Alaska halibut and sablefish (black cod) harvest seasons kicked off March 11, increasing access to some of the best freshly caught and frozen wild seafood in the world.
“Nearly 60 percent of all the wild seafood harvested in the U.S. comes from Alaska, where we are dedicated to providing the world with sustainable, responsibly managed seafood that will be enjoyed for years to come,” says Jeremy Woodrow, communications director, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). “The start of halibut and sablefish season is a sign of spring in coastal Alaska, and a perfect reminder for consumers to ‘Ask for Alaska’ at restaurants. Specifying ‘Alaska’ when making seafood choices ensures consumers are supporting a wild and sustainable fishery.”
Alaska is committed to preserving and protecting its superior seafood and is the only state with sustainability written into its constitution. To ensure there will always be more to catch, Alaska fishermen limit their harvest to the statewide total allowable catch set by international, federal and state fisheries managers in order to sustain each fishery. In 2017, fisheries managers have set harvest levels at over 40 million pounds combined for Alaska halibut and sablefish.
Consumers look to chefs and restaurants to make delicious yet healthy and responsible choices available on their menus. Alaska’s array of delicious, wild whitefish species have a variety of nutritional benefits and culinary profiles. Each species is harvested seasonally and is also available frozen year-round. With Alaska halibut and sablefish seasons coinciding with Lent, try one of these easy recipes featuring Alaska whitefish varieties on your menu
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1—1/2 cups basmati rice, uncooked
1 can (13 to 14 oz.) regular or lite coconut milk
2 Tablespoons red curry paste
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
8 oz. mushrooms, halved
1 medium zucchini, sliced
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
4 to 6 Thai basil leaves, coarsely chopped
4 Alaska Halibut fillets (4 to 6 oz. each), fresh, thawed or frozen
1—1/2 Tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil
1/2 lime or lemon, if desired
Cook rice in a rice cooker or saucepot according to package directions; keep warm.
Whisk coconut milk, curry paste, and brown sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer; add mushrooms and zucchini. Cook 2 minutes, then stir in fish sauce and Thai basil. Turn off heat; cover and keep warm.
Rinse any ice glaze from frozen Alaska Halibut under cold running water; pat dry with a paper towel. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of halibut with oil. Gently place halibut in heated skillet and cook, uncovered, about 3 to 4 minutes, until browned. Turn fillets over, reduce heat to medium, and cover pan tightly. Cook 5 to 7 minutes for frozen halibut or 3 to 4 minutes for fresh/thawed fish. Cook just until fish is opaque throughout.
For each serving, portion about 1 cup rice into a low-sided bowl or on rimmed plate. Place a halibut portion over rice; squeeze on lime or lemon juice, if desired. Ladle about 1 cup sauce and vegetables over all.