Sautéed Halibut

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Preparation info

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Homestyle Chinese Cooking

Homestyle Chinese Cooking

By Yan-Kit So

Published 1997

  • About

The flavor of halibut is so delicate that it deserves an equally subtle sauce like this one, which has a very slight sweet-and-sour taste to it. Halibut is very expensive so on lean days use cod steaks.


  • 1 or 2 halibut steaks, about 1 pound
  • 1½-2 teaspoons fresh ginger juice
  • About 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or medium-dry sherry
  • About ½ inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, cut into small rounds


  • teaspoons cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon thin soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice or white wine vinegar
  • ¼-½ teaspoon sugar


  • Pat the halibut steaks dry. Rub all over with the ginger juice, piercing the flesh with a fork for better absorption. Leave to stand for 10-15 minutes.
  • Mix together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
  • Just before heating the wok, press the steaks on both sides with the cornstarch, smoothing with fingers to coat evenly. Shake off excess cornstarch.
  • Heat the wok over a high heat until smoke rises. Sprinkle with the salt, add 2 tablespoons of the oil, and swirl it around. Lower the steaks into the oil and pan-fry each side for 1-2 minutes, until golden. Add the garlic and ginger to the oil, let sizzle for a few seconds, then splash in the wine or sherry around the side of the wok. When the sizzling subsides, trickle 1-2 tablespoons of oil around the fish, loosening the edges with the wok scoop or a metal spatula. Lower the heat, put on the wok cover, and continue to cook each side for 4-5 minutes. The steaks are cooked when the flesh comes away, albeit slightly, from the main bone in the center. Remove to a serving dish, leaving a little oil behind in the wok.
  • Add the well-stirred sauce and the scallions to the wok and stir until it thickens. Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve immediately.

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