Halibut Coconut Curry with Charred Chiles and Lime

Wow. This halibut poached in a coconut curry is one delightful dinner. This is another winner from the Good Fish cookbook by Becky Selengut. This was our first time making green curry from scratch, and it was amazing. Have a little extra time to do some reading? Check out Ms. Selengut’s blog. It’s fun.

Halibut, Chiles, and Curry Makings
Halibut, Chiles, and Curry Makings

Making Green Curry
Making Green Curry

In a food processor, blend 2 jalapenos (take out the seeds & membranes for less spiciness); 2 stalks lemongrass (remove the woody top and chop); 1/2 cup chopped shallots; 1/4 cup cilantro stems; clove of garlic; 2 tbsps fresh ginger; 1 tsp coriander seeds; 1 tsp cumin seeds; 1/4 tsp salt; 1/4 tsp dried turmeric; and 1 Kaffir lime leaf (or zest of a lime). With the seeds, grind those down in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder before adding to the processor. Blend well for 3 minutes, adding up to 1/4 cup stock to help it mix into a smooth puree.

Green Curry
Green Curry

Look at that gorgeous green!

Poaching the Halibut

Poaching the Halibut

Heat vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add your green curry mix and sautee for 2 or 3 minutes. Then pour in 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk; 1 tbsp fish sauce; and about 2 tsps lime juice (or 4 Kaffir lime leaves if you have them). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add 1/2 pound of skinned halibut fillets, cut into 1-inch cubes, and turn the heat off. Let it sit for 5 minutes and the fish will be ready.
Preparing the Chiles and Onion Topping

Preparing the Chiles and Onion Topping

To make the topping, fry 4 fresno chiles (seeded and minced) and 2 tbsp minched red onions in vegetable oil in a frying pan, over medium heat. Cook until they’re caramelized – about 10 minutes. Then pull the pan off the heat and stir in 1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves and the flesh of 2 limes (chopped into little bits). Season with salt and serve on top of each bowl of curry.

Halibut Poached ih Coconut Curry with Chiles and Lime Topping
Chopped Chiles, Onions, Cilantro and Lime


  • 2 jalapenos
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup cilantro stems
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds (ground in a mortar)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (ground in a mortar)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried turmeric
  • 5 Kaffir lime leaves (or zest of 2 limes; about 2 tsps)
  • chicken or vegetable stock or water
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 pound halibut fillet, skinned and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Optional: black sesame seeds for garnish
  • Topping
  • vegetable oil
  • 4 Fresno chiles (seeded and minced)
  • 2 tbsp minced red onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 limes, peeled and cut into small dice

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Seattle Foodshed

Gardening, foraging, exploring and cooking. Time for a delicious adventure.

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