Our Most Popular Spiced Halibut Recipe

Fresh Spring Spiced Halibut Recipe: Spiced Halibut over A Gazpacho Vinaigrette

As family and friends have told me, our Spiced Halibut Recipe is as popular today as it was back 15 years ago when I served this up while experimenting in the kitchen. As much as I love meat, it’s fair to say I also adore fish dishes.

An Introduction to The Halibut.

Spring is one of the peak seasons for Halibut; a white fleshed flatfish from the family of the right-eye flounders. This name is derived from Dutch name; heilbot. Halibut are found in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and are a prized, sweet, eating fish. The Latin name; hippoglosus stenlolepis roughly translates to the hippo of the sea. Halibut is the largest member of the flounder family and reaches an age of up to 40 years.

The average weight can be 25 – 30 lb, but they can grow to be as much as 600 lbs. The Halibut is blackish-grey on the top and white on the belly side. Like other flatfish the body is normally slimy, covered with mucus. After they hatch from eggs, the larvae have an eye on each side of their head. As the fish matures the eye moves toward the other side of his head like a flounder. One eye is filled in with pigment to match his dark flesh camouflaging him from prey on the ocean floor. The other eye remains white on the white fleshed side blending in with the light from the sky alluding predators from atop.

Native Americans and Canadian First Nations have enjoyed Halibut for thousands of years. There has been an increased demand for Halibut due to a significant sport fishery in Alaska and British Columbia. Fishermen utilize large fishing rods with weights and often bait with herring or whole salmon heads. Growing up to 8 feet in length, these are an impressive catch.  Alaska has found an improved summer tourism economy with fishermen taking to various lodges and promotions for Salmon and Halibut sport fishing.

The Halibut will feed on any fish that will fit in his mouth but can also feed on crustaceans from the bottom like lobster, crabs, clams, and mussels. So this diet makes the Halibut exceptionally tasty and is very versatile in cooking styles. Halibut steaks and filets are typically broiled, sautéed or lightly grilled while fresh. Many American fish fry establishments will also use this for a premium fish and chips recipe.

Fennel Seared Halibut with Gazpacho Vinaigrette

For a shortcut for the gazpacho you can puree chunky salsa with the vinegar and olive oil

  • 2 6-8 ounce Halibut Filets
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • olive oil as needed
  • ½ cup tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup tomato, diced
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/8 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/16 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 drop Tabasco sauce


  1. Puree the tomatoes, tomato juice, cucumber, onions and vinegar until smooth
  2. Slowly add the oil and season with salt and Tabasco, if too thick add a little water or more tomato juice.
  3. Toast peppercorns and fennel seeds in a dry frying pan until they lightly smoke
  4. Pulse in a coffee grinder or crush with a mallet and combine with salt
  5. Season fish with seasoning mixture and preheat a frying pan over medium high heat
  6. Sear the filets for about 4-5 minutes on each side or until the fish is cooked through
  7. Serve over a pool of prepared vinaigrette


This is a wonderful dish, full of taste and flavors. Ideal for lunchtime with family or friends. Serve alongside a side salad or on a bed of mixed spring greens. Add some sweet potato fries or croutons if you want that little bit of crunch with your lunch.

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