I know this strange quirkiness comes from my childhood. Blame it on my mom who always warned us about choking on fishbones. She must have gotten a fishbone stuck crossways at some point in time, because she was totally paranoid when we had fish for dinner (which wasn't often!). The thing is, I love seafood! Over the years, I've worked my way up from fish sticks, to clams and crab, to cod fillets, to swordfish, to tuna, to scallops (no bones there!), to sea bass, to monkfish, to lobster, to salmon, to flounder, to hake, to trout. How is it that I missed halibut?
This past week, a friend was raving about halibut and the fact that it was currently a steal at the market, so I took the bait (sorry) and bought a 'fletch' ... and what the heck is THAT all about? What is a fletch? I looked it up; it's an arrow! Again, what the heck?
Anyway... this Asian influenced recipe came from Harvest Eating.com. I played with the oils a bit to fit my taste. The peapods at the market looked like yuck, so I left them out of the veggie stir-fry. I also cooked some jasmine rice to soak up the sesame vinaigrette sauce, which is quite strong (take that as a hint to go easy).
I cannot believe how tasty the halibut was! The sesame crust had just enough saltiness and crunch to complement the smooth flake of the fish flesh. The sesame vinaigrette sauce is strong, but has a nice combination of ginger and sesame. I'll be keeping the recipe and playing with it some more. If you try it, let me know what you think.
Sesame Crusted Halibut for Two - printer friendly
Sesame Crusted Halibut for Two
adapted from Harvest Eating.com’s recipe
fresh halibut steaks – 1 inch thick, skin on (allow 6 oz. per serving)
soy sauce for marinating
½ c. flour
generous sprinklings black and white sesame seeds
peanut oil or clarified butter for searing and stir-fry
kosher salt and black pepper
three carrots, peeled
two handsful peapods, pull the strings off them and ‘tip’ them
½ sweet red pepper
½ sweet yellow pepper
generous pinch red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. ginger root, minced
Making the Dish:
1. Wash and dry the halibut. Lay it in a glass dish with about ¼ c. low-sodium soy sauce. Turn it to coat. Set aside for about ten minutes.
2. Combine flour, black and white sesame seeds, pepper and a bit of kosher salt in a pan.
3. Prepare the vegetables by washing, and julienning them. Mince the ginger.
4. Heat an oven-proof non-stick skillet over high heat. Add peanut oil and swirl to coat pan. Dredge the halibut and lay it into the hot oil. Sear for 2-3 minutes per side. Place pan in a 400° F oven and finish the fish for another 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, heat a wok over high heat. Add 1 tbsp. peanut oil and swirl to coat wok.
6. Add ginger and red pepper flakes and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
7. Add carrots and continue to stir-fry for three to four minutes.
8. Add sweet peppers and pea pods and continue tossing for another three to four minutes.
9. Arrange the stir-fry veggies on a platter. Place the halibut on them and drizzle with a bit of sesame ginger vinaigrette (recipe below). Serve with a small bowl of extra vinaigrette for dipping the fish.
Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette
1/8 c. toasted white sesame seeds
¼ c. sesame oil
¼ c. peanut oil
¼ c. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. ginger root, minced
1 ½ tsp. soy sauce
Making the Vinaigrette:
1. Toast the sesame seeds and place them in the bowl of a handblender.
2. Add the minced ginger root, rice vinegar, and soy sauce.
3. Use hand blender to purée.
4. Combine the oils and drizzle them into the sesame ginger purée while blending to form an emulsion.