February 1, 2006
Hot Honeyed Halibut
This quick-and-easy recipe comes from Doris Mech, a long-time honey farmer at the Pike Place Market and author of Joy With Honey (St. Martin’s Press, 1997). I like it so much, it’s appeared in both editions of the Pike Place Public Market Seafood Cookbook. You’ll find Doris in the North Arcade on Saturdays, with a wide array of raw honey products, bee pollen, and beautifully carved beeswax sculptures. Her recipe is that classic combination of spicy/sweet/salty, with just a hint of citrus (lemon juice) for acidity. Riesling, one of the most food-friendly of wines (and generally a good bet with Asian dishes), complements these flavors nicely. I’d choose a dry or off-dry style (as opposed to sweet) from a cooler climate, as these wines tend to be lighter on the palate and more floral in character.
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or 1 tablespoon soy sauce plus 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1 1/2 pounds Alaskan halibut fillet, rinsed, patted dry, bones removed, and cut into 4 (6-ounce) pieces
In a small bowl, stir together the honey, Tabasco, soy sauce, and lemon juice, and reserve.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the halibut fillets flesh side down and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook 3 to 5 minutes more, or about 10 minutes per inch of thickness. During the last 2 minutes of cooking time, drizzle the reserved honey mixture evenly over the fillets.
When the fillets just turn opaque, divide them among individual plates and serve immediately.