Halibut, very much like salmon, has tremendous nutritional value. It’s a mild flavored dense fish that has the perfect texture to grill, pan fry or even simmer in stews and soups. Halibut is loaded with Omega-3s, B Vitamins and a whole host of other nutrients. It’s a flat fish that blends in on the ocean floor, one side is brownish-grey and the other white. Halibut is one fish I generally suggest to people that are looking for something that is not “fishy” or strong flavored. It cooks up quickly and is a perfect foil to many different flavors and ingredients. I’ve been on an Asian kick lately with my food, and this week is no exception! I thought I would take this beautiful piece of halibut from Port Chester Seafood and give it a Thai twist.
What you see here is basically a halibut “steak” with the bones removed. You can probably do it yourself, but I let Lou’s guys do it for me. It just makes life a lot easier when I get home. In this form the filets are simple to cut into pieces for the dish.
Let’s start at the beginning: for this particular mirepoix version I am using bell pepper, vidalia onion and shiitake mushroom. When I cut the pepper I did it two ways, half of it is 1/4” dice and the other half thin strips. Once the vegetables were soft I worked on the sauce. I should also mention that while I was making all of this the jasmine rice was cooking. Multi-tasking is always the way to go when you are making dinner. Put the things on the stove top or in the oven that will cook somewhat unattended and then get busy with the things that you need to be paying attention to.
More after the jump …
The sauce base is made with coconut milk and vegetable stock. I have the ratio I used below, but I would suggest you feel free to adjust to your taste. Some people like a thicker sauce and some thinner. I’m somewhere in between. Just remember to taste the final version before you add in the fish, sprouts and tofu. You want to nestle them in and not stir too much. The halibut is pretty in the final dish in large chunks.
A few minutes before serving I added the basil that I chiffonade. Keep in mind fresh basil looses it’s potency if you cook it for a long time.
Divide the rice between the plates and arrange the fish and vegetables on top. Drizzle the sauce over each and top with fresh herbs. This is a delicious and spicy weeknight meal, and on the table in 30 minutes!
This is a perfect weeknight dinner that can be made in 30 minutes. While the rice is cooking you prep the ingredients and bring it all together.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 small bell pepper, 1/2 cut in 1/4″ dice and the other half in thin strips
- 1 medium shallot, about 3/4 cup 1/4″ dice
- 2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated on a microplane
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of prepared green curry
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of Sambel Oeleck, or red hot chili flakes
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1 cup vegetable stock, plus more to thin if necessary
- 1 cup bean sprouts, rinsed in col water
- 12 oz halibut filet, cut in 2″ pieces
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups firm tofu, pressed dry with a paper towel and cut in 1/2″ cubes
- 3 tablespoons of basil, chiffonade (thinly sliced)
- Cilantro and mint leaves for garnish, optional
- 2-3 cups of prepared jasmine rice
- In a large heavy sauté pan heat the coconut oil and add the diced pepper, onion and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms soften, but do not take on color.
- Add the ginger and curry and cook for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, brown sugar, chili sauce, lime zest and 1 cup of stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the spice to your desire. If the sauce is too thick add a little more stock to thin it out. It should have a loose quality but not watery.
- Your sauce might “break” or separate if you have the heat too high. Don’t worry, just take a small whisk and gently pull it all together. Make sure you do this step before adding in the fish.
- Lower the heat to a simmer and nestle the fish, tofu and bean sprouts into the sauce and loosely cover the pan. With a spoon gently turn the fish after about 2-3 minutes for even cooking and add the basil. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.
- Serve over jasmine rice and garnish with fresh cilantro and/or mint leaves
Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She’s an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmers, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Maria lives in Port Chester with her husband Larry and their taste tester Cocoa.