb Splash that really lets the delicate fish shine though. I like to serve it with a simple bread salad studded with fresh summer tomatoes and cucumbers.
In the Seattle metropolitan are you can find fresh halibut at:
Seattle Fish Company stores are located in Freemont and West Seattle. Independantly owned, Seattle Fish Company features NW fish as well as warm water ‘exotics.’ They purchase daily and troll-caught halibut will be available through the end of the season (November 15th)
112 N 36th Street
(between N 1st Ave & N Palatine Ave)
Seattle, Wa 98103
4435 California Ave
Seattle Wa, 98116
If want your fish skinned they can accommodate that – just ask the fish monger. And for shopping assistance look for the folks in “Red Coats” on Fridays and Saturdays at the Admiral and Proctor Stores.
Queen Ann Uptown – “bottom of hill”
Admiral (West Seattle)
Dash point (Federal way)
Proctor (North Tacoma)
Recipes are available for halibut at the fish case and on line at www.metropolitan-market.com
Grilled Halibut with Lemon Herb Splash
Makes 1/2 cups Splash, enough to top 4 – 6 pieces of fish.
Lemon Herb Splash
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced fresh rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 fresh halibut steaks or fillets, approx. 6 oz. each
oil as needed
salt & pepper as desired or Dish D’Lish French Seasoning Salt
To make the splash: Mix all ingredients together well. Add other fresh herbs if you like such as chives, thyme, lemon verbena or tarragon too!
To finish the recipe: Heat grill till hot. Lightly rub fish on each side with a little oil and season with salt and pepper or Dish D’Lish French Seasoning as desired.
Grill fish for approximately 2-3 minutes per side, cooking more or less, depending on the thickness of the fish. Fish should be nicely grill-marked, cooked through but still juicy.
Place halibut on plate and splash each piece of fish with 1 tablespoon or more of the Lemon Herb Splash as desired. Pass remaining splash on the side.
Chef’s Notes: Soak a few wood chips in water and throw on coals just before placing fish on grill to add a nice, light smoke flavor.
Copyright ©2009 by Kathy Casey