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Crispy Halibut with Wasabi Panzanella and Earl Grey Potatoes

A spicy Japanese take on Panzanella with fresh wasabi root and earl grey infused potatoes, cherry tomatoes and fresh corn.
Course Entree
Cuisine Experimental
Level Intermediate
Main Ingredient Fish, Potato
Diet Dairy-Free, Pescatarian

Ingredients

for earl grey potatoes

  • 4 yukon gold potatoes whole unpeeled
  • tea earl grey
  • salt

for panzanella

  • 1 cup wheat bread dense (cut into 1/4'' cubes)
  • black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 potato earl grey (cut into 1/4" cubes)
  • 1/4 cups cherry tomatoes chopped
  • 1 sweet corn ear fresh kernels removed
  • 2 tablespoons mitsuba minced

for dressing

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons wasabi freshly grated (half if you use the kind from the tube)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon yuzu juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon honey

for halibut

  • 2 halibut pieces of
  • salt
  • white pepper

Instructions

  1. A day before you plan to make this, put the whole potatoes in a pot just big enough to hold all 4 and cover with water. Liberally salt the water then add about 2 tablespoons of earl grey tea. Bring to a boil and check the color of the water, it should be a dark brown color, if it isn't add more tea. Turn the heat down to maintain a gentle simmer then cook until you can just pass a fork into the center of a potato. Turn off the heat and let the potatoes cool in the liquid, then refrigerate overnight.
  2. To start the panzanella, toss the bread cubes in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and some black pepper. Spread on a baking sheet in one layer and put into a 300 degree oven until the cubes are golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. In a medium bowl, add the chopped earl grey potato, tomato, corn, and mitsuba.
  3. For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together. The wasabi starts loosing its potency as soon as it's grated, so make sure you submerge it in the oil and yuzu juice quickly.
  4. For the halibut, start heating a cast iron skillet over medium heat while you prep the fish so it gets very very hot. Rub all sides of the fillets with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible. It's important that you get it as dry as possible to get it to crisp on the outside. When the pan is hot add a 2 tablespoons of a high smoke point oil to the pan then sprinkle just the skin side of the halibut with salt and white pepper. Put the fillets skin-side down into the pan and fry undisturbed until it is opaque half way up the fillets and they easily come off the pan. Use paper towels to carefully dry the non-skin surface of the halibut (be careful, the oil will sputter), then salt and pepper this side. Flip the halibut and continue to fry until it's golden brown on the flesh side and cooked through (about half as much time as you cooked it on the skin side). Transfer the fillets to a plate while you finish the panzanella.
  5. To finish the panzanella, add the bread cubes and dressing to the bowl of vegetables and toss to coat everything with the dressing. Put down a layer of panzanella onto a plate then top with a halibut fillet.