Crispy Halibut with Lemony Basil Sauce

Halibut is a wonderful fish and pairs so nicely with the bright, lemony flavors in this dish by Debi Shawcross.

Crispy Halibut with Lemony Basil Sauce 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 8Source Friends at the TablePublished

serves 8


  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, cut into 1 t chunks
  • 3 tablespoon shallot, minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest separated
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup basil leaves, chopped
  • salt & pepper, as needed
  • 4 zucchini, end trimmed
  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 3½ ounce panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup milk
  • canola oil
  • 8 (6‑oz) halibut steaks


For the sauce: In a medium saucepan melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until shallots soften a bit, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and lemon zest. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce by one-third. Reduce heat to medium, add the lemon juice, and begin whisking in the remaining butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to finish the sauce. Remove from heat and add the tomatoes and basil. Adjust seasoning with salt and freshly ground pepper.

For the zucchini ribbons: Using a vegetable peeler, slice the zucchini into very thin pieces. In a large sauté pan bring coconut milk to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.

For the fish. In a food processor pulse panko crumbs into a fine powder and transfer to a plate. In a shallow bowl pour the milk. Season the halibut with salt and pepper. Dip each halibut steak in milk, then into panko crumbs. Press the crumbs onto both sides of fish. Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add enough canola oil to just cover the bottom of the pan. Heat oil and then add halibut to the pan. (Be careful to not overcrowd the fish. Wipe out the pan and repeat searing process in batches, if necessary.) Cook until a golden crust forms on the bottom of the fish, about 6 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side an additional 4 to 5 minutes.