This Pan-Roasted Hailbut with Creamed Corn is the perfect light and refreshing dish for summer! Tender halibut is pan-roasted until super crispy and served with a completely addictive creamy corn studded with garlic, butter, and cream. Fresh corn kernels and chives finish off the dish with a pop of texture and sweetness.
Pan-Roasted Hailbut with Creamy Corn
Simplicity wins. Now and forever. And gosh, simple has never tasted so good.
Here’s what’s happening: Crispy well-seasoned halibut is nestled on top of a super creamy, yet texture-heavy creamed corn and then studded with fresh, crisp corn kernels (cooked in butter and seasoned with garlic and salt). A quick squeeze of lime juice over the top offers a quick acidic finish, and the whole dish is sprinkled with chopped chives for just a touch of color and onion-y bite.
The creamed corn.
It’s simple, yes, but it’s sweet, salty, slightly garlicky, and so creamy – with only four ingredients. But it’s also full of texture, because instead of pulverizing the corn until it’s completely smooth, I leave a little bit of texture. You could take it all the way, and then go even further buy sending the whole puree through a sieve, but I don’t find it necessary. We’re not professional chefs here. Although I wish I was.
How to make Pan-Roasted Hailbut with Creamed Corn
- Season halibut with salt and pepper
- Heat a medium skillet to a medium heat and add butter and garlic. Saute 1 minute. Add corn and 1/4 tsp. salt. Continue to cook until corn is bright yellow, about 2-3 minutes.
- While the corn cooks, season both sides of the fish generously with salt and pepper. Heat a medium cast-iron skillet to a medium-high heat. Add fish, flesh-side down. Sear until golden brown and crisp. Flip and transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook until flaky!
- Back to the corn: Transfer half of it to a small food processor or blender and the rest, to a small plate or bowl. Add cream to the corn in the blender along with more salt. Pulse until mostly smooth. Transfer the mixture back to the same skillet along with half of the remaining corn. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until bubbly and hot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To assemble. Spoon creamed corn on to the plate. Top with halibut. Sprinkle reserved corn over the top. Squeeze with lime juice and sprinkle with chives.
- Fancy restaurant-worth dinner done!
Do I have to use Halibut?
Of course not. I just love the firm, but delicate flavor and texture of halibut. If you can’t find halibut or it’s a little bit out of your price range, you can also use any other mild white fish. To stay in line with a more firm fish, swordfish would work great. If you prefer a flakier fish, maybe tilapia or red snapper. Also, scallops would be AMAZING with this!
How to pan-roast fish
So there are SO many ways to cook fish. Bake. Broil. Steam. Sear. My first choice when dealing with a thicker cut fish like halibut, is to pan-roast it. This means you first sear the fish in a skillet over the stove until it’s super brown and crispy, flip it over and then transfer it to the oven. I personally feel that it cooks the fish more evenly than if you were to simply sear the fish on both sides and wait for the fish to cook through.
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for recipe success
- Be sure get ALL of the good juice and pulp out of the corn by scraping the cobs with the back of a spoon.
- To get a great sear on the fish, dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.
- When you’re preparing simple dishes, it’s all about using quality ingredients and seasoning properly! The corn needs to be sweet and the fish needs to be good quality – I love Whole Foods seafood or Sprouts. Also, season the fish GENEROUSLY, this is the only chance you get to season the fish itself, so do it well!
- Again, you can swap out swordfish, tilapia, red snapper, or another more milk fish. Scallops would also be lovely.
- When browning fish (or any protein for that matter), if you try to flip and it won’t budge, it’s not ready! I promise, it will easily release from the pan when it’s done.
Pretty things/tools used in today’s post
- 2- 6 oz. portions of halibut
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 3 ears of corn, kernels removed
- 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tsp. minced chive
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Remove fish from the oven. Pat with paper towels until completely dry.
- Heat a medium skillet to a medium heat. Add butter, once butter melts, add garlic. Saute 1 minute. Add corn and 1/4 tsp. salt. Continue to cook until corn is bright yellow, about 2-3 minutes.
- While the corn cooks, season both sides of the fish generously with salt and pepper. Heat a medium cast-iron skillet to a medium-high heat. Add fish, flesh-side down. Sear until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. It will easily release from the pan when it's done. Flip and transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook the fish until it flakes easily, about 10-12 minutes.
- Once the corn has turned bright yellow, transfer 1/2 of it to a small food processor or blender. Transfer the remaining corn to a small plate or bowl. Pour cream into the blender with the corn and the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt. Pulse until mostly smooth. Transfer the mixture back to the same skillet along with 1/2 of the remaining corn. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until bubbly and hot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To assemble. Spoon creamed corn on to the plate. Top with halibut. Spoon reserved corn over the top. Squeeze with lime juice and sprinkle with chives.