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Spicy Poached Halibut

Poached Halibut

Want creamy, flavorful fish and veggies in a snap? Try poaching your next fish and vegetables in spiced coconut milk. Somewhere between exotic chowder and stew lives this recipe. Feel free to use salmon for this recipe, but halibut is a nice change of pace. If you cannot find lemongrass, though I urge you to try, you can substitute the zest of 1 lemon and lime.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings


Poaching Liquid

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 6 ounces stemmed shiitake mushrooms, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger, or 3 cubes frozen
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Several stalks of lemongrass, peeled down to pale pink inner shoots, roughly chopped
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, or zest of 2 limes
  • 4 cups canned coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 - 2 bird’s eye chiles (or jalapenos), very thinly sliced (I hope you try these. They are spicy but have a fruitiness that makes them delicious and special)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 4 (6-ounce) halibut, cod, or salmon fillets, skinned
  • 2 cups thinly sliced carrots
  • 4 cups bok choy, sliced leaves and stems
  • 2 cups napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Garnish: cilantro leaves, lime wedges
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan or deep sauté pan. Sauté mushrooms until wilted and beginning to brown on edges. Add curry powder, tomato paste, coriander, cumin, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass. Cook for about 2 minutes to toast spices.
  2. Add lime leaves, coconut milk, lime juice and chilies. Reduce heat to a simmer. Season broth with salt and pepper.
  3. Arrange fish and vegetables in broth. Simmer for about 20 minutes until fish is cooked through.
  4. Divide fish between serving bowls and spoon vegetables over fish. Garnish with cilantro and pass lime wedges.