Stovetop-Poached Halibut with Herbed Lemon Sauce

Serves: 4Hands-on: 15 minutesTotal: 25 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 4


  • 4 halibut fillets (4 oz. each)
  • 1 lemon
  • ⅓ cup mixture fresh herb sprigs (parsley, thyme, and/or chervil)
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper


  • Rinse the fish fillets in cold water and pat dry.
  • Put 2 to 3 inches of water in a pan broad enough to hold the fillets without overlapping them.
  • Cut the lemon in half. Squeeze the juice from 1 half and reserve for later. Thinly slice the remaining half lemon, reserving 2 slices to cut in half for garnish.
  • Add the lemon slices, herbs, fennels seeds, and bay leaf to the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the fillets; simmer until the fish is opaque through the thickest part, or for about 8 to 10 minutes for fillets that are 1" thick. Transfer the fish to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Strain and discard all but 1 cup of the poaching liquid. Bring the reserved poaching liquid to a boil over high heat until it is reduced by half, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved lemon juice. Arrange the halibut on 4 plates and spoon the lemon herb sauce over the fish. Serve immediately garnished with the black pepper and reserved lemon slices.