Prep 10 mins
Cook 10 mins
My 22 year old son was looking for a way to cook up some halibut and found this in one of our cookbooks. It went together easily and he was very proud of the results. It was very flavorful and we plan to fix it again. From "How to Grill" by Steven Raichlen. Regarding the cilantro root -- my husband looked at every Asian market in the area to no avail thinking if anyone would have cilantro root they would. He felt it was essential to the recipe despite the recommendation of adding additional cilantro instead. He mentioned to me he had been looking for cilantro root -- "Did you think of the herb section of the nursery?" I bought a little 4-inch pot of cilantro from the herb section and washed the roots thoroughly (a chore, I will admit). Sometimes you can find cilantro with some of the roots attached, but rarely. You decide how labor intensive you want this recipe to be, but there is an option for you if you are looking for cilantro root.
- 4 (6 -8 ounce) halibut fillets
For the Marinade
- 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon peeled grated gingerroot
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 teaspoon washed chopped cilantro roots (see note above regarding cilantro root) or 1 tablespoon additional cilantro leaf (see note above regarding cilantro root)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1⁄4 cup asian fish sauce or 1⁄4 cup soy sauce, plus more for brushing
- 3 tablespoons sake or 3 tablespoons chinese rice wine or 3 tablespoons dry sherry
- coarse salt (I found it too salty(cut in half at least to start)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Rinse the fish fillets under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels. Arrange the fillets in a nonreactive baking dish just large enough to hold them.
- Prepare the marinade: Pound the garlic, ginger, cilantro leaves and root, if using, and sugar to a paste in a mortar with a pestle. (I would suggest starting with pounding the garlic). You could also purée in a mini chopper or food processor. Work in the fish sauce, sake, sesame oil, salt, and pepper. Spoon marinade on both sides of the fillets. Cover the fish with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour, turning the fillets once or twice.
- Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. When ready to cook, oil a fish basket, if using, or brush and oil the grill grate. Place the fillets in the basket on the hot grate. Grill until each side of the fillets is browned and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes per side. If grilling directly on the grate, brush the tops of the fillets with oil before gently turning them with a spatula. To test for doneness, press a fillet with your finger. It should break into clean flakes when fully cooked. Another test is to insert a metal skewer in the side of a fillet. when it is done the skewer will come out very hot to the touch after 20 seconds.
- Note: To grill a fish fillet on a fish grate, place the grate on top of the regular grate and preheat to high. Oil the fish grate with a folded paper towel dipped in oil or lift it with tongs and spray with oil. As an added precaution against sticking, brush or spray the fillets themselves with oil.
This is great with salmon also. One item left out of recipe 3 tablespoons Asian (dark) sesame oil, plus more for brushing (optional) and amt of "coarse" salt is 1 teaspoon. We were afraid that the garlic and/or cilantro would be over powering but was great!