On a busy weeknight, pan-seared halibut is the ideal healthy protein. In less than 30 minutes, you’ll turn four healthy ingredients into a restaurant-quality entree.
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WHAT IS PAN-SEARED HALIBUT?
Pan-seared halibut with lemon is a simple and inexpensive white fish and butter sauce dish.
- Halibut, like most white fish, cooks quickly and has a sweet, mild flavor. The butter, garlic, parsley, salt, lemon, and herbs enhance the flavor of the halibut while keeping it neutral enough to pair with a variety of side dishes.
- Halibut should have a light, flakey texture that is moist. When it comes to keeping the halibut fillets hydrated, the lemon juice-infused butter sauce works wonders.
- Time: Once you add the fish to the hot pan, it should only take 3-4 minutes on the first side and 2-3 minutes on the second side to cook. To prevent the fish from becoming rubbery, remove it from the pan immediately after it has finished cooking.
TIPS FOR THE BEST PAN-SEARED HALIBUT
Find tips and tricks for making the best pan-seared halibut below.
- Examine the internal temperature. Check the internal temperature of your halibut with a meat thermometer to eliminate any guesswork. The internal temperature of cooked halibut should be 118°.
- Use fillets of equal size. Choose the most equal-sized fillets you can find to ensure even cooking.
- Use caution when handling halibut. Halibut can easily break apart, so be careful when flipping it and make sure it’s been on the heat long enough to form a nice crust. Invest in a fish spatula to make the process go more smoothly.
- Don’t leave out the lemon juice. Lemon juice helps to keep the fish tender while also bringing out the best flavor. When it comes to seasoning white fish with this citrus fruit, you really can’t go wrong.
- Refrain from tinkering with the fish. The goal is for each fillet to only need to be flipped once. The more you muck around with it, the more it will fall apart.
- Pat fillets down with a paper towel. Prior to cooking, pat down as much moisture off the fillets as possible. This will aid in the formation of a nice crust on the fish as well as the prevention of oil splashing out of the pan (ouch!).
HOW TO MAKE PAN-SEARED HALIBUT?
This pan-seared halibut requires only four simple ingredients and cooks in less than 15 minutes.
- Prepare the Halibut Fillets: Pat any excess moisture off the halibut fillets with paper towels. On both sides, generously season with garlic parsley salt.
- Cook Halibut Fillets: Melt some butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and place your fillets in the pan gently. Wrap the fillets in lemon wedges. Sear the fillets for a few minutes, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for another couple of minutes on the other side.
- Serve the halibut fillets immediately after squirting them with lemon juice and sprinkling them with fresh herbs.
SERVING PAN-SEARED HALIBUT
Pan-seared halibut pairs well with a variety of side dishes and salads.
It’s delicious on top of a Caesar salad or with air-fried asparagus. To keep you fuller for longer, serve with a side of buckwheat.
WHAT DO I LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING HALIBUT?
Halibut is a firm, white fish with a mild flavor – but it’s a bit of a splurge, so save this Pan Seared Halibut with Lemon Caper Sauce recipe for a special occasion.
If at all possible, purchase your halibut from a fish market that sells fresh-off-the-boat seafood. Another reputable option is Whole Foods.
One pound of fresh halibut will usually yield two very generous portions.
Call ahead to the market and ask the fishmonger when they receive their fresh catch in the morning – that’s when you should go shopping!
Request the thick end of the halibut filet and, to make things easier for yourself, request that they skin it for you.
TIPS FOR BUYING FRESH SEAFOOD:
- When purchasing any type of fish, it is critical to keep it cold while transporting it, especially during warm weather months. Bring a cooler full of ice in the back of your car, then place the halibut (or any other type of seafood) inside to keep it as cold as possible on the way home.
- Once you’ve returned home, keep your seafood cold by placing it in a bowl of ice in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Always buy the freshest fish you can find. Fresh seafood should have no odor other than the briny smell of the sea. Don’t be afraid to ask to smell the fish you intend to purchase. Walk away if it smells “fishy.”
STORING COOKED HALIBUT
Refrigerate your halibut in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for three days.
- Freezing: Place your pan-seared halibut fillets on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze. Place the baking sheet in the freezer. Once frozen, portion the fillets into freezer-safe plastic bags.
EXPERT TIPS for cooking Halibut
- While the fish should be cooked through, it should not be overcooked. Fish that has been overcooked becomes dry and gummy. For 1-inch-thick fillets, I find that 3 minutes on the first side over medium-high heat, followed by 3 minutes on the second side over medium heat, is ideal.
- You’ll probably need to adjust the cooking time based on your own kitchen conditions, such as how thick your fillets are and how hot your pan gets.
- On a gas stovetop, I used to cook the fish for about 4 minutes per side.
- Now that I cook on a ceramic cooktop, which gets considerably hotter (I understand why chefs prefer gas cooktops – they provide much better temperature control), I find that I need to cook the fish for a shorter period of time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does halibut taste like?
Halibut is a white fish that is medium firm and has a mild, neutral flavor. It absorbs sauces well, which is why we like it with chili garlic oil. It’s also a more hearty fish, resembling the sea’s “steak” (similar to swordfish).
What is Alaskan halibut?
The majority of halibut sold in the United States is labeled as Alaskan halibut, owing to the fact that up to 80% of halibut sourced and sold here originates in Alaska. Depending on where it is sourced, the majority of remaining halibut is sold as Pacific halibut or Atlantic halibut.
Is halibut healthy?
Yes! Halibut contains all essential amino acids but has a low oil and fat content. While this makes it a healthy lunch or dinner option, it also increases the risk of the fish drying out if overcooked. To ensure proper doneness, you should use a thermometer.
Can I use halibut fillet instead?
Absolutely! Halibut fillets and halibut steaks are both cuts from the same fish. The latter usually has bones (the backbone and possibly rib bones), whereas halibut fillets are boneless and skinless. Both work in this situation; it all depends on what you can find and buy.
Pan-Seared Halibut Steak Recipe [Only 4 Ingredients]
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
This pan seared halibut recipe with lemon butter sauce only takes 20 minutes to prepare… which you’d never guess from the way the pan-fried halibut looks. I’ll show you how to pan sear halibut and make the perfect halibut sauce.
- Pat the halibut fillets completely dry with paper towels to ensure even browning. Season the fish with garlic powder, paprika, sea salt, and black pepper on both sides. Place aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.
- Add the fish fillets in a single layer (if all of the fish won’t fit in a single layer, do it in batches). Sear the fish for 3-4 minutes, without moving it, until the edges are opaque. Flip and cook for 2-4 minutes, until cooked through.
- Remove the fish from the pan and wrap it in foil to keep it warm.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low. In the same pan, melt the butter. Allow it to melt before heating for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the butter is browned and smells nutty.
- TIP: If you like garlic, you can also use this lemon butter sauce recipe.
- Squeeze all of the juice from both halves of the lemon into the pan using the Zulay Kitchen Lemon Squeezer. Bring to a simmer, then reduce to a low heat and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the volume is reduced by half. The lemon butter sauce will remain runny.
- Drizzle some lemon butter sauce on top of each serving plate. Place the pan seared halibut fillets over the sauce, then drizzle more sauce on top.
- Category: Beef
- Method: Steak
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 4 servings
- Calories: 513kcal
- Sugar: 1g
- Fat: 35g
- Carbohydrates: 3g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 47g
Keywords: Halibut steak, halibut, steak recipe, halibut steak recipe, easy halibut steak recipe
Other recipes to try:
Pan-Seared Marinated Halibut Fillets
Butter-Basted Halibut Steak with Capers
Grilled Lemon Garlic Halibut Steak
inspired by: https://momsdish.com/pan-seared-halibut