Potato-Crusted Halibut

I love it when I have a chance to cook something different and a bit out of my comfort zone.  This dish is fun to make and delicious to eat. With halibut now in season, I’m continuously looking for new ways to prepare this wonderful, light, flaky & healthy white fish.  It’s great grilled, pan sautéed or roasted and lends itself nicely to just about any kind of topping.  This particular preparation, even though a little time-consuming, is great for a small dinner party.  It really possesses that “WOW” factor!  The fish is wrapped in potato slices to resemble fish scales, then sautéed in an infused olive oil, creating a nice crispy potato crust on the outside and leaving a beautifully moist and flaky piece of fish inside.   A mandoline is a necessity for this dish, and while they come in all sizes and price ranges, they are invaluable in producing the really thin slices of potatoes needed for success.  The slices need to be paper-thin…so thin that you can see through them, otherwise they won’t “bend” like they need to in order to successfully wrap around the fish.   Once you brush these with the infused olive oil, you’ll lay the halibut on top, “wrap” it up with the potato slices using the parchment paper underneath to facilitate the wrapping.  Then just peel back the paper leaving the slices on the fish.

I served it over a bed of braised spring onions, fennel & swiss chard.

Potato Crusted Halibut with Braised Spring Onions, Fennel & Swiss Chard.

Potato Crusted Halibut with Braised Spring Onions, Fennel & Swiss Chard.

Here’s a picture of the slices laid out on parchment paper. You’ll put the fish in the middle vertically, then bring the sides up and over.

Potato Wrapped Halibut web-2612.jpg


Potato-Crusted Halibut

adapted from Chef Anne Burrell


  • 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 thyme bundle
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, zest removed from the lemon with a vegetable peeler in wide strips
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 3 Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed
  • 4 (6-ounce) Pacific halibut fillets
  • Kosher salt


Combine the olive oil, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, lemon zest, crushed red pepper flakes and fennel seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil then turn the heat off and let it sit for at least 1 hour.

Carefully using a mandoline, slice 1 potato extremely thin, (paper thin), in elongated rounds. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a clean, dry work surface. Arrange slices in an overlapping line pressing them together as you put them on the parchment. Repeat this process until you have a big enough rectangle to cover your piece of fish. Lightly brush the potato “scales” with the infused oil and sprinkle with salt. Season the halibut with salt and lay longwise in the middle of the potatoes.  Carefully bring up each side of potato slices over the fish using the parchment to help facilitate, and press firmly to adhere the potatoes to the fish. Brush the outside of the potatoes with the infused oil to seal the potatoes and to prevent them from turning brown. Place in refrigerator while preparing the remaining fillets, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cooking.

To cook the fish:

Add enough of the infused olive oil to a large nonstick saute pan until the bottom is generously covered, and bring the pan to a medium-high heat. Season the outside with salt and carefully add to the pan. Cook on both sides for 3 to 4 minutes frequently spooning the excess oil over the fish to “baste” it. The potatoes should be crispy golden brown.  Transfer to serving plates and serve.

This will make a fish lover out of anyone!

Liz’s Tidbits:

I did NOT use all the olive oil to cook the fish.  1 1/2 Cups is a lot of oil to use for cooking fish!  Use just enough oil to make sure your potatoes get nice and crisp.  Save the rest for another use.




5 Responses

  1. I tried this recipe last night and it was like a fine dining experience. The trick is to get the potatoes super thin. The mandolin has to use the blade that says thin slices. I made the mistake of using the medium slice balde the first time round and my potatoes just wouldn’t bend. The side of braised fennel, swiss chard and green onions is also amazing. I love Chef Burnell!

  2. I saw Anne cook this too and was intrigued. Going to give it a go tonight. Thank you for your notes on the dish.

  3. Love the finished product! I’ll have to put this on next weeks menu. 🙂

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