Pan Seared Alaskan Halibut with Ponzu, Lemongrass Sauce, and Lemon Rice Pilaf

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

4 very fresh halibut fillets, skinless, about 6 ounces each

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

Salt and pepper


1 tomato, diced

2 tablespoons chopped chives


1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons ponzu

1 shallot, minced

1/2 cup grapeseed oil

4 cups watercress, washed and picked

Salt and pepper

Lemon Rice Pilaf, recipe follows

Lemongrass Sauce, recipe follows

Lemon Rice Pilaf:

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

1 large onion, diced

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 cups jasmine rice

1/2 cup white wine

3 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Lemongrass Sauce:

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

4 tablespoons minced shallot

1 tablespoon chopped lemongrass

4 tablespoons ponzu (can substitute fresh lemon juice)

2 cup chicken stock

4 large artichoke hearts, blanched and slice in 1/8" slices

2 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper


  1. Combine the salt and pepper on a plate large enough to accommodate the fillets. Dip the halibut in the salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When the oil shimmers, add the halibut and sear, 4 to 6 minutes per side, until brown. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, ponzu, shallot, and grapeseed oil. Toss the vinaigrette with the watercress and season, to taste, with the salt and pepper. 
  3. Plating: Place a ring mold on each plate and fill with the rice. Remove the ring and place an even amount of salad on top of each rice mold. Lay a fillet on top of the salad and drizzle the sauce around the plate. Sprinkle the tomatoes and chives on top of the sauce.

Lemon Rice Pilaf:

  1. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When the oil shimmers, add the onion, ginger, and lemon zest and stir-fry until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring until the rice is opaque, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and allow to reduce by 80 percent. Add the chicken stock, cover the rice with foil and place over the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and sprinkle with the parsley.

Lemongrass Sauce:

  1. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When the oil shimmers, add the garlic, ginger, shallot, and lemongrass and saute, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the ponzu and reduce by 50 percent. Add the chicken stock and reduce again by 50 percent. Puree mixture with immersion blender. Add the artichoke slices and cook several minutes until just tender. Mount the sauce with 2 tablespoons butter and season with salt and pepper.

Cook’s Note

Beverage: 1999 Panther Creek, "Melon" Muscadet, Willamette Valley, Oregon