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Halibut Fish Cheeks

halibut fish cheeksFish cheeks? The first time I heard this we were living in Hong Kong. The Chinese love fish and the prized part is the cheek. Why?  The cheeks are the tastiest and sweetest part of the fish…I kid you not! Tender chunks of flesh that smell like the ocean and are opaque. A smaller fish yields cheeks that tend to look like sea scallops whereas a larger fish can have cheeks the size of a hamburger patty.

Fish cheeks, whether they’re from halibut, grouper, cod, or snapper have a texture similar to that of a chicken breast.  Sautéing brings out a slightly sweet flavor and so tender they easily pull apart.  I prepared this when our daughter was home last month.  I asked if she wanted to try it.  She was a bit suspect at first – I saw the signs of hesitation in her answer and the nose scrunched up because it’s fish, but after the first bite she really enjoyed it.  The recipe is simple, uses few ingredients, and best of all, takes little time to prep and cook.

Serves 2 to 4
1 lb. halibut fish cheeks
1 or 2 lemon wedges
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
splash of white wine or sherry
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

fish cheeks collagePat the halibut cheeks dry with paper towel. Lightly flour each cheek and gently tap any excess flour. If you like, season the flour with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add olive oil.  Swirl around until the butter and oil are mixed and bubbly. Place cheeks into the bubbly butter and brown until cooked, just a minute or two each side. Time will vary depending on the size of the pieces but no longer than 5 minutes in total. When you flip the fish over, add capers, wine, and squeeze one lemon wedge over the cheeks. Add another tablespoon of butter and allow to melt. Give the pan a shake and remove from heat. Sprinkle with parsley and serve right away.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Fish cheeks are not always available so it’s best to ask your fishmonger in advance. You can cook them the day you purchase or freeze for later use. Fish cheeks can also be cooked in the oven or on a grill. Enjoy!

Halibut Fish Cheeks
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Fish cheeks? The first time I heard this we were living in Hong Kong. The Chinese love fish and the prized part is the cheek. Why? A taste test and you’ll soon know why. The cheeks are the tastiest and sweetest part of the fish…I kid you not! Tender chunks of flesh that smell like the ocean and are opaque.
Author:
Recipe type: fish
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. halibut fish cheeks
  • 1 or 2 lemon wedges
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • splash of white wine or sherry
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Pat the halibut cheeks dry with paper towel. Lightly flour each cheek and gently tap any excess flour. If you like, season the flour with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add olive oil. Swirl around until the butter and oil are mixed and bubbly. Place cheeks into the bubbly butter and brown until cooked, just a minute or two each side. Time will vary depending on the size of the pieces but no longer than 5 minutes in total.
  3. When you flip the fish over, add capers, wine, and squeeze one lemon wedge over the cheeks. Add another tablespoon of butter and allow to melt. Give the pan a shake and remove from heat. Sprinkle with parsley and serve right away.
Notes
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Fish cheeks are not always available so it’s best to ask your fishmonger in advance. You can cook them the day you purchase or freeze for later use. Fish cheeks can also be cooked in the oven or on a grill. Enjoy!

 

One Response to Halibut Fish Cheeks

  1. Minnie@thelady8home May 9, 2015 at 11:10 #

    Sounds yummy! Never tried it.