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Garlic Basil Seared Halibut with Charred Lemon

Garlic Basil Seared Halibut with Charred Lemon

Fresh wild halibut is such a beautiful fish. Sprinkled with salt and pepper and rubbed with a fresh garlic and basil paste then pan seared (or grilled) and finished with a few pieces of charred lemon.
Keyword charred lemon, seared halibut
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Author Ian Wickman


Garlic Basil Paste

  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Pan Seared Halibut

  • 1 lb halibut filet
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper

Charred Lemon

  • 1 each lemon


Garlic Basil Paste

  • In a small bowl mix the minced garlic, minced basil, and olive oil together to form a rough paste.

Pan Seared Halibut

  • Remove your halibut from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature (about 20 - 30 minutes).
  • Rinse and dry the halibut. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Rub all over with the garlic basil paste.
  • Heat a skillet over medium/medium-high heat. Add a bit of oil to the pan and swirl to coat.
  • Add the halibut to the pan and let sear about 3 minutes, making sure it doesn't burn, just a nice brown sear. Flip and sear the other side another 3 minutes or so.
  • Turn the heat down to medium low/medium and cover with a lid cooking another 2 - 3 minutes per side until cooked through and remove from the pan.

Charred Lemon

  • Slice lemon in half and then cut 4 rounds off the thickest part of the lemon, a little thinner than a 1/4 inch. Trim all the pith from the outside (each slice may not stay together fully but that's okay.
  • Turn the heat on the pan back up to medium-high and add a couple more drops of oil and swirl to coat.
  • Place the rounds of lemon into the pan and let sear until browned and a little charred on the bottom, around 30 - 60 seconds. Flip and complete the light char and remove from the pan.


  • Serve the fish and top with a round (or few pieces) of the charred lemon!


This is a delicious way to prepare halibut and works equally well in the pan or on the grill. The charred lemon is a fun way to change up the squeeze of lemon juice that is commonly used with a preparation like this. It adds a bit of depth to the flavor and a change in texture, pretty darn tasty!
I will also often serve it over a rice/risotto or even polenta. It's shown with a simple but delicious mushroom risotto (with a bit of fresh basil!).