Pan-seared spiced halibut with coconut-chili sauce. Carrot-pepper stir-fry and jasmine rice.


This dish combines my passion for seafood, spices, and Asian cuisine. Halibut, a nutrient powerhouse fish with a delicate sweet flavor, is complimented by cayenne and chili peppers and seared to get the perfect crust. All the components marry over a coconut chili sauce that is spicy, sweet, and a little tangy—all at the same time! 


Coconut-chili sauce (Make Ahead)  

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ½ cup onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemongrass, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Asian red chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 14-ounce can light unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Jasmine Rice

  •  1 cup uncooked jasmine rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
  • 1 scallion white (optional)


  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • ¼ cup scallions, chopped in large chunks
  • 1 small red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 small green bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons ponzu sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil


  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4  halibut fillets (about 1” thick, 5-6 oz each)
  •  2 tablespoons canola oil


Coconut-chili sauce (Make Ahead)  

Heat canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes; add garlic, ginger, and lemongrass and sauté for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently. Add red chili paste, soy and fish sauce, cayenne pepper, and sugar; sauté for about another minute. Add the coconut milk and reduce for about 7-8 minutes or until sauce has reduced by half. Add lemon juice, stir and remove from heat. Can be made ahead and refrigerated for a few hours. Warm up before serving.

Jasmine Rice

In a medium saucepan, combine rice, water, salt (sesame oil, and scallion optional). Set on stove at medium-high heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, stir once, and cover; simmer until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it rest with the lid on. Fluff rice with a fork before serving. 


Heat canola oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté scallions for 1 minute; add carrots and bell peppers to skillet and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add ponzu sauce and sesame oil; remove from heat. Transfer to large shallow bowl.


Combine first 5 ingredients in small bowl; add olive oil and mix to blend. Pat halibut dry and season with marinade, rubbing it all over fish filets.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over moderate high heat; until it is hot but not smoking.  Sauté halibut for about 5-6 minutes on each side until golden and just cooked through in the center (roughly 145˚ F internal temperature). Transfer to plate and keep warm, loosely covered with foil.

  Serve coconut sauce on the bottom of the place. Serve steam rice, halibut, and stir-fry on top of sauce. Sprinkle scallion greens and serve with a lemon wedge.


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