Frozen halibut should be cooked without thawing as it tastes fresher than thawed fish. The
secret to successful halibut cookery is to not overcook. Whichever of the following cooking
methods you choose, your halibut will be cooked when the flesh becomes opaque but is still
moist and can easily be pierced with a fork.
Place halibut in a greased baking dish, or wrap in oiled foil and place on a baking sheet.
Brush with melted butter or oil and season
with salt and pepper, or cover with a piquant sauce. Bake in a preheated 450°F
(230°C) oven until done, about 10 minutes for each inch (2.5cm) of thickness.
Rinse halibut fillets or steaks and pat dry with a paper towel. Place fish on a rack above
a baking dish, and brush with melted butter or oil. Preheat broiler and adjust oven rack so
fish is 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10cm) from the element. Broil, turning once, until fish is
opaque but still moist in the center, about 6 to 10 minutes, depending on size of the
Halibut fillets or steaks may be placed directly on a greased grill; Greenland turbot
should be supported by perforated aluminum foil. Grill 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15cm) above
prepared coals or fire. Baste with butter, oil, or marinade and close hood of grill. Cook
until fish is opaque and moist on the inside, about 6 to 8 minutes for fish less than 1-inch
(2.5 cm) thick, and 10 to 15 minutes for fish larger than 1-inch (2.5cm) thick.
Coat halibut with seasoned flour, crumbs, or cornmeal. Shake off any extra coating and fry
in a small amount of hot butter or oil, turning once halfway through cooking time. Cook until
opaque and moist on the inside, 4 to 8 eight minutes.
Pour oil into a wok or deep fryer; it should be at least 1 1/2inches (3.8 cm) deep, and the
cooker should be less than half full of oil. Heat oil to 375°F (190°C), using a
thermometer to monitor temperature. Cut boneless strips into similar sized pieces about 1 1/4
to 1 1/2-inch (3.175 to 3.8 cm) thick. Dip in batter, drain, and then slip pieces into hot
oil. Cook until brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
Bring poaching liquid, consisting of water, broth, and herbs and spices, to a simmer. Slip the halibut in,
then cover pan and keep liquid at a simmer for about 8 minutes per inch (2.5cm) of
Buying and storing tips
Quality halibut is easy to recognize. It smells fresh, like the ocean, and has firm white
flesh. Keep halibut cool on the trip from the market to your house. Never let it stay
unrefrigerated for long.
To store halibut, remove the packaging, rinse fish under cold water, and pat dry with paper
towels. Fish deteriorates when it sits in its own juices, so place it on a cake rack in a
shallow pan filled with crushed ice. Cover with cling wrap or foil and set in the coldest part
of the refrigerator. Halibut will store well this way for up to two days.
When well-wrapped, halibut can be frozen for up to two months in a refrigerator freezer and
three to four months in a deep freeze. Use lined freezer paper, and wrap the fish tightly from
head to tail with at least two layers of paper.
To thaw slowly, unwrap the fish, place in pan, cover, and leave for 24 hours in the
refrigerator. To thaw more quickly, place the whole fish (wrapped in a watertight bag) in a
sink with cool running water, allowing about 30 minutes per pound (450g). For fastest thawing,
use the defrost cycle of your microwave, allowing two to five minutes per pound (450g), with
equal standing time in between zaps (as one minute defrost to one minute resting).
Atlantic halibut, caught mostly as a by-catch of other fisheries, has a delicate flavor and
firm texture. Pacific halibut, caught as far north as Alaska, is milder in taste than Atlantic
halibut. Greenland turbot and California halibut are large flatfish that are often sold as
halibut; they possess softer flesh.
Most halibut is available fresh as steaks, fillets, or roasts; however much halibut has
*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular
nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good
source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily
The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes
only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult
your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any
supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications.