By Hana Medina
WHEN PLANNING memorable meals,
go-to entrées typically lean toward beef, pork
or poultry. But there are many reasons to turn
to seafood. With halibut season in full swing,
this sustainable, healthy and versatile fish will
make you wonder why you haven’t reeled it
into your kitchen sooner.
Packing a nutritional punch
Statistically speaking, halibut probably
Another key: sustainability
isn’t your go-to fish, despite its listing on high-
end restaurant menus. Its limited seasonality
and smaller runs have made this fish more
expensive compared with other fresh species.
Linda Cornish, executive director of the
national nonprofit Seafood Nutrition Partner-
ship ( seafoodnutrition.org), tells The Connection
that the average American eats less than a half
pound of halibut per year, if at all. “Eating sea-
food twice a week reduces heart disease risks
by 36 percent,” says Cornish. “And only 1 in 5
Americans follow this dietary guideline.”
Nonetheless, halibut packs a nutritional
punch. “Halibut is very high in protein, vita-
mins, minerals and essential omega- 3 fatty
acids,” says Cornish, who cites U.S. Department
of Agriculture statistics. She adds that it’s a
good source of selenium, magnesium, vita-
mins B12 and B6, as well as many other vita-
mins and minerals. It’s also high in protein,
with 23 grams in just 3 ounces.
Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch
Catching and storing
program ranks Pacific Ocean halibut as a “best
choice” sustainable fish or a “good alternative,”
based on fishing methods and population
controls. (Costco sources the majority of its
wild halibut from Alaska, with a small per-
centage coming from Canada.)
Ben Smith, Costco member and owner
and executive chef of the seafood restaurant
Tsunami Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee,
says: “[Fish] should have a firm texture [and]
consistent color. In the case of halibut, it should
be fairly snowy white. No discoloration. Sometimes when it’s freezer-burned, it will have
some discoloration or it’ll start to flake apart.”
Smith adds that fish shouldn’t smell fishy,
but more like cucumber or the ocean.
Cornish advises not to refreeze previously
frozen fish for food safety reasons. If you don’t
plan to cook the fish right away, purchase frozen portions and thaw at your convenience.
Store fresh fish in its original packaging
in the coldest part of the fridge. Fresh fish
should be cooked by the use-by date, but
Cornish recommends cooking it within 36
hours of purchase. Commercially frozen halibut can be stored in the freezer for 10 to 12
months on average.
Fresh fish tends to intimidate many home
cooks, but Smith says there is no need to shy
away from halibut. “[Halibut is] delicate, but it
is firm enough that you can grill it, you can
sauté it, you can poach it; it’s pretty versatile in
Overcooking fish is a common mistake.
Smith suggests using a metal or bamboo
skewer to poke the cooking halibut; if it goes
through without resistance, it’s done. And
while many recipes have you flip halibut half-
way through cooking, Smith says it’s not nec-
essary; just cook it on one side to prevent the
chance of it tearing during a flip.
Smith also says not to overpower the
fish with sauce; let the flavor shine through.
“Halibut loves acidic [sauces], whether it’s vin-
egar or especially citrus. You can go with a
classic lemon caper butter sauce. That’s a sauce
you can build right in your pan after you sear
the fish. Take [the fish] out, throw in some
chopped shallots, white wine, a squeeze of
lemon, and hit it with a handful of capers and
chopped parsley, and just give it a pat of butter
and swirl that around, and you have a sauce.”
Whether you’re planning for Easter, Lent
or Passover, or simply looking for a good sea-
food dinner, consider casting your shopping
list toward halibut. This nutritious option is
sure to be a winning catch. C
Make a splash at
your dinner table
The Costco Connection
Costco warehouses carry fresh, skinless,
boneless halibut fillets in the meat department. Look for Kirkland Signature™ Wild
Alaskan Halibut and other frozen fish options
in the warehouse and on Costco.com.
IRIDIO PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO
with Pesto Cream Sauce
4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless halibut fillets
1½ teaspoons sea salt, divided
1½ teaspoons black pepper, divided
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup Kirkland Signature Cashew Clusters,
1½ cups heavy cream
½ cup pesto
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup coconut oil
Preheat oven to 325 F. Season halibut with
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Assemble
3 small shallow dishes. Combine flour and
remaining salt and pepper in first dish. Add egg
to the second and chopped cashews to the third.
Dredge whole fillets in flour, shaking off excess.
Dip one side in egg, then nuts, pressing gently.
Place on a baking sheet, nut side up. Cover and
refrigerate 20 minutes.
In a small saucepan, combine cream, pesto
and Parmesan. Simmer over medium heat until
reduced by half.
In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat,
heat coconut oil. When oil is hot, add fish, nut
side down. Cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes per
side. Transfer to a clean baking sheet, nut side
up. Bake 6 or 7 minutes. Place fish on 4 plates.
Drizzle with sauce. Makes 4 servings.
Recipe from Fabulous Food The Costco Way (go to
Costco.com and click “Recipes The Costco Way”).