Halibut is one of my favorite fish to cook. I love the texture and the mild flavor, and it’s an easy fish to find. Best of all, Halibut in pretty “forgiving” when it comes to cooking. Don’t get me wrong, you need to be careful not to over or under cook it, but I think you’ve got a bit more room to play with than some other fish.
In this recipe video, I cook an herb crusted halibut filet, served with a shitake mushroom broth, over mashed potatoes. The crispy herb crust gives the dish a nice texture, the mushrooms an earthiness, and the creamy mashed potatoes hold everything together.
Recipe Overview and Keys to Success
For this herb crusted halibut recipe there are just a couple things you need to be careful of. Don’t worry though, each is shown in the video:
- Most importantly, don’t overcook the halibut. While it is a forgiving fish, you still need to be careful. Watch for the doneness clues, primarily the color around the edges – which I describe below and show in the video.
- The mushroom broth has very few ingredients, and is subtle. To extract the most flavor I use more mushrooms than I’ll actually want to eat, and cook them thoroughly to extract their flavor; and use a good chicken stock as it carries the broth.
Ingredients for Herb Crusted Halibut
- Halibut filets (about 8 ounces each)
- Salad croutons – half a cup
- Parsley – a third cup loosely packed
- Shitake mushrooms – 5 – 6 sliced
- A shallot – diced (see how to dice a shallot)
- A garlic clove – minced (see how to mince garlic)
- White wine – 2 tablespoons
- Chicken stock – half cup
- Salt & pepper
- Slice the mushrooms into strips and sauté them with salt and pepper, over medium high heat in olive oil until they have released most of their water and have browned nicely. Here’s another recipe video where I sauté some chanterelle mushrooms; you can use the same technique here
- Once cooked, add in the shallot and garlic, and turn the heat all the way down. Let them sauté until soft – just a few minutes.
- Add the white wine and let it reduce by half
- Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and then shut off the heat
- Let it stand while you cook the fish
Making the Herb Crust
- I like to use a food processor to combine the croutons and parsley. If you don’t have a food processor, you could use a blender, or even just a knife (although that would take some time)
- Place the croutons and parsley in the food processor and pulse until the croutons are broken up and the parsley integrated with the bread crumbs
- The texture should look a bit like wet sand (see the recipe video), with grains that are still fairly large – you don’t want fine powder
- Spread the herbed bread crumbs on a plate
- Season the halibut filet’s with salt and pepper on both sides
- Press one side of the fish into the crumbs to coat; and repeat with all the filets
Cooking the Halibut Filets
- I like to use a non-stick pan for this recipe, as it’s easier to keep the herb crust sticking to the fish, but you certainly don’t have to
- Heat your pan over medium high heat until it is hot (at least a minute or two), and add a couple tablespoons of olive oil
- Lay the halibut filets in the pan, crust side down, and then don’t touch, move or flip them for at least a minute. You want to cook that crust onto the fish.
- After a minute, you need start checking the doneness of the fish (this step is demo’d well in the video, I urge you to watch). Look around the edges of the fish; as it cooks, the flesh goes from pinkish to white. As that white color “wraps” around the edge of the fish,so that its visible on top, it’s time to flip the fish
- Carefully slip a spatula under the fish (I put my free hand on top of the fish to hold it in place) and flip it over
- Once you flip the halibut over, if you prepared the mushroom broth ahead of time, put it back on high heat to warm
- Once turned, the fish will only take a minute or so to cook to through. If needed, you can slip a knife into the flesh to take a look – you want it to be white, but still moist
In this recipe video, I serve the halibut over some mashed potato, which is great. But it would just as easily go great with rice, pasta, polenta or any other starch. Place the filet on top of the potato, and spoon the mushroom broth around it, making sure to scatter some of the mushrooms about.
This is a great, tasty and healthy dish, hope you enjoy it!!