Are you looking for a new way to prepare halibut? Seared halibut is the perfect meal for any occasion. It’s easy to make and tastes delicious! You can serve it with your favorite sides, or even as an appetizer. You won’t be disappointed by how tasty this dish is.
Seared halibut is a delicious, healthy meal that can be served in many different ways. If you’ve never had seared halibut, then this is your chance to try it. It’s a great alternative to salmon or tuna and can be served in many different ways. Once you try this recipe and taste that perfectly crispy skin you will see the possibilities are endless!
This easy method includes a delicious lemon caper sauce that is very often called a piccata sauce. It's so good and super easy to make so it turns into a perfect weeknight meal. If you like piccata, then you should also check out these chicken piccata meatballs as another weeknight menu idea.
What Goes Good with Halibut?
The possibilities are endless! My absolute favorite thing to serve with this fish is this parmesan zucchini. The halibut and zucchini pair perfectly with garlic butter Crock-Pot mashed potatoes to give you the best homestyle dinner you can have.
Of course, there are so many choices you can serve with this dinner. It is just that versatile. Below are a few more ideas that work well with this particular recipe. Remember, it has a bright and light sauce so goes well with a nice variety of creamy or richer sides.
- Jasmine rice, brown rice, rice pilaf, or a homemade risotto.
- Baked potatoes, roasted potatoes, or scallopped potatoes.
- Roasted vegetaables, steamed vegetables, or sauteed vegetables like this creamy broccoli with bacon or a casserole like this cheesy green bean casserole.
- Side salad, Ceasar salad, or even an antipasto salad.
Can I Make This with a Different Fish?
I love a recipe that can be changed up. In this case, you can make this dish with almost any type of white fish. The seasoning and technique will easily go with another white fish since it will have flavor and texture. You will have issues with stronger flavored fish. So, I definitely recommend sticking with a milder fish or flavor.
You could make this with cod, haddock, grouper, snapper, pollock, or flounder.
When preparing with a different fish, make note of the thickness of the filets. This may change how long you will be cooking the fish. In that instance, I really recommend reaching for that instant-read meat thermometer to make sure your fish isn't over or undercooked.
- Olive oil
- Fresh parsley
- Smoked salt
- Black pepper
Handy Kitchen Tools
- Instant read meat thermometer
- Large skillet
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Spatula for turning fish
- Wooden spoon
How to Make Pan Seared Halibut with Sauce
If working with a whole halibut filet, cut into 4 equal portions approximately 4" wide.
Season the halibut with salt, pepper, and paprika on both sides.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Once hot, add the fish, skin side down. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the skin is crisp.
Then flip and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes on the side without skin, or until it has reached an internal temperature of at least 140℉ internally.
Once cooked, remove the halibut from the pan and set it aside to rest for 5 minutes while you make the sauce.
To the same skillet, add butter. Once melted, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Next, whisk in the lemon juice, lemon zest, capers, and parsley. Cook for 2 minutes, taste, and add salt and pepper if needed to taste.
Serve the halibut with sauce poured over the top
One of the first steps you can take is to buy a fresh piece of fish from a reputable source. If the fish is not clean and clear, rather cloudy, this means it has been sitting around for a while or previously frozen.
Fresh fish should have a clean, natural smell. If it smells bad, then do not buy it! Fresh halibut should be solid and the flesh should bounce back quickly when pressed down.
Frozen halibut can work for this recipe, but since I prefer cooking with skin on, it is typically fresh that I would choose when making this. If you can't find quality fresh halibut, you can look to the freezer department of your market for filets.
You will want to make sure to leave the skin on the fish. The skin helps hold the fillets together and also protects them from overcooking. The skin will give this fish so much flavor and once it gets its crispy texture, you will be glad you left it on.
My recommendation for any home cook is to invest in an instant-read digital meat thermometer. This will give you the best results and make it easy for you to cook the fish to your personal desired doneness.
The FDA recommends cooking fish to 145℉ internally for safety. I recommend cooking to 140℉ internally then letting it sit for 5 to 10-minutes before serving to finish reaching temperature.
If you prefer rare fish, which is common when serving halibut, 118℉ to 120℉ is a common range to look for. I do not recommend eating any fish rare, but do know that it is common, especially with quality fresh fish.
The best way to know when the fish is done is to check how the flesh looks. The flesh should look flakey and opaque. You can use a fork to see the texture of the seared halibut. It should separate easily and not look slimy or oily.
You may notice that smoked salt is listed in the ingredients. Smoked salt provides a nice smoky flavor as it has truly been smoked with untreated wood to impart flavor. It is ideal for use with fish, but is not necessary.
If you do not have, or cannot locate smoked salt, you can simply use regular table salt or flaky salt in equal measurements in this recipe.
More Seafood Recipes
We are just beginning to explore seafood recipes here, but if you are craving fresh fish, check out the recipes below and add them to your menu plan. They are sure to please any seafood lover at your dinner table!
- Tempura Batter Fried Calamari Recipe
- Ultimate Lobster Mac and Cheese with Sherry Cream Sauce
- Crispy Mahi Mahi Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw
Pan Seared Halibut with Lemon Caper Sauce
Pan seared halibut with a simple lemon caper sauce is sure to be a hit at your dinner table! Fast, easy to prepare, and delicious every time!
- 1 ½ pounds halibut filets (4 filets 6-ounce each, ½ inch thick)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon smoked salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup butter
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- If working with a whole halibut filet, cut into 4 equal portions approximately 4" wide.
- Season the halibut with salt, pepper, and paprika on both sides.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Once hot, add the fish, skin side down. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the skin is crisp.
- Then flip and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes on the side without skin, or until it has reached an internal temperature of at least 140℉ internally.
- Once cooked, remove the halibut from the pan and set it aside to rest for 5 minutes while you make the sauce.
- To the same skillet, add butter. Once melted, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Next, whisk in the lemon juice, lemon zest, capers, and parsley. Cook for 2 minutes, taste, and add salt and pepper if needed to taste.
- Serve the halibut with sauce poured over the top.
You may substitute the halibut with flounder, cod, pollock, haddock, or snapper.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 517Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 184mgSodium: 967mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 45g
I made this dish tonight. Had no lemons so used fresh lemonade and had no parsley. But the dish was still very tasty and both my husband and I enjoyed the flavor. And best of all it was easy and one only needed 1 pan!