Halibut is the name given to the two flatfishes from the right-eye flounder family. We are not getting into how they got those names right now, but know that these fishes have their homes at the bottom of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans. Halibut is such an incredible fish and it is really good to eat.
What does halibut taste like? Halibut is very mildly flavored, and it has a taste that is quite similar to clams or crabs. The mild gentle flavor of the halibut makes it perfect for pairing with a strong seasoning. Halibut has a mild white flesh that you can compare to that of the tilapia, but the flesh is very much thicker than codfish.
Halibut has a very satisfying taste that puts it on the list of one of the more desirable tasting seafoods.
Nutritional Benefits of Halibut
Generally, fish is nutritious. For years, halibut has been the major source of protein in the coastal areas of the Canadian First Nation and Alaska Natives. To date, it is well renowned for its outstanding nutritional value.
There is no recommended daily intake for omega-3 fatty acids but it is speculated that an intake of 1.1 grams and 1.6 grams for women and men respectively can help keep heart-related diseases away. A half fillet serving of halibut holds about 1.1 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, so halibut could be good for your heart.
Heart-related disease is the leading cause of death in men and women worldwide. Eating halibut regularly will help to keep our hearts healthy and our bodies alive. Omega-3 acids are also great for brain development in babies and fetuses, so halibut is great in moderation for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
Halibut contains niacin, triglycerides, and a high selenium content that all plays huge roles in increasing HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and reducing LDL cholesterol (the bad kind). They also help to take care of inflammation, reduce oxidative stress, and further reduce the risk of heart diseases. Halibut is good for the body, but it comes with some concerns.
There are concerns about mercury poisoning when it comes to halibut. Mercury is naturally found in water and is poisonous. Fishes like halibut could be exposed to low concentrations of mercury due to water pollution and the metal can continue to build up in their bodies over time. Fishes that have a long life span often have high mercury levels. Eating moderate amounts of fish with mercury in them is safe, as the nutrients they contain outweigh the risk.
Culinary Uses of Halibut
In the kitchen, halibut is a very versatile fish. It can be fried, broiled, poached, grilled, smoked, seared, or steamed. However, please take note that halibut is not a very oily fish, so when cooking on an open fire, be careful, so it doesn’t dry out or burn.
One of our favorite dishes is a simple pan seared halibut recipe from More Than Meat & Potatoes blog. The recipe uses basic techniques in the kitchen that are easy to follow. Searing is a great option for cooking halibut as it can really lock-in some of the natural juices while also providing a crispy outside taste!
Halibut isn’t just loved among culinary circles because of its taste. Many people love halibut because it doesn’t have what they refer to as a fishy flavor. The meat from halibut can be subtly sweet, depending on how you cook it, it can have a melt in your mouth feel.
Halibut pairs perfectly well with vegetable side dishes. You can expect it to make perfect sense when paired with a starchy vegetable like squash, parsnips, or potatoes. With grilled asparagus or cauliflower, halibut doesn’t taste bad either. Halibut does well with strong seasoning; its mild flavor is easily overpowered and the fish itself is flavorful due to high sodium and potassium levels in the muscles.
In some parts of Europe, smoked halibut is readily available or is used to prepare a creamy fish salad. Halibut goes well with rice, and herbs like pesto. It can also be paired with tropical fruits like pineapples, it also works with limes and lemons, and goes well with marinades.
What Does Halibut Look Like? Where Can You Procure it?
Halibut is blessed with looks, but they can be enormous. Halibut can grow up to nine feet and weigh more than 400 pounds. When you catch them, you encounter a thick layer of fat, before you get to the meat below. They resemble sharks and usually have a gray or dark brown color. If you are worried about sustainability, it should please you to know that you can eat halibut in place of sharks. It is more environmentally friendly and the meat feels similar.
The eyes of the halibut are positioned almost at the top of their heads so that they can prey on other fishes and small squids from below. It has a thin mouth that it closes by compressing its lower and upper jaws together. You want to catch one yourself, you can fish for them in the deep seas of Alaska.
Why is Halibut Expensive?
Among circles, it is argued whether halibut is the best-tasting fish in the world. With this kind of reputation, it should be no surprise if you find that halibut is the most expensive fish on sale. However, other factors affect the prices of halibut. Its price can be affected by the management practices present in your area. Management practices aim to reduce the harvesting of different species of fish, so their population can be controlled, and they don’t go extinct.
Read our other article for more details on why halibut are so expensive.
Management practices affect supply and demand, coupled with the fact that halibut is a highly sought-after fish, so it commands a premium price anywhere you come across it.
Facts You Don’t Know About Halibut
- Catching halibut is not an easy process because fishermen always have to fish for it in foggy weather. The weather affects the fishing process because the fishermen rely solely on sight to fish.
- When fishing for halibut, they can spend more than an hour on the fishing line before they are pulled from the water. They take more fishing hours from fishermen than many other types of fish.