March 30, 2021
White fish has been a diet staple for centuries, and for good reason: white fish is a nutrient-dense protein source that is easily prepared and great in a lot of recipes. Perhaps two of the more common and popular options, haddock and halibut are two very versatile white fish that not only have a nice, subtle flavor on their own, but can also be used in a wide array of recipes.
All about Haddock
Haddock is a saltwater fish found in the North Atlantic Ocean, and is in the same family as cod. Haddock are found most abundantly on the eastern side of the Atlantic, which probably accounts for its popularity across the pond. Haddock, along with cod, are one of the most common fish used for the English classic, fish and chips. This is because haddock has a firm, moist texture that lends itself well to frying, baking, and smoking. Haddock has a bit more flavor than cod, and can sometimes be described as more “fishy,” which on the outset can seem like a deterrent, but this stronger flavor means haddock can stand on its own when paired with strong flavors.
Haddock is a great alternative to many other popular fish as it is often sustainably harvested.
All about Halibut
Halibut is a catchall term for three different flatfish, found in the North Pacific, North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. Interestingly, Halibut has been a common part of Catholic diets for centuries, and its name reflects this: haly, meaning holy, and butte, meaning flatfish. All of the species referred to as halibut are within the flounder family, and develop similarly.
Halibut has a taste similar to haddock, and both are known for their clean, slightly fishy flavor. It has a somewhat firm texture, with a medium flake and is great for baking, poaching, frying, grilling or steaming. Halibut is terrific in tacos and is highly sought after for its melt in your mouth texture. Like many fish, halibut is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and is a great, lower calorie source of protein.
Unlike many other white fish, halibut is predominately wild caught, as aquaculture has not proved successful. Because of this, halibut fishing is a highly regulated industry, which attempts to protect fisheries and ensure safe conditions and consistent wages for those that fish them. Most halibut are caught in the North Pacific Ocean, where they are largest and most easily found. Since halibut fishing is so tightly regulated, it is often more expensive but this price reflects the care put into protecting and maintaining the species, and the fishing industry surrounding it.
Cooking with Haddock & Halibut
This week we’re cooking with our favourite white fishes, and whether your needs are for a family-friendly fish dish, something for a feast, or just a fast weeknight dinner option. For a quick, low-mess supper, try our Halibut en Papillote with Green Bean Almandine. Need a meal to feed a group? This Halibut Coconut Curry has bright flavours like coconut milk, green onions, cilantro, and lime. If you want something your kids will love, these Panko-Crusted Haddock Fish Sticks with tartar sauce and green beans will have them coming back for more.
Haddock Fish Stick with Tartar Sauce
4 6oz pieces of haddock fillets
*cut into strips
2 cups all-purpose flour
5 cups panko
½ cup dill
½ cup parsley
4 cups canola oil
2 Tbsp cappers (chopped)
1/3 cup red onion (finely chopped)
½ cup dill
½ cup parsley
1 Tbsp Dijon
1 Tbsp Garlic (grated)
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
½ cup mayonnaise
For the tartar sauce:
in a bowl combine the pickle, red onions, capers, parsley, dill, Dijon, garlic, and pepper. Mix in the mayo until the mixture is bound together nicely and has a nice chunky consistency. Set aside in fridge.
For the fish sticks:
Heat the canola oil in a large pot over medium high heat until oil reaches 350 F.
Put the flour in a shallow bowl. Beat the eggs in a second shallow bowl and put the panko in a third shallow bowl. One piece at a time, dredge the haddock in flour, then dip in egg wash, scoop out and let excess egg wash drip off. Place the haddock in the panko and toss to coat the fish. Repeat with all the pieces of haddock.
When the oil reaches temperature add the halibut a couple pieces at a time making sure the oil does not overflow. Deep fry until golden brown approx. 5 minutes. Take out the fish sticks using a metal spider or slotted spoon, and place on paper towel or a wire rack. Season with salt and lemon zest.
To serve stack the fish nicely on a plate lined with butcher paper or parchment paper sprinkle with parsley and dill serve with lemon wedges and tartar sauce for dipping.
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