3.15.18

Alaska isn’t the first place we’d expect to find a foodie like Maya Wilson. Harsh weather and general remoteness pose plenty of limitations to culinary ambition. But, for this food blogger and photographer, the lifestyle of ‘less’ is exactly what makes her cooking so satisfying.

Inspired by life in Alaska, Maya’s new cookbook, Alaska From Scratch, is filled with simple dishes like this poached halibut that are maxed out with flavor and nourishment. Fresh local ingredients combine with a few go-to pantry staples – coconut milk, chicken broth and curry paste – for all the makings of a true weeknight staple. 

When I surveyed my readers on social media asking them which of my dishes needed to be included in the cookbook, this one was at the top of the list. One reader even won a cooking competition using this recipe! Giving the halibut fillets a quick gentle poach in this coconut curry broth prevents them from getting overcooked and dried out. I recommend serving this over steamed jasmine rice to soak up all of the lovely broth.

Poached Halibut in Thai Coconut Curry
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 large bunch greens, such as spinach, Swiss chard, or kale
salt and ground black pepper
3 shallots, chopped
2 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
1⁄2 tsp sugar
4 fillets (4–6 oz each) wild Alaska halibut
1⁄4 cup cilantro, chopped
1⁄4 cup sliced green onions (cut on the bias)
juice of half a lime

For serving:
cilantro, chopped
green onions, sliced
2 cups steamed jasmine rice (optional)
1⁄2 lime, cut into wedges

Directions:

In a deep skillet with a lid, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the greens to the pan and season them generously with salt and pepper. Toss the greens in the oil until they just begin to wilt down and tenderize. Remove the greens to a bowl, cover to keep warm, and set aside. Wipe out the moisture from the pan and return to the heat.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Cook the shallots, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, or until tender and fragrant. Add the curry paste, chicken broth, coconut milk and sugar. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the curry is reduced by half. Taste for seasoning and add salt, if needed.

Season the halibut fillets lightly with salt. Place them into the broth, spooning some of the broth over the top. Cover the pan and poach the fillets for 5 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fillets), or until cooked to medium-rare to medium, being very careful not to overcook (halibut dries out quickly, and we want to avoid that).

Distribute the sautéed greens evenly among 4 serving bowls. Carefully place a halibut fillet on top of each bed of greens.

To the curry broth, stir in the cilantro, green onions and lime juice. Ladle some of the broth over each of the halibut fillets. Garnish with additional cilantro and green onions. Serve with steamed jasmine rice, if desired, and lime wedges.

Learn all the best ways to prep our other fave fish, wild salmon – with this simple cooking guide.

Poached Halibut in Thai Coconut Curry
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 large bunch greens, such as spinach, Swiss chard, or kale
salt and ground black pepper
3 shallots, chopped
2 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
1⁄2 tsp sugar
4 fillets (4–6 oz each) wild Alaska halibut
1⁄4 cup cilantro, chopped
1⁄4 cup sliced green onions (cut on the bias)
juice of half a lime

For serving:
cilantro, chopped
green onions, sliced
2 cups steamed jasmine rice (optional)
1⁄2 lime, cut into wedges

Directions:

In a deep skillet with a lid, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the greens to the pan and season them generously with salt and pepper. Toss the greens in the oil until they just begin to wilt down and tenderize. Remove the greens to a bowl, cover to keep warm, and set aside. Wipe out the moisture from the pan and return to the heat.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Cook the shallots, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, or until tender and fragrant. Add the curry paste, chicken broth, coconut milk and sugar. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the curry is reduced by half. Taste for seasoning and add salt, if needed.

Season the halibut fillets lightly with salt. Place them into the broth, spooning some of the broth over the top. Cover the pan and poach the fillets for 5 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fillets), or until cooked to medium-rare to medium, being very careful not to overcook (halibut dries out quickly, and we want to avoid that).

Distribute the sautéed greens evenly among 4 serving bowls. Carefully place a halibut fillet on top of each bed of greens.

To the curry broth, stir in the cilantro, green onions and lime juice. Ladle some of the broth over each of the halibut fillets. Garnish with additional cilantro and green onions. Serve with steamed jasmine rice, if desired, and lime wedges.


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