Macadamia-Crusted Halibut: Unusual Pairing

Raw Halibut Steaks
Debbi Smirnoff / Getty Images
  • 25 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Say macadamia nuts and you think Hawaii, you think sweet, you think cookies. But ground macadamia nuts make a fabulous and interesting coating for mild halibut fillets baked in the oven and finished with chopped cilantro. Cod or another thick, firm-fleshed white fish can be substituted for the halibut. This recipe is found in "U.S.A. Cookbook" by Sheila Lukins.

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 pound unsalted roasted macadamia nuts, very finely chopped
  • 1 pound fresh halibut, cut into 1/4-pound fillets
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  3. Place the flour in a shallow bowl.
  4. In another shallow bowl, beat the eggs with the cayenne pepper.
  5. Place the chopped macadamia nuts in a third shallow bowl.
  6. Dredge the halibut fillets in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  7. Dip them in the egg mixture and then dredge them in the ground nuts, covering them completely.
  8. Place the fillets on the prepared baking sheet.
  1. Drizzle each fillet with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.
  2. Bake in the center of the oven until just done, 10 to 15 minutes. (Test the edge of one of the fillets for doneness by probing it gently with the tines of a fork; if the flesh flakes easily, it is done.)
  3. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

 

Facts About Halibut

Halibut is in the flounder family, and it's referred to as a hippo fish, not just because of its scientific name  (Hippoglossus stenolepis) but also because of its whopping size at maturity. Some female Pacific halibut can grow to 400 pounds; males are generally smaller, at about 125 pounds. Atlantic female halibut are not quite as large -- from 100 to 150 pounds generally, with males about 50 to 100 pounds. Still, that is one big fish. Only tuna, swordfish, and some sharks are bigger. They live to be about 40 years old on average. They are found in the Atlantic and Pacific and especially in the waters surrounding Alaska.

Like all seafood, halibut is good for you. Not counting any breading or frying, a half-pound filet has 379 calories and 28 grams of fat, including 4.9 saturated grams. It contains 0 carb grams. Halibut is an excellent source of potassium and vitamins D, B6, and B12.

 

Macadamia Nut Nutrition

In this recipe, macadamia nuts add flavor, interest -- and calories. One ounce contains a bunch -- 204. It also has 21 grams of fat, of which 3.4 grams are saturated. The nuts also add nearly 4 grams of carbohydrates to your daily number; the good news is that nearly 2.5 grams of that is fiber. Macadamia nuts also are a good source of magnesium.