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Pacific Halibut

Updated on November 11, 2014

Pacific Halibut

This page has information about Pacific halibut, one of the most popular North American fish.

Pacific halibut are the largest of the flatfish, reaching weights of 500 -700 pounds and up to 9 feet long.

These enormous fish are highly sought after by chefs for their firm white meat.

Halibut recipes include baked, broiled and grilled dishes as well as fish chowder.

Pacific Halibut Information

The Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) is a member of the flounder family. Halibut have a flat body with eyes on the right side. The skin on the top side is mottled to blend into the ocean floor and can be olive green, brown or almost black in color depending on where the fish was caught. The underside is snow white.

Pacific halibut are found along the continental shelf from California to the Bering Sea. These massive flatfish prefer rocky bottoms where they ambush food. Their diet consists of cod, pollock, herring, octopus, crabs, shrimp and other prey.

Halibut is harvested with longline gear. In longline fishing, a vessel lays out a long fishing line which is anchored to the bottom of the ocean. Several baited hooks are attached to this line at regular intervals.

Pacific halibut is managed by the United States and Canada in a bilateral commission known as the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). Each year, the IPHC sets total allowable catch levels for halibut that will be caught in the U.S. and Canadian exclusive economic zones in the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

Halibut Recipes

Broiled Halibut Parmesan

2 pounds halibut fillets

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup butter, room temperature

3 green onions, chopped

thinly sliced lemon and parsley for garnish, optional

Place fillets in a single layer on a greased baking dish or broiler

pan; brush with lemon juice.

Combine Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, salt, butter, and green onions in

a small bowl; set aside.

Broil fillets 4 to 6 minutes, or until fish flakes easily

with a fork. Remove from oven; spread with cheese

mixture.

Broil about 30 seconds longer, or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.

Garnish with sliced lemon and parsley if desired.

Serves 6 to 8.

Baked Halibut with Potatoes and Tomatoes

4 medium potatoes

1 lb. sliced tomatoes, seeded and diced or 1 lb can diced tomatoes

1 tbsp virgin olive oil

2 lbs halibut steaks

Salt and pepper to taste

Place the potatoes, tomatoes and 1 tbs. of olive oil in a covered casserole dish and either

bake (325 degrees) until the potatoes are almost done. Top with the cod fillets.

Add salt and pepper to taste then bake until done.

Halibut a la Greque

Ingredients:

2 pounds halibut steak

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup lemon juice, divided

1/4 cup chopped onion

6 whole cloves

1/4 cup butter

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons minced parsley

1/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions:

Marinate fish for 3 or 4 hours in the olive oil and half the lemon juice to which the shallot powder or onion and the cloves have been added. Drain well. Broil about 5 minutes, then cover with the mixture of the butter, remaining lemon juice and parsley. Use half of this mixture, then bake at 350° for 10 minutes, drench with remaining sauce and bake 10 minutes longer. Whip cream and spread over fish, then place under broiler about 1 minute until brown.

Halibut with Vegetables

(4) 6- to 7-ounce halibut fillets

All purpose flour

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 large shallots, chopped

1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

4 plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped

1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided

1 tablespoon drained capers

1/3 cup bottled clam juice

1/4 cup dry white wine

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper.

Coat with flour.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add fish and sauté until lightly browned and just opaque in center, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer fish to platter.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in same skillet.

Add shallots and crushed red pepper; sauté 1 minute.

Mix in tomatoes, olives, 1/4 cup basil, and capers. Add clam juice and wine.

Boil until sauce thickens slightly, about 4 minutes.

Mix in 1/4 cup basil. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Spoon sauce over fish.

Sicilian Fisherman's Stew

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped red onion

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped, with their juices

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 lbs Pacific halibut fish fillets, cut into large pieces

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy pot over medium heat, add the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the parsley and tomatoes. Raise the heat and bring to a simmer. Add 1 cup water and the wine.

Cook, partially covered, for 10 minutes.

Add the halibut, cover, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Creamy Halibut Dip

1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, room temp.

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp. minced green onions

milk

salt and pepper to taste

8 oz. cooked halibut meat, diced

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese with Worcestershire sauce and green onions. Beat until creamy, adding milk to achieve desire consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently fold in halibut and transfer mixture to an ovenproof casserole dish. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 15-18 minutes or until hot. Serve with cracker or French bread.

More seafood recipes can be found at Fresh Seafood.

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