Saffron-scented Halibut

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with Tomato Basil Compote and Zucchini

Saffron-scented Halibut

Watch the Sous Vide Gourmet Cooking Video Series to see how to prepare this dish.

Courtesy of Chef Jason Wilson (Crush, Seattle WA)

Serves 4


For the halibut

  • 4 (5 ounce/150 g) halibut fillets, fresh and boneless
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) kosher or sea salt, divided use
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) fish (or vegetable) stock
  • 3 tablespoons (15 ml) butter
  • 15 threads Spanish saffron
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) orange zest, chopped well
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) finely chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water

For the tomato compote

  • 1/2 cup (120 g) fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) fresh chopped basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon (7.5 ml) ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) orange zest, chopped well

For the zucchini

  • 2 whole green zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped mint
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon (5 ml) chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) minced chives (for garnish)



  1. Fill and preheat the SousVide Supreme to 140F/60C.
  2. Cut the halibut into thick, even cubes, season it with a little salt, and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan over low heat, simmer the fish stock, butter, saffron, orange zest, and a pinch of salt and whisk for 3 minutes.
  4. Put the fillets, two to a pouch, into small (quart/0.9 liter) cooking pouches and pour the saffron and butter mixture over the fish, dividing it evenly between the pouches.
  5. Vacuum seal the pouches and set aside.
  6. In a saucepan over medium high heat, warm 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the olive oil; toast the garlic in the oil until golden, then add the shallots and water and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Add the tomatoes, basil, black pepper and orange zest to the saucepan and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  8. Put the tomato mixture into a small (quart/0.9 liter) cooking pouch, vacuum seal, and set aside.
  9. Trim the ends from the zucchini and season with the remaining olive oil, a bit of salt, the lemon zest and parsley.
  10. Put the zucchini into a small (quart/0.9 liter) cooking pouch and vacuum seal.
  11. Submerge all the pouches in the water oven and set the timer for 12 minutes.
  12. Remove the zucchini and tomato compote pouches and reset the timer for 5 minutes to finish cooking the fish.
  13. Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, make ‘ribbons’ of zucchini and toss them with the residual liquid from the cooking pouch. Fold the ribbons and arrange them on the serving plate.
  14. Remove the fish and plate it on a bed of zucchini ribbons, topped with the tomato compote and a sprinkling of fresh chives.
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