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Fish and Shellfish, Mains

Cold-poached halibut with coriander-cucumber yogurt

Cold-poached halibut with coriander-cucumber yogurt
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

David LeFevre wants you to know that fish can be cool. That's probably no great surprise coming from the new chef at the Water Grill, certainly one of the best seafood restaurants on the West Coast and probably in the ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 50 minutes | Serves 6

Yogurt sauce

  • 1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons grated, peeled and seeded cucumber (do not strain)
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves (reserve stems)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lime (about 2 tablespoons juice)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch pepper

Step 1In a small, dry saute pan over low heat, toast the coriander and cumin seeds until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Grind in a spice grinder.

Step 2In small bowl, combine the ground coriander and cumin seeds, yogurt, cucumber, garlic, shallot, mint, cilantro, cayenne pepper, lime zest and juice and salt and pepper to taste. Chill. (Makes 1 1/2 cups.)

Cold-poached halibut

  • 3 cups fish stock
  • 2 (4-inch) mint stems
  • Zest of 3 limes
  • 6 (3-ounce) halibut steaks, approximately 3/4 -inch thick, deboned and skinned
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Step 1In a saucepan, bring the stock, mint and lime zest to 180 degrees (small bubbles will be forming around the edges of the liquid and steam will be rising). Place the halibut in a ceramic or glass baking dish that's at least 2 inches deep and pour the hot liquid over the halibut. The halibut should be covered by the stock.

Step 2Let the fish stand (turning the pieces after 5 minutes) in the baking dish for 1 hour, 5 minutes, until the stock and fish have cooled to room temperature (about 72 degrees). (Do not refrigerate or the fat will congeal and the mouth feel will be waxy.)

Step 3When the fish has reached room temperature, remove it from the liquid and transfer it to a serving plate. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the yogurt sauce.

Note: David LeFevre serves this with a pomegranate couscous, a dab of harissa sauce and a mint, cilantro and pickled onion salad.


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