Sous Vide Halibut Causes Repeated Tautology

A good few months ago, I cooked a meaty chunk of halibut sous vide. I did it at 55°C for 30 minutes. It was super wonderful. When in the fishmonger’s recently, I saw a perfectly excellent piece of large halibut steak, carved from a giant halibut. I had to have it. I had to repeat the easy simple recipe and show it to you here. If tautology has taught me anything, it’s taught me to double down and do things twice as well as before.
This halibut is so good and easy, I predict that you will prepare it in the future. It works really very well served on top of a bed of split peas.

Ingredients for two (double if making for four)

  • 250 gramme halibut steak
  • 250 grammes of yellow split peas
  • 800 grammes (two cans) of diced chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of piment d’Espilette
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 generous knob of butter
  • 1 handful of green parsley

Slice the parsley up pretty fine.

That parsley looks pretty fine to me.

Rinse the split peas. I like to soak them three times to get clear water in which to cook them. Cover them in water and bring to a boil.

Rinse the split peas until the water is very clear.

Simmer for about 20 minutes or so. Drain, rinse and return to the saucepan. Add a little water and then add the tomatoes, parsley, piment and most of the salt and pepper (keep enough to season the fish).

When I talk about layers of flavour, this is what it looks like.

Skin the halibut and slice it into large generous portions (these were more than generous).

We could have fed four with these large size big slices.

Season the fish and place it along with the butter and a couple of slices of lemon in a ziplock bag. Use the water displacement method to get the air out of the bag.

This qualifies as the most pointless photo I have ever used.

Side note on water displacement method: I have a vacuum sealer but, I find it can squash fish out of shape. I was not going to chance risking this with the halibut.

Place it in the sous vide and cook for between 30 and 45 minutes at 55ºC. It can stay there a bit longer if, like mine, your split peas take about twice as long to cook as suggested on the pack.

This is a shot of the bag submerged underwater in the sous vide.

Serve the halibut on top of the split pea mixture. The split peas with the piment and tomato add a nice hot spicy note that works very well with the meaty, chunky fish.

At the risk of repeating myself, this is a fantastic wonderful dish.

I can only recommend this and urge you to make it your first priority when planning your next meal.
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Latest comments
  • Looks Fab! And, as I’ve serendipitously just bought some Espelette pepper, I shall be making this just as soon as I can lay my hands on some halibut (but I guess any firm fish would do?) I shall use my vacuum sealer though: I have mastered the art of sealing mid-suck 😊

  • That looks amazing. Is it too early for lunch now?

  • No sous vide, so no gently cooked fish, but I might try some nice firm white reef fish cooked en papillote instead. Love the spicy split pea mix 🙂

  • Two good ideas at the end of my working day: Like your split peas and Kate’s of poisson en papillote 🙂 ! Are you back from Spain if so, how was it . . . . you did not manage to get near the unfortunate Catalan conflict, I hope!!

  • That looks pretty awesome! I guess for a fish like halibut, no need even to finish it off on a hot pan or anything like that.

    great, absolutely great, looks tender and juicy… On a side note, I cooked freekeh for the first time yesterday, and I bet it would be awesome as a side dish for your halibut too

  • I love the peas/ pulses idea with fish… Great presentation!

  • This looks great, Conor. That is a lot of tomato you’re adding to those peas. Last week there was a freakishly huge halibut on display at the fish market, about my size! I already had other plans but this would have been nice. I would probably go lower on the temperature, but that’s me.

  • Try not to make a halibut of it…

  • I like the yellow split peas.

  • I may have to give split peas another chance. As an adult I have avoided them as a staple of growing up was split pea soup which was a thick unpalatable soup. But a big soup for New England. But yours look tasty and edible!

  • Looks delicious & robust enough for this time of year. Have never cooked with split peas and as per previous commentator that’s probably due to childhood soup trauma too! Will have to experiment.

  • I planned on getting some swordfish this week, now I may check out the halibut first. Not quite ready to try sous vide, but one of these days…

  • Ah – busted! My mastering of the art involves merely having a ‘pulse’ vacuum button my sealer 🙂 I finally have a lovely piece of halibut and I have just this minute popped it in the sous vide doohickey. I made the peas last week – I’m about to find out how they stand up to freezing! I must admit I found them a little bland, but that could just be my jaded palette. so I upped the Espelette and the salt and pepper, and threw in a little home-fermented chilli sauce for good measure. Only 40 minutes to go…….

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