Halibut is by far the largest of all flat fish (it can grow to lengths of four metres or more) and is available mostly in steaks, fillets and cutlets. Its firm, meaty white flesh has a delicious flavour but it can dry out quite easily so needs careful cooking. There are concerns about the sustainability of wild halibut. Farmed halibut is a more sustainable option.
Allow a 200g/7oz fillet or steak per person. If you can’t find halibut, turbot is a suitable substitute. Small halibut, called chicken halibut, weigh up to 2kg/4½lb and can be bought whole.
Halibut tends to lose its texture when frozen.
Halibut is probably best prepared with plenty of liquid: pan fry it in melted butter and olive oil and baste regularly, or poach it in liquid to keep it moist. It needs to be cooked until the flesh has turned opaque and is just starting to flake.