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Chilled Poached Halibut with Fresh Apricot Salsa

Photo: Thomas J. Story; Styling: Karen Shinto
Total time 30 mins
Yield Makes 4 servings
Mustard seeds give the salsa a nutty richness. Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes. Notes: Find brown mustard seeds at Middle Eastern, South Asian, and gourmet grocery stores. If using supermarket apricots, increase lemon juice to 2 1/2 tbsp. and mix it with 1 1/2 tsp. honey before adding to salsa.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds (see Notes)
  • 1 pound apricots, preferably Blenheim
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 to 1/2 red jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and cut into rings crosswise as thinly as possible, or 1/4 to 1 tsp. minced seeded habanero chile
  • About 1 tbsp. coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into thin slices
  • 4 halibut fillets (6 oz. each and 3/4 in. thick)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 347
  • caloriesfromfat 39 %
  • protein 38 g
  • fat 15 g
  • satfat 1.9 g
  • carbohydrate 15 g
  • fiber 2 g
  • sodium 586 mg
  • cholesterol 54 mg

How to Make It

  1. Put oil and mustard seeds in a skillet, cover, and heat over medium-high heat. They'll start popping wildly. When the popping sounds die down, remove from heat. Let cool slightly, uncovered.

  2. Halve and pit apricots; cut into 1/2-in. dice. Put diced apricots in a large bowl and toss gently with lemon juice, onion, cilantro, chile, and mustard seeds with oil. Stir in 2 tsp. salt and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

  3. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels and fill half-full with water. Add 1 tsp. salt and lemon slices. Heat water over medium heat until gently simmering. Add fish and cook, covered, until just opaque in center (cut to check), 5 to 8 minutes.

  4. Transfer fish with a spatula to a platter and chill at least 20 minutes. Season with salt to taste and serve cold, with salsa.

  5. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.