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The halibut fisheries off the coast, Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound are now in full swing with anglers bringing home nice filets of this delightfully tasting white-fleshed fish.

In this week’s seafood recipe of the week, executive chef Joel Panlilio of Tilth in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood has a pan-roasted halibut recipe that will impress your dinner guests at the dining table. In his recipe, Panlilio uses a “Dashi” a flavorful Japanese stock or broth full of umami.

Executive chef Joel Panlilio of Tilth in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. Photo courtesy of Tilth Restaurant and owner/chef Maria Hines.
Executive chef Joel Panlilio of Tilth in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. Photo courtesy of Tilth Restaurant and owner/chef Maria Hines.

Chef Panlilio’s meticulous ingredient sourcing and dedication to organic cuisine makes him a natural fit at Tilth, which derives their New American cuisine menu from locally sourced, certified organic ingredients.

His technique is grounded in his time at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He defined his culinary work for several years in New York at Eleven Madison Park, where he first met Tilth owner Maria Hines; followed by Tabla with Chef Floyd Cardoz.

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Panlilio’s culinary journey also had him working at fine dining restaurants in Toronto and Vancouver, British Columbia, before joining Tilth in 2014.

At home chef Panlilio enjoys honing his skills on a well-used collection of six different grills and smokers. Joel’s two young sons and golden retriever also keep him busy with hikes, and reading culinary books like “The Flavor Bible” and “On Food and Cooking.”

Word on halibut fishing

Halibut fishing was good on the May 4 and May 6 openers with one more day of fishing offered Thursday (May 11) in Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the coast off Neah Bay, La Push and Westport.

(Photo by Mark Yuasa, Seattle Times staff reporter)
(Photo by Mark Yuasa, Seattle Times staff reporter)

Once fishing is completed state Fish and Wildlife will assess the catch to see if more is available in to reopen fishing on May 21 and possibly May 25. Beyond that, if enough remains in the quota then it could reopen on June 1 and/or June 4.

The halibut off Ilwaco is currently open with fishing allowed Thursdays through Sundays of each week. The nearshore fishery off Ilwaco is also open Mondays through Wednesdays of each week.

The total Washington sport catch quota last year was 214,110 pounds (as well as in 2015 and 2014), and this year it is 237,762 pounds.

This year, the sport halibut fishery in Puget Sound — including areas from Sekiu to Port Angeles in the Strait of Juan de Fuca — is a quota of 64,962 up from 57,393 pounds last year.

The northern coast off Neah Bay and La Push caught 107,417 pounds last year with a catch quota of 108,030. This year, the quota is 115,599 pounds.

Last year, the south-central coast off Westport produced 43,785 pounds with a catch quota of 42,739. This year the catch quota is 50,307 pounds, and 2,000 pounds will be reserved for the near-shore fishery.

Anglers are hopeful to land halibut like this 180 pound fish Ryley Fee, center, of Woodinville caught a few years ago in the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, along with fishing partners Brian Fleming, left, and Marv Fleming.
Anglers are hopeful to land halibut like this 180 pound fish Ryley Fee, center, of Woodinville caught a few years ago in the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, along with fishing partners Brian Fleming, left, and Marv Fleming.

The southern coast off the Columbia River — co-managed with Oregon — caught 11,895 pounds last year with a catch quota of 11,009. This year, the catch quota is 12,799 pounds with 500 pounds reserved for the near-shore fishery.

The entire West Coast catch quota for sport, tribal and non-tribal commercial fisheries is also up with a quota of 1.33-million pounds compared to last year’s 1.14-million pounds.

The daily catch limit in all marine areas is one halibut with no minimum size limit.

Coming up

This season we will also have recipes and advice on how to cook up and dish out a wide variety of local seafood from a full line up of chefs at Maria Hines’ Tilth Restaurant including executive chef Joel Panlilio; Abby Canfield and Agrodolce restaurants owned Chef Maria Hines; Chef Taichi Kitamura, owner of Sushi Kappo Tamura; Chef Shota Nakajima, owner of Adana; Executive Chef Paul Duncan at Ray’s Boathouse Restaurant chefs; Head Chef Pat Donahue and other chefs at Anthony’s Restaurants; Executive Chefs Tristan Chalker, Ken Sharp, Jonathan Garcia, Jesus Boites and Wesley Hood from El Gaucho and AQUA by El Gaucho; Jason Wilson, owner of Miller’s Guild, The Lakehouse and Civility & Unrest; Chef Ben Godwin at RN74; Chef Jun Takai from Shiro’s Sushi; Chef Maximillian Petty from Eden Hill Restaurant; and Salvador Panelo owner of Seattle Fish Guys Seafood Market in Seattle.

Recipes will be posted every Wednesday and/or Thursday. Also, if you have a recipe you’d like to reel-in my way, please let me know and I will post them, and will even test it out with my family and friends.

Eecutive chef Joel Panlilio of Tilth in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood offers a Pan Roasted Halibut recipe for our Seafood Recipe of the Week. Photo courtesy of Tilth Restaurant and owner/chef Maria Hines.
Eecutive chef Joel Panlilio of Tilth in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood offers a Pan Roasted Halibut recipe for our Seafood Recipe of the Week. Photo courtesy of Tilth Restaurant and owner/chef Maria Hines.

Pan Roasted Halibut, Spring Vegetables and Carrot Dashi

Ingredients

Four 4-ounce halibut filets (skin off)

2 Tbsp of Canola oil

2 to 4 Tbsp of butter

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

14 to 16 ounces (weight of a typical bunch) of fresh asparagus

8 ounces of fresh peas (or frozen, if not available)

2 cups of carrot dashi (see recipe below)

Directions

1: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add enough salt so it tastes of the sea. Prepare an ice bath by filling a bowl with ice and water to “shock” the asparagus and peas to keep them from over cooking.

2: Wash asparagus and trim the bottom stalky part, peel the bottom ⅔ if the asparagus are on the thicker side. Blanch in boiling water for about 10-30 seconds. Fish them out and place in the ice bath. Pull out asparagus after a minute or two and set on paper towels.

3: Blanch peas for 1 to 2 minutes or until cooked and tender and shock in ice bath. Drain ice water from peas.

4: Season halibut filets with salt and freshly ground pepper.

5: Place a saute pan over medium-high heat, when hot, add 1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil to pan. When oil is shimmering, gently place halibut filets in pan. Cook until a nice brown crust starts to form on the bottom, about 3 minutes.

Flip the fish and add butter to the pan. Add smashed garlic and thyme, if you have it and spoon the butter over fish. It’s ready when the middle of the fish turns slightly opaque, about 1 to 3 more minutes, depending on thickness of fillets.

6: To assemble plates, place asparagus and peas in a bowl, place cooked halibut on top and pour the carrot dashi into the bowl.

Carrot Dashi Ingredients

(Yield three cups)

1 ounce of kombu

1 ounce of dried shiitake

¼ ounce of bonito flakes

3 cups of water

1 cup of carrot juice

To taste add salt

Directions

1: In a sauce pot, combine kombu, water and carrot juice. Over medium heat, bring close to a simmer. Do not allow to boil. Once bubbles start to develop on the sides of the pot, remove the kombu and discard.

2: Add dried shiitakes and bring to a boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add bonito flakes and for another minute or two. Turn off heat and let steep for 5 minutes.

3: Strain the broth and adjust seasoning with salt.

Recipe Notes from the Chef: Dashi is a flavorful Japanese stock or broth full of umami. It is much simpler to make then chicken or fish stock but is full of flavor. We added the carrot twist to it because I feel it goes well with the ubiquitous peas of spring. Kombu, dried shiitake and bonito flakes are readily available at Uwajimaya, Whole Foods and your local asian grocer.

(Serves four people)