Did you know?...
- The largest of the flat fish group of species, halibut is a large demersal (lives and feeds on the seabed) species. Found wild in both the cold waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, this fish can grow to mammoth proportions – an average size can be around 180kg.
- This impressive looking large fish is often landed into Peterhead market and then onto Billingsgate, where we see it most days.
- Whole, it is displayed white side up (underside of the fish). A quick glance at this identifies quality straight away as this side of the fish will be a pearlescent white.
- It has much smaller close relations too – plaice and lemon sole are both members of the same fish group and produce similar white textured fillets that are low in fat.
- You are very unlikely to find any small bones on a halibut fillet, so it’s a very good option for someone who is not keen on bones.
- Chef’s love serving it and it is most often found in high-end restaurants and good fishmongers. Its’ popularity as a premium fish has also created a good market for farmed halibut and aquaculture. It is farmed in Iceland, Norway, the UK and Canada.
- The fish is available both fresh and frozen and is cut into fillets and steaks with skin on or off. Due to its size you will be unlikely to see this whole in retail, unlike the smaller members of the same group.
- As halibut is low in fat and is a versatile fish to cook; pan-fried, poached, steamed or grilled. It takes little time to cook through and care needs to be taken to prevent it from drying out during the cooking process.
- It has firm white flaky fillets, delicate with a sweet flavour. Its creamy white flakes take other delicate flavours and it can be easily overpowered. Serve with citrusy butter sauces, simply steamed with some herbs, pan-fry in butter and finish with a few capers. It needs little else.
- The best responsibly sourced option for this fish currently is one that is farmed sustainably.
Billingsgate Seafood School