If you are a fan of seafood, I am sure you can’t resist halibut. This group of delicious meaty flatfishes can be used in a variety of mouth-watering recipes. Imagine a scenario when you are forced to find a substitute for halibut. Do you know what is halibut and its substitutes in specific?
Halibut does not refer to a single fish. In fact, halibut comprises three types of flatfishes; Atlantic halibut, Pacific halibut, and Greenland halibut. Halibut makes an excellent ingredient in recipes that calls for baking, frying, or grilling. Thus, it is undoubtedly a delightful addition to your meals.
But don’t you crave to know how halibut can be substituted without compromising your recipe? There are a bunch of substitutes that can help you get the job done. Some of the best halibut substitutes are flounder, striped bass, cod, turbot, fluke, and dogfish.
Let us dive into the world of halibut before we move on to its substitutes.
Quick Peek: Halibut
The following scribbles tell you what halibut is, its flavor, texture, culinary uses, and health benefits.
What Is Halibut?
The term halibut is composed of” haly,” which means” holy,” and” butte,” which means” flatfish.” Halibut was a popular delicacy during holy days in England, and thus the name. (Praise the Lord!)
Halibut is the common epithet that includes three flatfishes: Atlantic halibut, Pacific halibut, and Greenland halibut (I mentioned this above, but here it is again). Atlantic halibut is the largest among the three.
They are a bunch of groundfishes (demersal fishes) which live and feed near the bottom of seas or lakes. An average halibut fish weighs between 30 and 50 pounds. Chicken halibut, the smaller ones, weigh around two to five pounds.
Describing Halibut: Flavor and Texture
Halibut is a slender meaty white fish and is sought-after because it doesn’t have any fishy flavor. Yup, that’s right. It has a gentle flavor, sweet taste, and a firm, tender texture. When cooked, it easily absorbs the flavors of ingredients.
Uses of Halibut
This makes it a delicacy, especially for those who don’t like the taste of fish. In fact, it is called” the fish for those who don’t like fish.” It can be cooked in various methods – be it baking, frying, roasting or grilling, or pan-searing; halibut will not disappoint you.
Being a versatile ingredient, halibut is used in a number of recipes. Grilled halibut, smoked halibut, and halibut ceviche are just a few.
Halibut On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope
Halibut is an excellent source of many nutrients when it comes to nutrition. It can be easily consumed by those who favor a low-fat diet.
Consumption of halibut can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and boost your heart’s health. It is also known to reduce inflammation.
Why Should We Substitute Halibut?
Halibut is one of the largest species of flatfish that is much desired and, therefore, much cultivated. Its population declined badly due to the same, and precisely for this reason, it is very hard to find halibut.
Being not easily available, it becomes imperative that we find substitutes for it. Also, you might be into little experimenting, trying out various ingredients in the place of halibut for a flavor similar to halibut without actually using it.
Whatever be your reason, I am going to help you with the best alternatives to halibut.
10 Best Halibut Substitutes
Now, let’s see what are the best substitutes for halibut. The top ten substitutes for halibut are:
Flounder is a demersal flatfish with a sweet flavor very similar to Halibut. The only difference is in terms of texture. Halibut has a meaty, firm texture, while Flounder has a delicate, flaky texture. Flounder can be cooked by broiling, baking, frying, or poaching.
Flounder remains moist and delicate even after cooking. Flounder is the closest substitute for Halibut except in recipes that involve grilling. Here is the copycat recipe for Red Lobster flounder.
2. Striped Bass
Striped bass or Atlantic Sea Bass, the largest in the sea brass family, is also known as stripers or rockfish. It has a stout body with horizontal stripes. It has a mild, sweet taste without a strong fishy flavor.
Its white, fresh, and firm flakes make it all buttery when cooked (even with no butter added) and are suitable for grilling recipes. Striped bass is extremely versatile and delicious, making it one of the best substitutes for halibut.
Codfish is one of the highly consumed fishes, especially in America. It has a mild, milky flavor with a strong, flaky texture. This makes it a popular ingredient for making fish and chips.
The versatility and availability of codfish make it a perfect, readily available alternative for halibut. It can be baked, fried, grilled, or sautéed while cooking. Atlantic cod and Pacific cod are the most commonly used varieties of codfish. Here is the recipe for baked cod.
Turbot, a type of flatfish, is another highly valued cousin of Halibut. It has an oval shape with brownish, spotted skin. Nicknamed the King of the Sea, it has a rich, mild flavor with a rich texture. Precisely the flavor of turbot makes it a good substitute for halibut.
Turbot can be used in grilling, roasting, and baking recipes. However, I must warn you; turbot comes with quite an expensive tag. You might want to check your wallets before you decide to choose turbot!
Fluke fish, also called summer flounder, is a variety of flatfish. It has a slender white flesh with a mild flavor. With similar characteristics, fluke can be an option worth considering to replace halibut.
Its unique, smooth, and silky texture and the fact that it can be consumed raw make it an excellent choice for sushi and sashimi.
Dogfish can refer to any of the tiny sharks which live in shallow, temperate waters. It has brown-colored rows and white spots. It has a mild flavor with subtle hints of sweetness.
Like halibut, it has white flesh and remains moist when cooked. Dogfish can be used as an alternative for halibut in recipes that involve frying, baking, grilling, or roasting.
Haddock is a saltwater fish with white, lean meat, delicate texture, and subtle, sweet flavor, hailing from the cod family. Once cooked, its flakes are firm and soft. It doesn’t have a dominating fishy flavor like halibut.
Thus, haddock can be a good substitute for halibut in recipes that involve baking, broiling, or deep-frying. However, it can’t be used for grilling because of its lower oil content. Here is the recipe for broiled haddock that you should try.
If you are looking for a healthy flatfish to replace halibut, sole should be your ultimate choice. Sole refers to fishes of various kinds of flatfishes. It is rich in vitamins and minerals.
Sole has subtle hints of sweetness and a flaky texture which can replace halibut in baking, steaming, or grilling recipes.
Tilapia is a type of freshwater fish that has found major prominence over the years in aquaculture and aquaponics. It is an easily affordable fish with a very mild flavor.
Although, it can be said that it has a subtle sweetness similar to striped bass. It has a lean but flaky structure.
Tilapia has a firmer texture and milder flavor than halibut. Being easily available and with a mild flavor profile, tilapia is one of the considerable substitutes for halibut. Here’s how you can make Red Lobster’s oven roasted tilapia at home.
10. Orange Roughy
Orange roughy is also known as red roughy or slimehead. It is a deep-sea fish that belongs to the category “vulnerable to exploitation.” It also has a mild, sweet flavor similar to tilapia. It has large, moist flakes which join together once cooked.
The biggest downside with orange roughy is that it is expensive and very hard to acquire. Aside from that, the moist texture and mild flavor can make a very good alternative for halibut.
Who wouldn’t love a short recap after learning something new? Go through the following points on halibut substitutes to remember the details easily.
Flavor: Striped bass, flounder, cod, and turbot are the best halibut substitutes in terms of flavor.
Texture: Flounder, striped bass, dogfish, and fluke are the best halibut substitutes in terms of texture.
Now you know what to grab when out of halibut. Remember, most of these substitutes share similar characteristics as that halibut. However, consider their texture while choosing to replace halibut.
Other than that, these alternatives can make your recipes delicious and top-notch. Experiment with your senses, and let me know what did wonder for your recipes. See you, until then!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is halibut similar to cod?
Halibut is not very similar to cod. It is thicker and firmer than cod.
Is Mahi Mahi a good substitute for halibut?
Mahi mahi is a good substitute for halibut due to the similarity in flavor and texture.
Can I substitute sea bass for halibut?
Sea bass can be used to substitute for halibut.
What are some good substitutes for halibut filets and steaks?
The substitutes for halibut filets can be fluke, flounder and turbot. The substitutes for halibut steaks can be wild striped bass or cod.