The largest of the flatfish, halibut have been known to grow as large as 300kg and 4m long in deeper waters. This is a highly esteemed and very tasty fish, with creamy white, firm meaty flesh. It has a compressed oval body with a large mouth. The dark, eye side is a greenish dark brown and the blind side is pure white. Smaller fish of 1 to 3kg are known as ‘baby’ or ‘chick’ halibut, and usually found in shallower waters. The best quality fish and largest (3 - 70kg) are usually caught by line, so the catch is limited, making them more expensive. As well as being found in the North Atlantic, North Sea and the Pacific, halibut is now also being successfully farmed, ensuring this exquisite, nutritious species is available year-round.
Atlantic halibut is not to be confused with Mock, Black or Greenland (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) This is an inferior species and less easily identified – dark brown on both sides and with a slightly gelatinous texture.
Most people agree the best way to cook halibut is simply: poached in a good fish stock or white wine, with the cooking liquors used as a base for a superb sauce (delicate flavours work best). Suprêmes are also good pan-fried – but take care not to over-cook and dry out.
Here are some of the latest recipes for this particular species of fish.
To discover even more tasty meals, be sure to check out our full recipes section for a range of starters, snacks, main meals and sides.