Recipe: Poached Halibut with Escarole and Oyster Buerre Blanc - West Coast Food

By Jack Chen, Chef and Co-Owner, Coquille Fine Seafood

Serves 4


1 filet of Halibut (approximately 1 lb.)

Curing Salt
Coarse sea salt (1 cup)
Granulated sugar (1 cup)
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lime
Zest of 1 orange
Combine all ingredients and let it sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours.

Poaching liquid
Fish stock (any flavoured stock will work) (2 L)
Butter (1 cup)
1 sprig tarragon
3 bay leaves
1 lemon peel
Pinch salt
Combine and set aside for later use.

Oyster Beurre Blanc
Butter, diced into 1 cm cubes (1 lb)
White wine (1 cup)
Heavy cream (2 cups)
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
Lemon juice (1/4 cup)
Oysters, chopped (1 cup)
Pinch salt


Beurre Blanc

  1. Reduce white wine with shallots and bay leaf until you have a syrup-like liquid.
  2. Add cream and reduce down to about 1/2 cup.
  3. Slowly add cubes of butter into cream mixture on very low heat. Whisk until emulsified.
  4. Continue whisking while adding a few cubes of butter at a time.
  5. Once butter is fully emulsified, season with salt, lemon juice and chopped oysters.
  6. Finish sauce with a mixture of finely chopped parsley, chives, chervil and tarragon.


  • Wash escarole thoroughly and grill on barbecue until wilted and slightly charred.
  • Dress with lemon vinaigrette (1 cup extra virgin olive oil,1/3 cup lemon juice) and Maldon salt.


  1. Lightly cure halibut with curing salt for about 30 minutes. Wash thoroughly and dry.
  2. Add poaching liquid with aromatics to a pan and bring to about 55 °C to 60 °C and hold at this temp
  3. Add halibut to poaching liquid and poach for approximately 7 to 10 minutes depending on thickness of fish.
  4. Once fish is poached, carefully remove it from the liquid.
  5. Season with Maldon salt and lemon juice.
  6. Add dressed escarole to top of halibut.
  7. Cover fish and escarole thoroughly with oyster beurre blanc sauce.


Born in Taiwan but raised in Vancouver, Chen graduated from Northwest Culinary Academy and went on to follow his passion as a member of back-of-house teams at local restaurants such as Bishop’s and The Pear Tree before embarking on a tour de stage with stops in London, Edinburgh and New York. He has also spent time honing his skills at acclaimed restaurants in California, Belgium and Germany.

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