Gluten free cooks need new breading ideas and this Hazelnut Lemon Halibut is a winner. The crunchy breading is bursting with citrus flavour from a generous amount of lemon zest. The addition of chopped hazelnuts adds crunch and the nutty flavour pairs well with the delicate white flesh of halibut.
Fish is nature's fast food! There is a huge variety available and pan frying with fresh lemon is the fastest treatment. Halibut is in season at the end of winter and it's succulent texture makes it a real treat.
Over time I've collected some seasonal favourites that I repeat year after year. Here are a few of them:
- Salmon with Chinese Pesto and Arctic Char with Citrus Sauce, two winter favourites.
- Sesame Salmon on Greens, healthy and spring like in my mind.
- Grilled Salmon with West Coast Dill Barbecue Sauce as soon as we uncover the BBQ.
- Halibut Puttanesca, a late summer fav when we're enjoying garden tomatoes and lingering in the sun on our patio.
- Battered Fish and Chips, as well as Fish Tacos, are fair game any time of year.
After many disappointments with store bought gluten free breadcrumbs, I switched to making my own. We pay good money for gluten free bread so I save small pieces of bread and buns in the freezer. When I need breading I turn it into crumbs, use what I need and put them back in the freezer in another container.
- halibut fillets
- sweet rice flour or cornstarch
- cream (10% or higher)
- gluten free breadcrumbs (or your own from leftover bread/buns)
- parsley (fresh or dried)
- olive oil
See recipe card for exact amounts.
🐟 Instructions: 3-Step Method for Breading
Lay food in a single layer on a plate or tray and set out three bowls for an assembly line process.
- Dredge fish or meat in sweet rice flour or cornstarch. Gently shake to remove excess flour and ensure the food is evenly coated.
- Dip into egg mixture (typically egg mixed with milk or cream). Lift out of mixture and allow excess to drip off back into the bowl.
- Place food on top of the seasoned breadcrumb mixture. Turn to coat all sides. Transfer to tray or wire rack. A short rest of 5 or 10 allows the breading to stick to the food.
Proceed as directed in the recipe.
🍋 Instructions: Zesting Citrus Fruit
Citrus zest brings punch to many dishes so I like to keep both orange and lemon zest in my freezer at all times. The little containers are designated for this purpose and stay in the freezer even when they're empty.
Substitutions for Flour in Breading
Gluten free cooks need options so I like to give you some. For coating fish, cubes of meat or any piece of chicken; sweet rice flour and cornstarch are good substitutes.
In recipes with a sauce, like Chicken Porto or Chicken Cacciatore, the flour adds bulk to the food and slightly thickens the sauce. Sweet rice flour was the first alternative I learned about but cornstarch does an equally good job.
🍞 Gluten Free Panko-Style Breadcrumbs
This breading recipe can be made with any breadcrumbs including panko-style crumbs. I've heard of people making their own panko (and I was envious) using gluten free bread. I haven't tried it but if you love panko, here are a few brands I see online.
🍊 Equipment: Zesters
All cooks need options and having the right tool for the right job is key. I've used a small hand zester for decades. The long rasp grater/zester, sometimes referred to by the brand name Microplane, is popular now and everyone should have at least one.
These graters come in different widths and lengths with varying sizes of holes. One or a whole set would make an excellent gift. We see them being used in videos and cooking shows everywhere. Microplane is king but there are less expensive ones like this Deiss brand.
When halibut's in season I'm making this Hazelnut Lemon Halibut. Let me know in the comments below, if you tried this recipe or have a favourite halibut recipe already.
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Hazelnut Lemon Halibut
- 6 - 4 oz halibut fillets
- ½ lemon
BOWL #1 - DRY
- ½ cup sweet rice flour or cornstarch
- salt and pepper
BOWL #2 - WET
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoon cream (10% or higher)
BOWL #3 – HAZELNUT BREADING
- 1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs or your own from leftover bread/buns
- ½ cup finely chopped hazelnuts
- zest of 2 lemons, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley (or 2 teaspoon dried)
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Assemble three bowls of ingredients for breading the fish.
- In bowl #1 mix sweet rice flour, salt and pepper.
- In bowl #2 beat the egg and cream together.
- In bowl #3 combine breadcrumbs, nuts, lemon zest, parsley, salt and pepper.
- Squeeze lemon juice over the fish.
- Dredge fish in bowl #1 (seasoned flour)
- Dip in bowl #2 (egg mixture)
- Dredge in bowl #3 (hazelnut breading) pressing crumbs into the fish.
- Heat butter and oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add fish and cook for 3-4 minutes until browned, turn and cook for 3 minutes until browned.
- Place fish on a baking tray and bake in oven for 5-10 minutes or until done, depending on the thickness of the fish. Serve with lemon.