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Sauteed Halibut with Simmered Tomatoes


Halibut with simmered tomatoes

Halibut with simmered tomatoes

Holly A. Heyser
This is a great summer halibut recipe where you briefly saute the fish in olive oil, then add a little fish stock and vine-ripened tomatoes and serve them both together. It's simple and deeply satisfying. I do this with Pacific or California halibut, but you could also use albacore, swordfish, shark, white seabass or yellowtail. Really good tomatoes are important here, so buy the best. You can use chicken stock if you don't have fish stock. This halibut recipe serves 2-4 as a main course, depending on your appetites.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 1 lb halibut steaks
  • Salt
  • 2-3 large tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fish or chicken stock
  • Flour for dusting
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Salt the halibut steaks well and set aside.

Core and seed the tomatoes, then chop them into pieces about the size of your thumbnail.

Heat a large saute pan over high heat for 1 minute. Turn the heat down to medium-high and add the olive oil.

Dust the halibut steaks in the flour, shake off the excess and place in the pan. Turn the heat down to medium.

Cook the halibut for about 5-8 minutes on the first side. You want it golden brown. If you sense it is cooking too fast and the crust may be burning, you can turn the heat to medium-low. This is a good idea anyway with steaks that are more than an inch thick.

Flip the fish and cook on the other side for 2-4 minutes, depending on its thickness. You want it to be just cooked through. A little undercooked is OK, because the steaks will rest (and continue cooking a bit) while you make the sauce.

When the fish is done, set the steaks aside and add the fish stock. Turn the heat up to high and scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon; this is called deglazing. Grind black pepper over the pan.

Boil down the stock until almost the entire surface of the pan is bubbling, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine.

Cook this for 1-2 minutes, just to heat the tomatoes through.

To serve, pour some of the tomatoes onto each plate and top with the fish -- remember to put the nice golden brown side facing up. I like serving fingerling potatoes with this dish.

Serve with white wine; I'd suggest an Italian Vermentino or Grillo, or a French Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc.

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