Making a fish dinner at home can be a bit of a splurge, given how expensive fresh seafood is. It would be a shame to overcook your hard-earned haul.
Broiling or grilling can cause lean, white-fleshed fish like halibut (but also thick flounder fillets, snapper, grouper and large sea scallops) to dry out. For moist, juicy results, frying or searing is the best option. I tend to use a simple searing method for cooking firm, white-fleshed fish on the stovetop; itâs easier and cleaner than frying.
For best results, use a cast-iron pan, or any other heavy nonstick pan (even a griddle). Coat the pan with olive oil, and let it get hot before you put in the fish fillets. Leave the fish undisturbed until it is nicely golden on the first side, then flip it and cook the second side until just done.
With perfectly pristine fresh fish, you want no sauce at all â or a sauce that enhances without distracting from the fishâs flavor. Sometimes, the best solution is a drizzle of olive oil and a lemon wedge.
For something a bit fancier and not much more effort, a quick sauce made in the pan is a good choice, too. A browned butter sauce, what French cooks call beurre noisette, tastes rich and nutty. You make it at the very last minute, just after the fish comes out of the pan.