Steamed alaskan halibut recipe

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  • Yield: 4 Servings


For the Cipollinis
  • 2 cups (1 pint) water
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons raw turbinado sugar, or packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 6 juniper berries
  • 1 star anise
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 16 cipollini onions
For the Halibut
  • 2 large bunches of scallions or other green onions
  • 4 (4-ounce) halibut fillets
  • Kosher salt and ground white pepper
For the Leek Emulsion
  • 1 medium leek, greens trimmed to about 3 inches
  • ½ medium onion
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon roasted garlic puree
  • ¼ teaspoon squid ink, optional
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and ground white pepper
  • Tiny beet greens, chard or pok choi leaves, mustard leaves, or small salad greens, for the finished dish
  • Borage or chive blossoms, optional, for the finished dish
  • Smoked coarse-ground or flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, optional, for the finished dish
How to Make It
    To Prepare the Cipollini Onions
  1. Combine the water, vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, fennel, mustard and coriander seeds, juniper berries, star anise, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onions and cook 1 minute. Turn off the heat and let the onions sit until cool. If making them well ahead, spoon into a lidded jar with the pickling liquid and refrigerate them until needed.
  3. To Start the Halibut
  4. Prepare an ice bath.
  5. Blanch the scallion tops in boiling water for about 30 seconds. Immediately shock them in the ice bath.
  6. Cut the tops just over 4 inches long.
  7. Lay a 12-inch square of plastic wrap on a work surface.
  8. Lay out ¼ of the scallion tops on the plastic wrap slightly overlapping and just longer than a portion of the halibut.
  9. Season the fish with salt and pepper.
  10. Center a fillet over the scallion tops and roll them together into a tight tube, occasionally poking the plastic wrap with a cake tester or toothpick to let out excess air.
  11. Tie off each end of the tube with kitchen string and refrigerate until shortly before cooking. Repeat with more plastic wrap and the remaining halibut and scallion tops.
  12. To Prepare the Charred Leek Emulsion
  13. Char the outside of the leek and onion over a stovetop burner on high heat, 8–10 minutes.
  14. Place the leek, onion, egg yolks, garlic, and the optional squid ink in a blender. Puree.
  15. Once you have a smooth mixture, add the oil in a slow steady stream until the mixture emulsifies.
  16. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.
  17. Putting it all Together
  18. Place an Asian bamboo steamer or metal vegetable steamer over simmering water. Place the plastic-wrapped halibut pieces in the steamer. Cook through, about 8 minutes. Remove one halibut fillet and unwrap it to check that it is flaky at the center, using a small knife blade. If not, return to the steamer for an additional 1–2 minutes.
  19. Meanwhile, warm the pickled cipollinis and charred leek emulsion. Spread the leek emulsion, with an offset spatula or spoon, across the center of each of 4 plates.
  20. When the halibut is ready, use a sharp knife to cut a thin slice off of each end of the plastic-wrapped fish. Unroll each halibut section from the plastic, so that you have 4 very pretty green wrapped white fillets. Place a fillet on the leek emulsion on each plate, then scatter with cipollinis. Garnish with greens and maybe a blossom or 2 or a few grains of smoked sea salt. Serve right away.

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