Pan Seared Pacific Halibut in a Lemon and Shallot Reduction

I don’t think much can surpass a well prepared piece of fish. The key is to avoid adding too much. Let the fish be the star.

This is very good with fresh Pacific halibut, but would also work with hake, cod or even salmon. The key is to have a very fresh fish. Since there are not many ingredients, each one needs to be flawless.


1 – 1 1/2 lbs Pacific Halibut Filets, about 1 1/2 – 2 inch thick are perfect.
3 Tbsp Butter
1/2 cup White Wine
2 Tbsp Shallots, thinly sliced
2 whole Cloves
5 Black Peppercorns
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Add the white wine, shallots, cloves and black peppercorns to a small saucepan and gently simmer them for 10 minutes. Strain and set aside. Salt both sides of your halibut filets.

Heat your sauté pan over medium high heat. Try to use one that’s slightly larger than you need, so you don’t crowd the filets. Once the pan is up to temperature, add 2 Tbsp of butter and after it has melted and just started to turn golden, add your halibut filets. Cook for about 3 – 4 minutes, flip and then cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Timing depends on thickness.

Remove the halibut to a heated plate and pour the reserved strained liquid and lemon juice directly into the sauté pan and reduce. Finish the sauce with an additional 1 Tbsp of butter and spoon over the filets and serve immediately.

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