Why do tourists visit Ketchikan, Alaska? Some may argue that it’s the vistas, or because of its backyard playground, the wildlife, the rich culture, or even the…..weather?! No it’s definitely not because of the weather. Ketchikan is one of the wettest places in the country averaging 153 inches per year, but I’ll let you in on a little secret as to why people DO come to Ketchikan; it’s because of the FISHING!
There is good reason that Ketchikan is dubbed the Fishing Capital of the World, not only for the plentiful salmon, but for the industry that revolves around it. But you cannot come to Ketchikan and not think about the almighty halibut!
The halibut is one of Alaska’s most sought after game fish. Some may think it has to do with the fight, but I beg to differ. In my opinion, it’s because of its deliciousness! And if you’ve ever had fresh halibut, I think you’d agree.
There are numerous ways to prepare halibut, but the first thing you need to know about preparing halibut is that it has very little oil in the meat causing it to dry out faster than most fish. Try using a marinade of olive oil or butter to help aid in moisture retention. Stay away from acidic marinades as it will cause the meat to breakdown and become mushy.
Here are the top 5 ways to cook halibut
1. Grilled Halibut
Grilling is a great way to prepare fresh (non-frozen) halibut, and my preferred method after a day out on the water. Fresh halibut needs very little seasoning so be sure to use a marinade that won’t overpower the natural flavor.
2. Baked Halibut
Baking is by far the quickest and easiest way to prepare halibut. Cook it by itself by coating a casserole dish with olive oil or butter and lightly seasoning or combine it with other ingredients for that one-of-a-kind taste; the recipes are endless. (By the way, my wife makes a mean halibut lasagna).
3. Pan Seared Halibut
Pan searing halibut is a favorite in our household. Giving the outside of the halibut a nice blackened crust is a great way to add a little something special. Throw a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and sear for about 6 minutes, flip and add a couple tablespoons of butter and sear for another 6 minutes and voila! This is a great way to prepare fish tacos!
4. Deep Fried Halibut
A classic. You can never go wrong with deep fried halibut, especially if it’s beer battered. Cut fish into chunks, batter and deep fry at 375 degrees until golden brown. I fry in peanut oil due to its high smoking point, clean taste, and the fact that it’s healthier for you.
5. Halibut Ceviche
Did I say baking was the easiest way to prepare halibut? I take that back. Ceviche! Although more time consuming, it is quite easy… and delicious! Cut the halibut into small, bit sized pieces and cover in lime juice for up to a couple of hours. Drain and add your favorite vegetables. Fantastic!