A Guide to Buying and Cooking Halibut

FoodNetwork-Fish7/13/06

Photo by: Theresa Raffetto ©Theresa Raffetto

Theresa Raffetto, Theresa Raffetto

Halibut, the largest flatfish in the ocean, grows up to 9 feet long. Closely related to flounder, these fish are wide, flat bottom-dwellers that swim on their sides and have both eyes on the same side of their body.

They can grow to be up to 600 pounds, but their weight averages about 5 to 10 pounds. Halibut meat is lean, white, dense and finely textured. It is tender and mild flavored when cooked.

Halibut is available farm-raised or, sometimes, wild. Alaska produces about 80 percent of Pacific halibut, and peak season runs from April through October. It is sold whole, as fillets or steaks, usually without its edible, but not very tasty, skin. At the market, look for white, glossy flesh, avoiding any cuts that look dull, yellowish or dried out. Halibut also retains moisture well when frozen.

It can to be prepared using a variety of cooking methods such as sautéing, grilling, broiling, roasting, steaming or poaching, but the lean meat dries out quickly if overcooked. Similar fish include sea bass, snapper or grouper.

Halibut Recipes

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