Delicate in both texture and flavour, halibut can dry out when pan-fried or roasted. Cooking this large flatfish at a low temperature using a sous vide method preserves its natural moisture and delicacy and is less hassle than pan-frying.
- Preheat the water bath to a temperature of 50⁰C.
- Divide the halibut into appropriate portions. A guideline is around 150g per person for a main course.
- Sprinkle with salt and seal inside a vacuum bag with a small amount of olive oil. Use a separate bag for each portion.
- Place in the water bath and leave to cook for 20-30 minutes.
- Once cooked, transfer the halibut from the vacuum bag to a sheet of kitchen paper to drain off the excess moisture. The halibut is now ready to serve and should be eaten immediately.
The soft flavour of halibut works well in combination with stronger seasonings, such as floral fennel pollen or, for a subtle Moroccan taste, ras el hanout. Add any additional seasonings you desire to the halibut before sealing it in the vacuum bag.
You could also try adding lemon, orange or lime peel to the vacuum bag to impart a fresh flavour. However, avoid adding citrus juice as this will partially cure the fish and produce a result that is undesirable.
Pan-frying the halibut immediately after it has cooked in the vacuum bag will give it a delicious crispy finish. Use a non-stick frying pan and cook until the fish is golden brown.
Employing seasonal foraged ingredients, including gorse flowers and wild garlic, Phil Fanning takes this delicate fish for a walk on the wild side in his recipe for halibut with rye crispies. Simon Hulstone, meanwhile, serves his halibut glazed with lardo, parsnip purée and a verjuice and spring onion sauce, creating an intricate dish that would work well as the main at a dinner party.
Recipe courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com