This Oven Poached Curry Halibut dish is super easy and so good. Poaching the fish in the oven keeps it tender and juicy while cooking it evenly all around.
The story behind Oven Poached Curry Halibut
I first had this dish at a food and wine pairing at St. Francis Winery here in Sonoma County. Chef David Bush made it with Corvina sea bass and served it over a spring vegetable succotash. It was delish and paired perfectly with the St. Francis Chardonnay.
Taking the idea home, I thought it would work equally well with halibut. Corvina sea bass, while delicious, is on the "watch" list with both Monterey Fish Watch and Fishwatch.gov so I try to avoid buying it when another fish that is not on the list can be substituted. Wild-caught halibut is a good alternative but you could use any thick, firm, whitefish in this recipe.
Oven Poached Curry Halibut is super easy to prepare and so good. Poaching the fish in the oven keeps it tender and juicy while cooking it evenly all around. When I made this at home, my husband remarked how close it was to a curry chicken dish his mom use to make; that they would then embellish with toasted coconut, chopped peanuts, green onions, golden raisins. I thought this was a fine idea so I served the curry halibut on some plain white rice and added the condiments. It's a keeper!
I used fish stock in the recipe. Making a Fumet or fish stock is not hard, but it is an important first step if you want to get all the flavor you can. I make a batch and keep some portioned in the freezer so it's easy for me. If you don't have any, or can't purchase it in your supermarket, clam juice, or a combination of clam juice and chicken broth could be substituted.
Oven Poached Curry Halibut
- 1 pound halibut sea bass or another firm thick white fish, cut into 4 ounce portions (skin and bones removed please)
- 1 ½ cups Lindy's Fumet (fish stock) or, clam juice
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons fine curry powder I found one at a little farmer's market called lemon curry powder, that was soooo good, but I've made this with others and they turn out good too, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 teaspoon water (to thicken the sauce, optional, but I like a nice thick sauce)
- Optional toppers optional yes, but good none the less
- toasted coconut
- chopped peanuts or cashews
- thinly sliced green onion tops
- golden raisins
- Heat oven to 350º F.
- Place the fish stock, cream, and curry into an ovenproof saute pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Season the fish with salt and pepper (white pepper works well here) and place in the curry mixture, turning to cover the fish with sauce. Cover the pan and pop it into the oven. Cook for 5 - 7 minutes (depending on the thickness of fish) or until JUST cooked through. Do NOT overcook the fish.
- Remove fish, cover lightly with foil. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat and either allow to reduce slightly or add your cornstarch slush. Stir until thickened. Stir in lemon juice.
- Place the fish on top of plain boiled or steamed white rice. Spoon the sauce over and sprinkle with condiments of choice.