Halibut or other white fish,  crusted with seeds or nuts

1-pound halibut filets (4 ounce “block cut” portions)
1-2 teaspoons sesame seeds, about
1 egg white with 2 teaspoons of water, scrambled
2-3 tablespoons grape seed oil
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt per fish, or salt to taste

Method for sesame seeds: Prepare the fish by blotting top with paper towel to dry. With pastry brush, coat the tops with well scrambled egg white and water mixture. Place sesame seeds on flat plate and press each filet into them to cover the top well. Turn seed side up onto clean plate.
Method for hazelnuts or almond crusted fish: Prepare the nuts by pulsing in a food processor until they are small chopped. Be careful not to over process into “nut butter” or paste.  Prepare fish by blotting top with paper towels to dry. With pastry brush coat the tops of each piece of fish with egg whites and water mixture. Dip the fish into the nuts gently pressing to cover the entire surface. Turn upright, nut side up, onto a clean plate.

Heat 10-12-inch sauté pan about 2 minutes; add grape seed oil or other high smoke oil that is also neutral in flavor. Add enough to allow all pieces of fish to be in the oil, and the entire surface of seeds or nuts is in the oil; heat oil at least 30 seconds before adding fish.
Add seed or nut coated halibut when oil becomes slightly hot and hazy in the pan; cook until seeds are golden brown, and nuts begin to smell toasted. Be careful not to burn as nuts and seeds contain oil which can burn quickly.

Once a good sear and golden color on the seed/nut side, move fish to waiting sheet pan or sided cookie sheet. Just before serving, finish fish in the preheated 400 F. oven for approximately 4-5 minutes.

Two ways to check doneness. Check by both touch and temperature–
Touch: when squeezed slightly between thumb and index finger, the fish parts and flakes on edges but is firm in middle. Temperature: pull from the oven when the fish registers 138-140, so it will be able to finish cooking on the plate! Don’t test doneness by cutting into fish center, as this will prevent carryover cooking.

Note: Remember, fish will continue to cook from the outside into center, so never remove fish exactly at  “au point,” meaning to perfection or approximately 142-145ºF. because it will continue to cook out of the oven for a minute or two.  So allow for this “carry over cooking” to take place by giving yourself a few less degrees than perfect.



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