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October 1999 Issue
Surf and Salad
by Philip R. Gantt
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Fried Halibut

To many people, frying is to be avoided as a cooking method. However, if done properly, frying is an excellent method of preparing fish of many types. Halibut, being a firm meat, is well suited to this cooking method. You will find that when halibut is prepared in this manner, the coating seals in the flavor and juices, making for a delightful meal.

First, a few words about the selection of halibut. Fresh is always best. If you happen to live near the coast, fresh halibut may be available during certain seasons. However, most of us don't live close enough to the coast to purchase or catch fresh halibut. If this is your case, look in the frozen food section of your grocery store for fresh frozen halibut steaks. I have found these to be of excellent quality. Frozen halibut steaks should be thawed in a sinkful of cold water for approximately 45 minutes before cooking. The plastic wrapping can be removed after the halibut has thawed.

  • 2 frozen halibut steaks
  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp. lemon pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 pats butter
  • Large skillet with peanut oil 1/4 inch deep
Thaw the halibut steaks, if frozen, in a sink of cold water for 45 minutes. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside. Leftover mix can be stored in a plastic bag for future use as well. When the fish has thawed, remove from the plastic wrapper, rinse and let drain for a few minutes. Heat the oil in the skillet over medium to high temperature.

Bread each of the halibut steaks in the dry mixture so that all sides are covered with a coating of the mixture. After the oil gets hot, carefully place each of the steaks into the oil. Avoid splashing the oil by using a spatula. Allow the steaks to fry for about 4 to 5 minutes using medium high temperature. This should be adequate to lightly brown the coating on the fish. Turn once and fry for an additional 4 minutes. After the steaks are fried, remove with a spatula and allow to drain for 1 minute on a paper towel.

Place the steaks on dinner plates and top with a pat of butter (optional). Garnish the steaks with chopped parsley and serve hot.

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
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