Health Resources

Cilantro Crusted Halibut with Sambal and Wasabi

We came across the base for this recipe about 10 years ago. Since then we have experimented with many variations, and this is the one that we believe is the real standout.  Fresh Wild Caught Alaskan Halibut is a lovely fleshy fish that holds its structure but is able to take in dramatic flavors with ease.  The lightness of the fish with lime and cilantro sing to the spicy tunes of the sambal olek and wasabi.  Serve with coconut rice, some avocado and papaya slices, and a butter lettuce salad with pomegranate seeds and pistachio nuts.


For Sambal Vinaigrette
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine (not seasoned)
  • 4 teaspoons sambal oelek (Southeast Asian chile sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive or avocado oil
  • dash of soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten free alternative)
For Wasabi Cream
  • 3 tablespoons wasabi paste (Japanese green horseradish)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Dash of soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten free alternative)
For Halibut
  • 1 (2-lb) fresh wild caught halibut steak (1 1/2 inches thick), skinned, boned, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Optional Garnish: pickled ginger, lime wedges and cilantro sprigs


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 2. Make vinaigrette:
  • Blend vinaigrette ingredients in a blender or whisk until smooth.
3.  Make cream:
  • Whisk ingredients together until well blended.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve
4.  Make halibut:
  • Pat fish dry and marinate in 1/2 of the sambal vinagrette for 30 minutes.  Remove marinade and pat dry.  Season lightly with soy sauce and pepper. Sprinkle 1 side of each piece with cilantro.
  • Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over high heat until hot. Add oil, then fish, cilantro sides up. Sear fish until undersides are browned, about 1 minute.
  • Carefully turn fish over and put skillet in middle of oven. Roast until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Serve fish, cilantro sides up, with a spoonful of each sauce.
  • Optionally garnish with ginger, lime and cilantro sprigs
Makes 4 servings
Adapted by RSMiller from Gourmet Aug 2000 Highland’s Garden Cafe, Denver, CO