Pan seared Alaska halibut with tamarind sauce is a flavorful dish that you can make quickly. Learn how to make pan-seared Alaska halibut and serve it with a delicious sauce.
We love fish and try to have it at least twice or three times a week. Some of our favorites are Alaska salmon patties , Grilled Halibut with Spicy Mango Salsa and pan-seared cod with shallots and fennel. Today I have this amazing pan-seared Alaska halibut that’s served with a flavorful tamarind sauce. It’s absolutely tasty and everyone loves it!
This post is sponsored by Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. All opinions are mine.
What is the best way to cook Alaska halibut?
Alaska halibut is sweet with delicate flavor and a firm, flaky texture. It maintains it’s shape when cooked and is suitable for all types of cooking methods. Pan-searing is the best way to cook Alaska halibut since the approach is simple, quick and results in a crispy fillet with great flavor and texture.
Pan-seared Alaska halibut with tamarind sauce
This pan-seared Alaska halibut recipe is very simple and easy. Since Alaska halibut has a subtle flavor and will be served with a flavorful tamarind sauce, all you need to season it is salt and pepper.
To make this pan seared Alaska halibut with tamarind sauce you need the following ingredients:
- Alaska halibut
- Tamarind paste
Alaska’s cold, glacier-fed waters produce some of the purest, high-quality seafood in the world, expertly handled for superior taste and quality. That’s why I always ask for Alaska at the seafood counter to make sure I’m getting wild and sustainably caught seafood.
As for tamarind, it comes in two forms: fresh in pods and as a paste. Make sure you get tamarind paste, which comes shaped like a brick and is sold in most supermarkets in the Indian or Middle Eastern aisle. You can also find tamarind online. Tamarind has a sweet-sour flavor that can be used instead or in addition to lemon in many recipes.
How to pan-sear Alaska halibut
Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan and pat dry Alaska halibut fillets on both sides. Sprinkle some kosher salt and black pepper on one side.
Once the oil is hot and shimmery, place the Alaska halibut fillets in the pan, seasoned side down. Sprinkle more salt and pepper on the top side. Pan-sear undisturbed for four to five minutes until it’s golden brown and crispy.
Flip the Alaska halibut fillets and sear the other side for another four minutes until it’s flaky and cooked. Serve warm with tamarind sauce and your favorite side dish.
How to make tamarind sauce for Alaska halibut
Tamarind sauce is pretty easy to make and it can be prepared ahead of time. Making tamarind sauce has four steps:
- Soak tamarind in hot water: place tamarind in a large bowl and pour boiling water on it. Let the tamarind sit in hot water for 10-20 minutes. This step can be as long as one hour.
- Mash the tamarind: using a spoon, mash and mix the tamarind paste into the hot water so the pits and debris are separated.
- Run through a filter: Pour tamarind and water mixture into a sieve placed on top of a pot. Press the paste through the sieve using a spatula to pour the sauce into the pot. All that will be left in the sieve is the pits and debris, which can be disposed.
- Simmer and season: Bring the tamarind sauce to a simmer and add garlic, ginger, paprika, sugar and salt and pepper.
What to serve with pan-seared Alaska halibut
Since Alaska halibut fillets have a subtle flavor and are only seasoned with salt and pepper, they go very well with the sweet and sour tamarind sauce. I usually serve pan-seared Alaska halibut with Greek potatoes. You can also serve them with herb rice, dill rice, garlic mashed potatoes and even homemade pita bread.
Notes and tips to make simple pan-seared Alaska halibut with tamarind sauce
- To make this Alaska halibut recipe, you can use frozen or fresh Alaska halibut. If using frozen, make sure it’s completely thawed before you start cooking.
- Make sure to pat dry the fish before seasoning, which guarantees a nice and crispy sear.
- You can store the leftover tamarind sauce in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week.
- Make sure not to overcook the Alaska halibut in the pan. Each side needs just about 5 minutes to cook.
- I only used olive oil to pan-sear the Alaska halibut fillets, but you can use one tablespoon olive oil and one tablespoon unsalted butter.
Pan-Seared Alaska Halibut with Tamarind Sauce
- 8 oz tamarind paste
- 3 cups boiling water
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
Pan seared halibut
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 Alaska halibut fillets skinless
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Place the tamarind paste in a large bowl.
- Pour hot water on the tamarind paste and let it sit 10-20 minutes. Mix the tamarind paste with water using a spoon. Mash the tamarind paste as much as possible.
- Pour the tamarind and water mixture into a sieve placed on a pot and press through the sieve so only debris and pits are left. You will have a thick tamarind paste in the pot.
- Bring the tamarind paste to simmer over medium heat and add salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, paprika and sugar. Cook for about five to ten minutes. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium high heat.
- Pat dry the Alaska halibut fillets with paper towels and sprinkle salt and pepper on one side.
- Once the oil is hot and shimmery, place the fillets in the pan, seasoned side down and sear, undisturbed for 5 minutes until it's crispy and golden brown.
- Flip and sear the other side for another 4-5 minutes.
- Serve pan seared halibut with tamarind sauce, Greek potatoes and pomegranate arils.
- You can use fresh or frozen Alaska halibut for this recipe.
- Store the leftover tamarind sauce in the fridge in an airtight container for up to seven days.