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Spring brings halibut

STEAMED HALIBUT WITH MANGO TERIYAKI SAUCE Quick cooking fish topped with a palate-pleasing, Asian-style sauce.


Quick cooking fish topped with a palate-pleasing, Asian-style sauce.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: About 10 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (I used Kikkoman brand)

1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock or broth

2 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

- hot Asian-style chili sauce, to taste

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into small cubes

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 tsp finely chopped fresh grated ginger

1 small, ripe mango, peeled and cut into small cubes

4 (5 to 6 oz.) halibut fillets

2 green onions, thinly sliced

Place the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved. Heat the oil in small pot set over medium-high.

Add the bell pepper, garlic and ginger and cook 2 minutes. Pour in the teriyaki sauce mixture, bring to a simmer, and simmer 1 minute until lightly thickened. Stir in the mango, turn the heat to low, cover and reserve sauce until needed.

Get out a large bamboo or stainless steel steamer. Cut a piece of parchment into a round the size of the bottom of the steamer. Poke a few holes in the paper, and then set in the steamer. Set the halibut in the steamer.

Cover the steamer, set over simmering water, and steam until the fish is just cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Plate the fish, top with sauce, sprinkle with green onion, and serve.

Eric Akis is the author of the bestselling Everyone Can Cook series of cookbooks. His columns appear in the Life section Wednesday and Sunday.


Splendid fish, shrimp and asparagus sealed and baked in a flaky crust.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: About 20 minutes

Makes: 2 servings

4 sheets phyllo pastry

2 Tbsp melted butter

2 (4 to 5 oz.) halibut fillets

6 asparagus spears (each about 5-inches long), blanched (see Note)

75 to 100 grams small, cooked salad shrimp, patted dry

- salt and white pepper to taste

1/4 cup white wine

1/3 to 1/2 cup whipping cream

1/2 tsp dried tarragon

1 Tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set a sheet of phyllo on a work surface and lightly butter it. Top with another sheet of phyllo and butter it. Repeat with remaining phyllo. Cut the layered sheets, widthwise, in half.

Set a piece of halibut near the bottom end of each half piece of phyllo. Divide and set some shrimp and asparagus in a tight row alongside the fish. Season all with salt and pepper. Fold the sides of the phyllo slightly over the fish and then roll into a cylinder. Bake 17-18 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed.

While the fish cooks, make the sauce. Place the wine and tarragon in a small pot and simmer until reduced to about 1 Tbsp. Add the cream and simmer until it lightly thickens. Mix in the mustard, season with salt and pepper, and the sauce is ready.

When cooked, serve the fish on a bed of the sauce. If desired, before plating, use a sharp serrated knife and cut each phyllowrapped halibut piece in half at a slight angle.

Note: To blanch the asparagus, cook in boiling water 2 minutes. Drain, cool in cold water, then drain again.


Nicely spiced, quick-cooking fish centres these burgers accented with piquant remoulade sauce.

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: About 6 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

2/3 cup mayonnaise

2 tsp whole grain Dijon mustard

4 sweet mixed pickles, finely chopped

2 tsp capers, finely chopped

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

- pinches dried tarragon and paprika

1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce, or to taste

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb. halibut fillets, skin removed (see Note)

2 tsp Cajun spice, or to taste (see Note)

4 hamburger buns, split and warmed

4 leaves of butter or leaf lettuce

- other garnishes to taste, such as thinly sliced tomatoes, jalapeƱo peppers and onion

Make remoulade by combining the first eight ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Can be made several hours before needed.

Cut the fish into 8, about 3/4-inch thick, slices. Pat the slices dry with paper towel and set on a plate. Season both sides of the fish with Cajun spice.

Heat the oil in large, wide, non-stick skillet set over medium-high. When very hot, add the halibut and fry 3 minutes per side, or until nicely coloured and just cooked through. Spread the bottom half of the buns with remoulade. Set a lettuce leaf on each bottom bun. Set on any desired garnishes and 2 pieces of the fish on each bottom bun. Top the fish with a little more remoulade, if desired. (Any leftover remoulade can be kept for another time.) Set on the top buns and serve.

Note: When choosing the fish, try to pick fillets that are about the same size as the bun you'll stuff them in. Cajun spice is sold at most supermarkets and specialty food stores.


Smoky, grilled fish topped with a flavourful, spring-green, pesto-rich butter.

Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus butter chilling time

Cooking time: 6 to 8 minutes

Make: 4 servings

1/3 cup butter, at room temperature

2 Tbsp store-bought or homemade pesto

1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 (6 to 7 oz.) halibut steaks (about 1 1/2-inch thick), patted dry

2 Tbsp olive oil, plus some for the grill

Place the butter in a small bowl. Mix in the pesto and lemon zest until thoroughly combined. Set a foot-long piece of aluminum foil or plastic wrap on a work surface. Make a 6-inch-long row of the butter down the centre of the foil or plastic wrap. Roll the butter inside the foil or plastic wrap, into a log that's about 1 inch thick. Gently twist the ends of the foil or plastic wrap to seal. Refrigerate butter until firm, at least an hour.

Preheat your indoor or outdoor grill to medium-high. Unwrap the butter and cut, widthwise, into 8 slices. Leave out at room temperature. Brush each halibut steak with olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

Lightly oil the bars of the grill. Grill the halibut 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until just cooked through. Set the fish on heated plates. Top each steak with 2 slices of the butter and serve.