Grilled Marinated Halibut with Pineapple Mango Salsa

| July 26, 2011 | 6 Comments

Of all the seafood found in the waters of the Pacific Northwest, halibut is one of the most prized among sport and commercial fishermen. It’s plentiful, it’s large and it commands a premium price. Being ultra-low in fat, halibut delivers a clean taste and can stand alone without any flavor enhancers, save a little salt, pepper and perhaps a spritz of fresh lemon.

Large 106-lb. halibut caught by Matt Blume - Photo Credit: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

 Halibut are large bottom dwellers with both eyes on the dark, upper side of their body. The skin of their bottom sides is lily white. Most of the halibut we see in Oregon range from 20 - 30 pounds, but giants well over 100 pounds are not rare. Flounder, sole and sand dabs are their cousins.

Filleting Halibut

Bottom-fishing charters are some of the most economical fishing expeditions you can take because you don’t need to travel too far from shore. Some of them also put out crab pots to increase the variety of catch. Here’s a video of a major sportsman landing a 35-pound halibut from his kayak near Haystack Rock at Pacific City.

My first taste of fresh line-caught halibut was in Morro Bay, California in the early ’90s. It arrived at our table as fresh as promised, simply grilled to perfection. I’ve been hooked on halibut ever since.

Grilled Fillet of Halibut with Pineapple - Mango Salsa

Grilled Fillet of Halibut with Pineapple - Mango Salsa

Ingredients for four servings:

  1. 2 pounds (.9 kgs.) fresh halibut fillet

For the marinade: (optional)

  1. ½ cup (120 ml.) pineapple juice
  2. 4 teaspoons (20 ml.) soy sauce
  3. 4 teaspoons (20 ml.) lemon juice
  4. 2 minced garlic cloves

For the salsa:

  1. 1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped
  2. ½ ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped
  3. 1 15 oz. (420 gr.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  4. ¾ cup (175 ml.) red onion, finely chopped
  5. ½ cup (120 ml.) fresh cilantro, chopped
  6. 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  7. 1 Serrano pepper, seeded and minced
  8. 1½ teaspoons (7.5 ml.) ground cumin
  9. ¼ - ⅓ cup (60-80 ml.) olive oil
  10. Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Mix together the ingredients for the marinade.
  • Place the halibut in a sealable plastic bag.
  • Pour in the marinade and massage to distribute all over.
  • Marinate for 1-2 hours.
  • Mix together all the ingredients for the salsa and refrigerate until needed. Can be done 1-2 days ahead.
  • Prepare the grill.
  • Grill the halibut on non-stick rack set over or near coals.
  • Cook until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers about 125 °F (51 °C).

Remove and serve warm with the salsa.

Bon appétit

— Charles


Category: Seafood

About the Author (Author Profile)

Music, food and photography are at the center of Charles’ life. He performed with the Dallas Symphony, Dallas Opera and was assistant principal bassoonist with the Fort Worth Symphony for more than 20 years. When Charles and Victor moved to Baltimore, Charles created Lone Star Personal Chef and Catering Service and taught cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma. Now in Salem, Charles is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Mountain West Real Estate, taught cooking classes for children at the A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village, and owns and operates Charles Price Photography. Charles and Vic enjoy entertaining and frequently host dinners as fundraisers for local non-profits and charities

Comments (6)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Halibut is one of those fish that is meant to be “painted” on like a blank canvas. Your photo is so well shot, as I love the background. Really makes the colors pop. We spent a lot of time kayaking in Lake Superior last summer. We’re heading up again next summer, and I’ll be taking along a fishing setup on this go-round! No halibut, but lake trout and pike a plenty!

  2. Marlene says:

    This looks scrumptious.

  3. Mel Wagner says:

    Charles-Yummy! I just printed this to try out this weekend!

  4. CGTibbitts says:

    Made this for dinner tonight for my family with Halibut my dad caught in Alaska. The marinate made the halibut mushy, it was a waist of such a normally wonderful fish. The pineapple mango salsa was great, it made the the mushy fish almost edible.

  5. Charles says:

    How long did you marinate? Pineapple juice is a strong tenderizer. I’ve never had that problem and I’ve used the marinade on everything from catfish to lamb. If you’re brave enough to try again, leave it in the marinade less than an hour. Thanks for your feedback.

  6. CGTibbitts says:

    It was only in the marinate for an hour. I’ll try again with another type of meat but I think I’ll never marinate halibut again. I’ve almond crusted it and fried it in a cast iron skillet and it was amazing. I do love the salsa and will for sure use that again.

Leave a Reply