Miso, mirin and sake--three standard ingredients used in Japanese cooking--enhance the mild sweetness of halibut. Deboning halibut steaks is actually a simple procedure, which creates delightful tender morsels of fish. You can substitute halibut fillet, if desired.

Mark Bittman
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 1997


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk miso, sake (or rice wine) and mirin in a small bowl into a smooth paste.

  • With a large sharp boning knife, remove skin from halibut steaks. Following the natural divisions created by the bone and cartilage, cut fish from the bone to create 4 small boneless steaks (also called medallions). Trim any dark areas.

  • Preheat broiler. Line a heavy baking sheet with foil and coat the foil with cooking spray.

  • Place the halibut medallions on the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with half the miso glaze. Broil, 3 to 4 inches from the flame, until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the medallions over and brush with the remaining miso mixture. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and broil until the fish is opaque in the center, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with lime wedges and pickled ginger.


Notes: Miso is fermented soybean paste made by inoculating a mixture of soybeans, salt and grains (usually barley or rice) with koji, a beneficial mold. Aged for up to 3 years, miso is undeniably salty, but a little goes a long way. Shiro miso (sweet or white miso), made with soy and rice, is yellow and milder in flavor; use for soup, salad dressings and sauces for fish or chicken.

Sake is a dry rice wine generally available where wines are sold. Junmai, a special designation for sake, denotes sake brewed from rice that has been milled less than other special-designation sakes. More pure than other sakes, junmai has no distilled alcohol added. It is characterized by a well-rounded, rich flavor and body and more acidity than most sakes.

Mirin is a sweet, low-alcohol rice wine essential in Japanese cooking. Look for it in your supremarket with the Asian or gourmet ingredients.

Pickled ginger--most often served with sushi--can be found in natural-foods stores, Asian markets and in the supermarket produce department.

Nutrition Facts

227.2 calories; protein 33.4g 67% DV; carbohydrates 9.1g 3% DV; exchange other carbs 0.5; dietary fiber 0.4g 2% DV; sugars 5.3g; fat 3.8g 6% DV; saturated fat 0.6g 3% DV; cholesterol 83.3mg 28% DV; vitamin a iu 114.2IU 2% DV; vitamin cmg; folate 22.6mcg 6% DV; calcium 34.8mg 4% DV; iron 0.6mg 3% DV; magnesium 47.5mg 17% DV; potassium 752.3mg 21% DV; sodium 586mg 23% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 10% DV.