Halibut Salad

Halibut Salad

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I grew up eating Halibut Salad. It was on our Thursday rotation of fish meals. Halibut is a firm white fleshed fish that has a very mild flavor. It’s actually whiter than other white fleshed fish like snapper or flounder. I think that’s what makes it so pretty as a salad. The whiteness of the fish stands in sharp contrast to any other vegetables you serve with it.

I make my standard Halibut Salad very simply with celery and mayo and cocktail sauce on the side. Sometimes, I put grape halves in it. The firm, slightly crunchy and juicy green or red seedless grapes add a lot of flavor and texture to this basic salad.

Whether you serve Halibut Salad in a bowl as an entrée; or stuffed in four inch pieces of celery or just crackers as an hors d’oeuvre; I’m sure everyone will love it.

Click on Nicoise Salad for another cold fish entrée.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Hint: Feel free to poach the halibut in plain water without adding the onion and bay leaf.

Halibut Salad

By Gloria Kobrin Published: August 15, 2022

  • Yield:

  • 8 Servings


  • 3 1/2 pounds center cut fresh halibut filleted and skin removed
  • 1 large onion peeled and quartered
  • 1 large Bay Leaf
  • 2 large lemons
  • 4 large stalks of celery washed and diced =3-4 cups
  • 1 cup or more mayonnaise
  • 2 12 ounce bottles of cocktail sauce
  • 1 cup seedless grapes-optional cut in half


  • 1 large pan with 2 inch sides
  • 1 spatula
  • 1 large mixing bowl


  1. Rinse halibut. Place fillets in pan and cover 3/4 of fish with water. Add onion and bay leaf to water. Bring to a boil on top of the stove and quickly reduce to a slow simmer. You should barely see the water moving and there should be no fish odor at all. Poach halibut until it is opaque- about 10 minutes. If the fillet is very thick, turn it over and poach on the other side until that side is opaque as well. Don't worry about breaking the fish as you turn it. You're going to flake it up anyway.
  2. Remove poached halibut from cooking water and place in mixing bowl. Squeeze lemon juice from both lemons over the halibut while it is still warm. Flake it slightly. Let halibut cool completely.
  3. Drain halibut if a lot of liquid has formed. Flake completely. Add celery (optional grapes) and one cup of mayonnaise. Mix very well. The salad should hold together on a fork. Add more mayonnaise if desired.
  4. To serve as an entrée: Line a platter or serving bowl with lettuce leaves. Mound the Halibut Salad in the center. Decorate the platter with sliced peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives. Serve cocktail sauce on the side. The Halibut Salad is mild and the cocktail sauce gives it a nice kick! To serve as an hors d'oeuvre:1. serve in a bowl with crackers 2. fill the center of four inch celery sticks or 1 1/2 inch slices of peppers with halibut salad 3. top a 1/2 inch round of cucumber with halibut salad