email printOlive Oil Poached Halibut

One of my most favorite things about living in the “Great Northwest” is the vast availability of fresh fish.  When I lived in Nor Cal I’d go to the grocery and NEVER get fish.  It was always frozen and looked hideous.  Since moving to WaWa, I make fish at least once a week.

My favorite place to go for fresh fish is Freshy’s Seafood Market on Mercer Island.  The gentlemen that owns the spot is very knowledgeable and friendly.  They’ve just opened a kitchen off the side, and I can’t wait to try some fish and chips next time I’m in the hood!  So it was there that we picked up a lovely piece of halibut.  I had never had halibut until moving here and now I’m hooked.

I tried the below recipe the other day which I got from Epicurious an it was amazing.  The fish stayed perfectly moist and the veggies came out with a delicious “silky” sweetness to them.  Now, even though it’s cooked in a vat of olive oil, it didn’t taste heavy at all.  I will say, that I used a bit less olive oil so my fish was not submerged, and didn’t end up cooking all the way.  So abide by the directions and submerge that little fishy fish.  If you end up like me and under cook, you can pop her in the oven at 350° for about 7 minutes.  That’s what I did and it was still marvelous.

Olive Oil Poached Halibut

Olive Oil Poached Halibut


  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 3 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, reserving some fronds for garnish, and bulbs (including core) cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 1/2 pound small (1 1/2- to 2-inch) tomatoes (preferably Campari), halved
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 3 (3- by 1-inch) strips orange zest
  • 1 quart extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (2 1/2-pound) piece skinless halibut fillet (about 1 1/2 inches thick

Simmer garlic, fennel bulbs, tomatoes, fennel seeds, sugar, bay leaf, zest, and 1 teaspoon salt in oil, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender but still intact, 30 to 40 minutes.

While vegetables simmer, rub fish with 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and let stand 10 to 20 minutes.

Transfer vegetables to a bowl with a slotted spoon, then submerge fish in oil (if necessary, to lift level of oil, return vegetables to pot) and cover surface of oil with parchment paper. Cook fish over medium heat (without simmering) 5 minutes and remove from heat. Let fish cook from residual heat (still covered with parchment) until just cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes.

Carefully transfer fish to a platter using 2 metal spatulas. Discard bay leaf. Surround with vegetables. Drizzle with some of oil and sprinkle with chopped fronds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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2 Responses to Olive Oil Poached Halibut

  1. mikerosss says:

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