Published March 1, 2002.
Is it possible to cook halibut steaks that have plenty of flavor and are both tender and moist—and do it quickly?
Chefs often choose to braise halibut instead of pan-roasting or sautéing because this moist-heat cooking technique keeps the fish from drying out. The problem is that braising doesn't allow for browning, therefore producing a fish that the test kitchen considers bland-tasting.
We didn't want to make any compromises on either texture or flavor, so we set out to develop a technique for pan-roasting halibut that would produce perfectly cooked, moist, and tender fish.
Use a two-step process to boost flavor and preserve moisture: Brown the fish in olive oil on the stovetop in a heavy ovenproof skillet (but on one side only to prevent overcooking), then put the fish in the oven to finish cooking. This common restaurant technique results in perfectly cooked fish with a lot of flavor. To complement the lean fish, pair the halibut with flavored butter or vinaigrette.list of recipes