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Indian Pan Fried Halibut

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This simple pan fried halibut is one you have to try!

This is a pan fried halibut recipe that usually calls for pomfret or tilapia. As halibut is a lot easier to come by where I live, I decided to use it instead.

I wasn’t disappointed.

The succulent halibut fillets cooked in this way were actually much better than any version I had tried before. 

Pan fried halibut

Crispy on the exterior and juicy, tender. You have to try this one!

OK… So halibut is expensive, I know. 

So if you would rather use one of the other fish mentions, go ahead to do that. I do think you should try pan fried halibut in this way though. 

I could eat it every week. 

Working ahead…

The fish should not marinate for longer than one hour. That said, you could prepare the marinade a couple of days ahead of serving. Then just add the fish and your in for a pan fried halibut meal that could compete with the best. 

Of course, the dried spices and flours could also be combined ahead of time too. 

I think of this pan fried halibut recipe as an easy, yet somewhat posh dish that you can serve for special occasions or a simple dinner after work. 

Getting the recipe right…

My pan fried halibut recipe is no different to any other seafood recipe in that you need to use the freshest fish you can get your hands on. 

Halibut and other meaty fish should not smell fishy!

They should smell of the sea. 

It is also important to use the freshest spices you can get your hands on. 

I prefer to roast and grind my spices as I do in this garam masala recipe. You really will notice the difference. If you don’t have the time or will to do that, use ready ground spices.

Pay attention when cooking the fish!

I cook this pan fried halibut in a hot pan. It is essential that you get a nice crispy brown crust while not overcooking the fish.

So watch it! The fish will cook through quite quickly. Overcook it and it will fall apart. 

It’s all about checking it as it cooks. You really can’t go wrong as long as you get the fish off the heat just as soon as it is cooked through. 

Dry ingredients

Get your dry ingredients together and mix well.


Prepared halibut fillets

Get thick cuts of halibut and remove the skin.


First marinade for pan seared halibut

Place the fish fillets in a bowl and marinate with the garlic and ginger, salt and lemon juice.


Coating the halibuy

Coat the halibut with the flour/spice mixture and brush off any excess.


Frying fillets

Fry on one side for about three minutes and then flip.


Finishing the frying

Cook on the other side until the fish is just cooked through. Three to five minutes should do.


Finished fried halibut

Dig in!

If you like this pan fried halibut recipe, you might like to try some of these too…

Tandoori sea bass
Perfect fried calamari
Thai grilled fish
Salt crust grilled fish
Easy prawn curry

Yield: 2

Indian Pan Fried Halibut

Pan fried halibut
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes


  • 2 x 225g (1 lb.) halibut fillets
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp gram flour
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • 10 fresh or frozen curry leaves (optional)
  • 70ml (1/4 cup) rapeseed (canola) oil


  1. Place the halibut fillets in a mixing bowl and add garlic and ginger paste, salt and lemon juice. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes or up to an hour.
  2. While the fish is marinating, mix the dry ingredient together on a plate. When ready to fry, dust the fish fillets liberally with the dried ingredient mixture.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When visibly hot, place the halibut fillets in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned on the underside. You should be able to easily turn the fillets without them sticking. If you can't, keep cooking.
  4. Fry on the opposite side for another three minute or until cooked through.
  5. Just before finishing, add a few curry leaves to the oil in the pan. This is optional but adds delicious flavour.
  6. Serve immediately with lime wedges.

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I hope you enjoy this pan fried halibut recipe. If you do give it a try, please let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from you.&nbsp

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