Halibut is such a summertime treat. Our local fishermen don’t manage to catch the local fluke halibut until the weather gets hot. It’s also a fish that does beautifully on the grill. Go outside and cook some up!


Fisherman Don Mosby 

Ginger Sesame Halibut with Spicy Watermelon Pickles from The Year in Food

Grilled Halibut with Yuzu Kosho Cream and Pickled Red Onions from Akiko Moorman

How to care for fresh halibut

Halibut wrap-up with other halibut ideas




Forget the halibut and eat some more salmon

We have local fluke halibut this week! Okay, so the halibut that came in was NOT good. I am in Portland to celebrate the thirtieth birthday of my best friend and raise a Shirley Temple in honor of her new business. I got a phone call from a longtime fish plant buddy telling me that the halibut was “no bueno” but we have pretty salmon. Okay, so salmon again it is. I hope that no one will be sad about that. I plan on giving the halibut another go next week.

If you are ever in the Portland area you should check out Nourish Northwest. They will be offering nutrition counseling, cooking classes, and all kinds of exercise options. I am writing this from their beautiful new studio and kitchen. It’a a wonderful place to be.

My cousin Kelin will be handling delivery duties this weekend. Say hello and ask him how he likes being a fishmonger in training.


See the previous post for salmon links!

Halibut Wrap-up

As always, I am completely impressed with what my subscribers do with their fish. Good job team!

Here’s a very brief Twitter rundown:

@girardinl Here’s the rosemary crusted halibut w/ preserved lemon, tomato & chick pea stew I made http://bit.ly/pp7Q4L w/halibut from Siren SeaSA

@gharp halibut is delish as lemon juiced ceviche on bed of cabbage, spinach, & purslane w/toasted sesame on top + chili soy ginger side

@nicolelafave Our Siren SeaSA halibut marinates … http://yfrog.com/nwectsj


It all looks fantastic and sounds fantastic!



Know Your Source: California Halibut from Don Mosby

Halibut week is here again! I have a feeling I won’t hear any complaints about that. I got our fish from Mr. Don Mosby, the man that caught the delicious halibut last round. Don reeled in a 25 pounder this morning, and that made it so that we would have enough fish tomorrow. I put a video of that hard to fillet monster fish, dubbed El Grande, up on the Siren SeaSA Facebook page. I wasn’t sure that we would have enough fish until 2:00 when the fish arrived and I could get accurate weights. Up until that point, I was pondering going to my plan B. If there is anything that I have learned being in the fish business, it’s that having a plan B is mandatory and having a plan C is advisable. Plan A came through and we have beautiful fish!

Since we HAVE been here before, I will post some links to past halibut posts. I posted a fresh new recipe on the blog earlier this week. I hope you try it!

Here is a link to care instructions for fresh halibut.

Here is a link to the recipe that I posted for halibut in July.

Here is a link to a bit of background information on Don Mosby.

Ginger Sesame Halibut with Spicy Watermelon Pickles

I LOVE PICKLED EVERYTHING. Always. Pickles might be the great food love of my life. I spent 45 minutes in the pickle section of Asia Mart in Santa Rosa today, and I bought three mystery jars of pickled vegetable-looking stuff. I have since determined that one jar is spicy pickled baby bok choy, but the other two jars are still pickled mystery roughage. I will finish them all before the week is over, and I will love every mysterious salty bite.

Photo by Kimberley Hasselbrink http://theyearinfood.com/

When I see a recipe that calls for a new pickled item, I jump on it. Spicy watermelon pickles? IN! This recipe also appealed to me because I happen to know that all of Kimberley Hasselbrink’s recipes on The Year in Food are delicious. I know this because I am lucky enough to be able to call her my friend, and she feeds me. We had an impromptu oyster, rosé, and pickle party on her sunny veranda last month. SO MUCH FUN. Siren early adopters will remember her work from last round. Her blog is gorgeous and you should be reading it. I made this for dinner tonight and I highly recommend that you make it this weekend. Kimberley asked me to mention that the pickles are optional. I am of the opinion that pickles are NEVER optional, but hey, that’s just me.


Ginger Sesame Halibut with Spicy Watermelon Pickles

marinade adapted from Real Simple
Serves 2

For the fish:

1/2 pound halibut
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon chile flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
4 ounces watercress, rinsed
2 teaspoons Balsamic vinegar
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
shichimi-togaroshi or gomasio, garnish
chopped fresh chervil, garnish

For the pickles:

watermelon rind, enough to fill a quart jar, green outer peel removed
2 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoon sugar
2 cups rice vinegar
1 cup water
2 teaspoons chile flakes

Photo by Kimberley Hasselbrink http://theyearinfood.com/

First, make the pickles. Prep the watermelon rind by removing any red flesh and peeling away the tough outer rind. Slice into bite-size chunks.

Bring the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and chili flakes to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for five minutes, then remove from heat.

Have your canning jars cleaned and filled with hot water until you’re ready to put the rinds in.

Fill your canning jars with watermelon rind. (A single quart jar or smaller pint jars will work great.) Pour the hot brine over the watermelon. Let sit until the brine has cooled, then refrigerate. These pickles need to sit at least overnight to develop, but giving them a couple of days is even better.

Next, prepare the fish. Combine the toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, chile flakes and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add the fish to the marinade. Marinate for no more than twenty minutes – any longer and the halibut will lose its firm texture.

You can either grill the halibut over a medium hot grill, about four minutes per side, or pan-fry over a medium-hot flame in a skillet for the same amount of time. In either context, start halibut with the skin side down.

Toss the watercress with oil and vinegar.

To plate: divide the watercress between two plates. Top each with one half of the halibut. Garnish with a few watermelon pickles. Enjoy.

Keep it COLD

Your halibut will come in four 8oz skin on fillets.  There should not be any bones, but please be careful.  When you get the fillets home, rinse them off, put them in a new bag, and put them on ice.  Seafood quality control people (this girl right here) LOVE ice.  You absolutely know that your fish is being held at an internal temperature just shy of freezing when it is on ice.  In your refrigerator without ice?  Things are a lot less certain.  You should be able to keep the halibut fresh without freezing for six days.  If you plan on waiting any longer than that, freeze the fillets.  They will thaw beautifully and then they will be sashimi grade!

If you plan on eating the halibut raw, please be aware that there is a risk of parasites and their larvae in raw wild fish.  You can freeze the fish to kill the parasites, or you can fully cook the fish.  I went the fully cooked route and grilled up my hunk of halibut following Akiko Moorman’s recipe (posted on this blog).

See you tomorrow!

Know Your Source: California Halibut from Don Mosby

This week is a bit of a dream.  I asked one fisherman for halibut, he went out in his little boat on Thursday and Friday and caught the exact amount of halibut I need.  That NEVER happens.  Let’s all bask in the perfection.  The fish are insanely fresh. Most have been out of the water for less than 24 hours.  More perfection and more basking, please.

Don Mosby has been fishing for thirty years,  commercially for the last ten.  Don likes to be out in his boat with his cute dog Silly every day that he can.  He said that this week’s fishing was mediocre due to strong currents, but the weather was beautiful so the trip was enjoyable.  Don was late getting to the plant, so I was pacing around the yard worrying that he wouldn’t make it in time to for the fillet crew to work their magic.  If he had been an hour later, it would have been me cutting the fish.  Trust me, no one wants that to happen.

Don made it, and my buddy Jose unloaded 20 beautiful fish from the cooler.  This halibut looked like it was still swimming.  I was so excited I high-fived Jose and Don while doing a little happy dance.  You will probably do the same happy dance when you eat this fish.   It is dance-worthy and I’m excited to share it with you.

Grilled Halibut with Yuzu Kosho Cream & Pickled Red Onion

I just made this for dinner and DEVOURED it.  I think I want to put Yuzu-kosho cream on everything I eat for the rest of my life.  Also, I love anything pickled ALWAYS, so this recipe is a dream come true.  Chef Akiko Moorman made my halibut dreams come true.  That needs to be on a t-shirt.

I was lucky enough to be Akiko’s roommate at Eat Retreat.  I knew I liked her style when I saw her prep a pig for the spit, but it was love when saw her nightstand covered in knives.  My Eat Retreat bedmate (Yep, we shared a giant bed.) is quite impressive.

From her website:

“Born in Juneau, Alaska, Akiko Moorman is a chef, restaurant consultant, food stylist, and planner of kick-ass food events. She’s worked at Manhattan restaurants like Momofuku and Freemans, food styled for Seasons 1 & 2 of IFC’s Dinner with the Band and appeared on the Cooking Channel’s Foodography with Mo Rocca. She enjoys serving dinners on farms, at museums and on rooftops, retrofitting Home Depot products into smokers, and cooking whole animals on a spit. A long time New Yorker, Akiko moved to Philadelphia in 2010 to be the chef de cuisine at Speck; she’s currently restaurant consulting for three restaurants, as well as running Philly’s annual 2nd St Festival.”

We are so lucky to have her write a recipe for Siren, especially since the 2nd St Festival happens this Sunday!

I love that you get a sense of Akiko’s sass when you read this recipe.  Try it out and let me know what you think!


Grilled Halibut with Yuzu Kosho Cream and Pickled Red Onion

Grilling halibut alway feels like the right thing to do as it is hearty enough to take the direct heat, it also benefits from the smoky char. Or maybe it just reminds me of Alaska and home. If someone bought you some of those fancy cedar planks for grilling, use them with this fish! But before you grill, make everything else first. If you have never used Yuzu Kosho, it is an amazing condiment. It made with the rind of the Yuzu citrus fruit and hot pepper. The balance is remarkable.
You will need:
Halibut (duh)
White Pepper
Red Onion
Rice Vinegar
Creme Fraiche (homemade is best)
First, cut the onion very thin or use a Japanese mandolin. Use a little warm water to dissolve 2 Tb of Sugar and Salt. Add the sliced Red Onion and cover with Rice Vinegar. Let this sit for at least 20 – 30 minutes or until the onions take on a pretty color.
For the Yuzu-kosho cream, put about a 1/2 a cup of creme fraiche in a small bowl. Mix in 1Tb of Yuzu-kosho. Taste it. Isn’t it dericious? I can say that. I’m a hapa. If you like spicy, add a little more.
Now, fire up that grill. If you are using the cedar planks make sure you have soaked them overnight. Otherwise you will ruin Anna’s beautiful fish. If you are not, no worries, a little color on Halibut is incredible. Season the fish with salt and white pepper. Medium to high heat, grill the fish for about 4 minutes per side, skin side first. I would recommend using a cake tester to check if the center is warm.
Now to plate. A little dab of the Yuzu-kosho on the plate, fish on top and garnish with the pickled red onion. Now you have a dish with a little bit of heat, a little acidity from the pickle and a little allium from the onion to go with your gorgeous Halibut!