Crispy Fried Alaska Halibut

Succulent, golden, crispy fried halibut is an Alaska classic. Make it at home with this simple and flavorful recipe.

Prep Time hour 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time hour 40 minutes

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Seafood
Keyword: Halibut
Servings: 2


  • 1-2 pounds skinless halibut fillet
  • Oil for frying such as canola, peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp fennel pollen or ground fennel seed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper or chili powder
  • A pinch of white pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 1 tbsp vodka optional
  • Malt vinegar for serving


Optional dipping sauce

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp sliced chives
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley



  • Step 1: Salt and rest the fish
    Pat dry the halibut fillets and sprinkle all over with salt. Let rest in the fridge for an hour.
  • Step 2: Mix the batter
    In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, fennel, baking powder, crushed red pepper, white pepper and salt. Slowly add the ice-cold water and optional vodka. Mix until smooth and the consistency resembles heavy cream.
  • Step 3: Heat the oil
    Fill a large, wide, heavy bottomed pot with oil about halfway. As a precaution, never fill your pot to the top, and always leave room for the oil to bubble up. Heat the oil to 370F.
  • Step 4: Batter and fry the fish
    Dip each piece of fish into the batter one by one, lifting gently and allowing excess batter to drip completely, before carefully placing the battered fish into the hot oil. When placing the halibut into the oil, try to hold the fish and drag it back and forth through the oil for a few seconds before releasing it, allowing the batter to set. This will prevent the fish from sinking to the bottom and sticking. When the batter is golden and crispy the fish will be moist, succulent, and perfectly cooked.
  • Step 5: Remove from oil and serve
    Immediately transfer the fish to a wire rack or paper towel to whisk away any excess oil. Dust with extra fennel and crushed red pepper and splash with malt vinegar before serving.
  • Step 6: Make the dipping sauce
    Place the egg yolks, sherry wine vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk vigorously for 5-8 minutes until the eggs are cooked, aerated, and frothy. Remove the bowl from the heat and fold in the chives and parsley. Adjust the seasoning to your liking.


Recipe courtesy of Chef Joe Sasto
Recipe and image courtesy of

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