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In my opinion, halibut is one of the best fish options available. It's mild, meaty, and easily paired with so many flavors. This Ginger Garlic Halibut shows just how beautifully halibut pairs with strong flavors and maintains its own integrity.
What to look for when buying halibut
You should look for wild halibut, to be sure, and fresh when able. But most of us don't live close enough to halibut fishing grounds to enjoy that luxury. So what do we do?
- Look for firm fillets and no discoloration. It should be white and glossy.
- Ask to smell it ... it should smell like the ocean.
- Ask questions of the fishmonger. "When was it caught?" "What method was used to catch it?" In which case, you'll have to be educated on what and why those things are important. Be sure to peruse Seafood Watch to learn about sustainable seafood practices.
- There are several online options to order seafood from if you can't find a quality option where you live. Wild Alaskan Seafood Company is one that is a subscription plan and offers all wild fish options. (Not sponsored)
- If you live in the Snohomish, WA, area, I highly recommend You Are What You Eat Fish Company. It's a family-owned fishing company that was started over 100 years ago and their sustainable practices continue just as they did back then. They sell at farmers' markets in the area and if you are in their delivery area, they'll bring it to your door! (Again, not sponsored.)
The marinade ingredients for Ginger Garlic Halibut
The marinade is pretty simple: julienned fresh ginger, chopped garlic, lemon juice, chopped jalapenos, unseasoned rice vinegar, and soy sauce, or soy sauce alternative like organic tamari (which is wheat free) or organic coconut aminos (which is both soy and wheat free!)
Tamari is very similar to regular soy sauce and recipes don't typically need any adjustment when using it. However, coconut aminos tend to the sweet side so I usually add a splash of vinegar to counter the sweet.
Put the halibut fillets into the marinade, then turn them over. Leave them for 15 minutes, then turn them over for another 15 minutes. Since halibut yields typically thicker fillets, you can afford to leave them a little longer than thinner ones, but be careful not to leave them too much longer than called for.
The next couple of steps got left out of the photo shoot ... because I'm only one person trying to cook and photograph at the same time. But it goes like this:
Take the fish out of the marinade and put it carefully into a heated, oiled skillet. Watch the sides of the fillets and when it starts looking done about a quarter of the way up the side, (about 4-6 minutes), check the browning on the skillet side, then carefully flip it over using a fish spatula. Avoid flipping it back and forth because it will start breaking apart. Cook it another 4-6 minutes and remove it to a platter to keep it warm.
Then pour the marinade into the skillet, bring it to a boil, and let it reduce till it thickens up a bit.
How to serve Ginger Garlic Halibut
You should definitely serve this halibut with beautifully steamed rice so that it can soak up all that gorgeous sauce! I like a bit of a simple, fresh salad of pea shoots or baby lettuces with cucumbers, on the side, drizzled with olive oil and rice wine vinegar. See how simple that was? Let's eat!
Other recipes you might like:
Ginger Garlic Halibut
- ¼ cup soy sauce or soy sauce alternative such as tamari or coconut aminos
- 2 Tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil or other cooking oil that you like
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons garlic chopped very small
- 1 Tablespoon julienned fresh ginger
- ½ jalapeno, chopped smalled roughly 2 teaspoons
- 1 pound halibut fillets, without the skin
- salt and pepper to season
- Combine the soy sauce (or soy sauce alternative), unseasoned rice vinegar, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, and jalapenos in a shallow dish.
- Season the halibut fillets lightly with salt and pepper. Be careful of overdoing it because of the saltiness of the soy sauce or soy sauce alternative. Carefully lay the fillets in the marinade, then turn them over. Let them sit for 15 minutes on one side, then turn them to the other side for another 15 minutes.
- Heat a skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Remove the halibut fillets from the marinade and pat them dry before laying them in the skillet. Reserve the marinade.
- Cook the halibut on one side for 4-6 minutes until you can start to see it getting done about a quarter of the way on the side. Carefully lift the fillet with a fish spatula to see if it is browned enough to turn. You only want to turn it once to keep it from breaking apart.
- Cook the halibut on the other side for another 4-6 minutes until the fish is still translucent, but flakes apart easily. If you over cook it, it will be dry and chalky.
- Remove the halibut to a platter to keep warm, then pour the reserved marinade into the skillet. Bring it to a boil and let it continue cooking until it reduces down and becomes a bit thick.
- Serve Ginger Garlic Halibut over steamed rice with the reduced marinade as sauce and jalapeno rings as garnish. I like to also serve a light lettuce or pea shoot salad with some cucumbers.