My favourite fishmonger in Singapore, Greenwood Fish Market, just sent me an SMS on the recently arrived catch; a 120lb Halibut, sufficiently large enough to feed a Chinese family banquet I would have thought.
As impressively large as it is, it is only a fifth the size of the world record broken off the waters of Norway on July 4, 2013 by a 515 lb, 9 ft (source Wikipedia). Still, the mind boggles how big this bottom feeder fish gets, moreover how many hours and knife sharpening Chef Alan will do carving this up into plate-sized portions.
It is a rather curious fish the Halibut, starting off its youth feeding on the ocean floor on literally anything they can fit in their mouth. At birth, they have eyes on each side of their head but after six months one eye migrates to the other side (right I believe) with this side, or top side, turning dark whilst the other side (underbelly) remains white. Sounds uncannily like a lot of Stockbrokers I know.
It is a lovely, firm white fleshed fish that grills or pan fries wonderfully but be careful not to overcook as it has very little fat, so you need plenty of oil or butter in the pan and cook to the point where it is just turning opaque and is just starting to flake.
Frankly, I would not mess with it too much in terms of sauces, unless you are in a top-notch restaurant and the chef knows the boundaries. I’m suddenly thinking how there are very few chef’s in the world that have mastered fish (Martin Bosley, Michael Bacash, Donavan Cooke, Rick Stein) and even they apply the ‘KISS’ principle with most fish, little lone you attempting some sort of Blumenthal - just keep it simple and let the fish talk.
Do not buy Halibut frozen from the supermarket, it sucks.
Further impressive fish stories, click here