Wild Halibut with Thai Coconut Sauce Recipe - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Wild Halibut with Thai Coconut Sauce Recipe

Wild Halibut with Thai Coconut Sauce | Pamela Salzman

When am I going to finally go to Thailand and eat their delicious food?  It is one of my favorite cuisines.  Suffice it to say I am definitely not going any time soon since I am in full book mode right now!  I don’t think I’ve mentioned in the last 5 minutes that my book is coming out on June 13th.  Or maybe I have.  Super excited!  But because I am scattered in a hundred, no a million, different directions right now, you can expect all future blogposts to be a little shorter than usual.

Wild Halibut with Thai Coconut Sauce | Pamela Salzman

This recipe is not in the book even though it is a favorite.  I love Thai flavors — salty, sweet, pungent, sometimes a little spicy, but always light and fresh.  And because I’ve never been to Thailand, I really have no idea if you can expect to eat fish with this unbelievably tasty coconut-ginger sauce.  The sauce is the best part.  It is so good, I am always mad that I didn’t double it to cover rice and veggies.

Wild Halibut with Thai Coconut Sauce | Pamela Salzman

My protein of choice is legumes or seafood.  I don’t know what I would do if my family didn’t enjoy fish.  They especially like white fish like halibut, but this sauce will go with anything.  It seems like a lot of ingredients, but there’s very little prep involved.

Wild Halibut with Thai Coconut Sauce | Pamela Salzman

If you want to make some of this ahead, I would make the sauce, but don’t reduce it too much because it will thicken as it sits.  Then all you have to do is broil the fish and you’re done.  Great for a weeknight or for entertaining.

Wild Halibut with Thai Coconut Sauce | Pamela Salzman

There are times when I don’t have the exact ingredients.  It’s ok to substitute!  Rice vinegar can sometimes work for fresh lime juice, soy sauce or tamari for fish sauce (definitely not the same, but it’s fine in a pinch), omit the cilantro if you dislike it and sub mint or basil.  I love this dish over jasmine rice or cauliflower-rice with a simple green vegetable on the site, like snap peas or asparagus.  I hope you love this recipe — it was a huge hit when I taught it in class.  Well, that’s a wrap for today.  I’ll be back on Saturday night with a new dinner planner and then Tuesday is the BIG day!!  xoxo

4.4 from 5 reviews
Wild Halibut with Thai Coconut Sauce Recipe
Serves: 6
  • 1 ½ cups full-fat coconut milk (usually a full can’s worth)
  • ¾ cup fish stock, chicken stock or bottled clam juice
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fish sauce
  • a little heat: a pinch of crushed red pepper, 1 Tablespoon of minced fresh chili pepper or a little Siracha sauce
  • 6 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, divided
  • 6 Tablespoons finely chopped green onions, divided
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 wild halibut fillets, about 4-6 ounces each (or mahi-mahi or true cod fillets)
  1. Prepare a broiler pan or place a metal rack inside a baking sheet. (You can also grill the fish.)
  2. In a large skillet, combine coconut milk, stock, lime juice, ginger, garlic, fish sauce and chili peppers. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until sauce has thickened slightly and equals about 1 cup to 1 ¼ cup, about 10 minutes. If you use a smaller skillet, it will take longer; a larger skillet, less time. Stir in half the cilantro and half the green onions. Season with sea salt and pepper.
  3. Position an oven rack on the second level from the top. Preheat broiler to medium or medium-high. Brush each piece of fish all over with 1 Tablespoon of sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover sauce to keep warm.
  4. Broil fish until it starts to flake and is opaque in center, about 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on thickness of the fish. Divide fish and sauce among 6 plates. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro and green onions. Serve.
I buy fish stock in the freezer section of Whole Foods. Some markets make it in-house and you might find it frozen in the seafood department or with other frozen stocks in the freezer section.


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  1. I’ve made this a few times, so good, also great for company. If I wanted a thicker sauce, what would you add to it? Kudzu? Cornstarch?

    • you can whisk in a little (1 tsp?) of arrowroot or cornstarch to either liquid before adding to the pan. Those thickeners must be whisked in cool or room temp liquid before adding to hot. Hope you enjoy it!

  2. Is the sauce supposed to be more of a glaze or more “soupy?” I liked the sauce (skipped the heat for the wife and kids), but we all had the expectation of more of a sweet sauce/glaze. Would love some opinion of adding more of a sweetness to the dish.

    • I’m sorry you had a different expectation for this dish. It’s supposed to be more of a sauce with a thin consistency, unless you let it reduce to thicken it. I don’t add any sweetener to this because my family likes it as is, but you certainly can if you prefer a sweet element to this.

  3. Would this work with barramundi?

    • Absolutely!

  4. Rave reviews from the family for this one, Pam! Had my hubby grill the fish and some asparagus while he was at it while I made the sauce. Used some Thai chili paste for the heat. My son said it’s a keeper and please make again! Super easy and may enlist him to help me chop next time.

    • Love getting the family to help with the cooking!

  5. Have tried to print three times. Picture prints, no recipe. Any suggestions?

    • Try using the print button just above the recipe. It sits to the left of the 5 stars and to the right of the recipe title. You can’t print from your browser. Let me know if that works for you.

  6. Thanks for the very nice recipe. I did sub soy sauce for fish sauce. Because I was using unsweetened coconut milk, I added a couple tbs of brown sugar. I also added about 1.5 tsp turmeric for richer color and about a tsp of dried coriander for its flavor. I also used shrimp instead of fish and, because I was using veggie stock instead of fish stock, I cooked the shrimp shells in the stock and then strained it. Also before adding all liquids to the wok in which I prepared the sauce, I stir fried carrots and bell pepper, and then added some peas at the very end, with the shrimp, after the sauce had thickened. Served over white rice, and the family loved it. Thanks again!

    • Thank you for the generous comment! I love all these suggestions, and kudos to you for making your own shrimp stock. I don’t know why I haven’t tried turmeric here. I definitely will though, thanks!

    • In other words, you didn’t make this recipe. I don’t understand why people review recipes in this manner. It is not a review of Pamela’s listed on this page. When you make so many variations of the original recipe, then your review is not relevant. Thanks for your ideas, however unsolicited. I’m sure your recipe is delicious.

  7. YUMMMM! This is absolutely delicious, easy, and so satisfying. I didn’t have fish sauce, so I used tamari, but otherwise I followed it to the letter and it was divine. 🙂

    • So glad to hear you enjoyed it! Excellent choice to make the sub with tamari! xo

      • Hello
        What kind of chilli pepper? Dried red or the fresh green thai chilli.

        • Any kind you like! The measurements are different for dried versus fresh though

  8. Is there a substitute for using fish stock. I know it sounds crazy since I am cooking fish, but it is not a favorite!

    Thank you!

    • Sure! Just use chicken stock!

  9. Prints fine on my computer. Thank you for sharing!

  10. PLEASE let us print these recipes – my printer shows a blank page when I try.

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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