New This Month

Halibut with Lemon Sauce


Fish and lemon are a natural pairing: The tart citrus enlivens the flavor of a delicate sauteed halibut topped with a reduced lemon sauce and slices of preserved lemon.

  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 1999


  • Zest of 3 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 4 halibut fillets or other firm white fish (8 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into thirds
  • 1 Moroccan Preserved Lemon (optional)


  1. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, sugar, salt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and dill. Place fillets in a shallow, nonreactive container. Cover with lemon-dill marinade, and refrigerate 3 hours.

  2. Remove fish from container; set marinade aside. Heat a large saute pan coated with olive oil. Saute fillets until golden and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat; transfer fillets to a platter. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

  3. Turn heat to high; add reserved marinade. When it bubbles and browns, add remaining lemon juice. Cook 1 minute. Reduce heat to low. Add butter, swirling pan to melt. Remove pan from heat; strain into small pan. If using preserved lemon, cut rind into 1/4-inch-thick strips and warm with sauce in pan. Pour sauce over fillets, and serve.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Karen Getzinger
    24 JUN, 2014
    This was okay, but if I make it again I'll omit the salt until after cooking then salt the sauce as needed. I thought it was way too salty (am I tend to over-salt, at least to my husband's taste- but, he didn't think it was too salty so who knows?). Quick easy dinner.
  • Lady Yunalesca
    7 MAY, 2013
    My second change that I did with this recipe is that I did not add any salt to the marinade. I don't think salt should be added to fish before cooking as salt naturally dries meat. I like to keep my fish moist and flavorful, therefor any salt is added after and at no time before.
  • Lady Yunalesca
    7 MAY, 2013
    Trying out this recipe tonight for dinner. I will be following all the directions almost exactly as written however with two minor changes. Instead of the 3 hours marination time for the halibut I am doing 30 minutes. That is only because from what I've researched and experienced when cooking fish is that you should only marinade the fish for a maximum of 30 minutes - but hey I don't own my own website or have my own cooking show or maybe halibut is just different then other fish...
  • ledunnock
    2 APR, 2011
    really delicious! this sauce is so flavorful i was able to con my fish-hating husband into eating a bit!