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Halibut Salad Rolls (Maine-Style)

Halibut is a naturally lean fish that has a sweet yet mild, delicate flavor with a firm flaky texture. Here at Wild for Salmon, our halibut is skinless, boneless, and very versatile. Due to its mild flavor, firm texture, and ready-to-prepare form, halibut does well in a variety of cooking methods, making for a wide range of halibut recipes. 

Though there are many different ways to prepare halibut, it can sometimes be difficult to find that one halibut recipe that really stands out and keeps you coming back for more. Enter, the Halibut Salad Roll - a fresh new take on a New England-style classic!

If you are already familiar with how to make a lobster roll, then you’ll already be quite familiar with the list of ingredients in this recipe. Regardless, we suggest you dive in below to learn the important details between lobster and halibut and the differences in preparation it requires for this recipe. From brioche rolls to leafy greens, this halibut recipe will taste delicious atop any lunchtime combination you please. 

What is a lobster roll, and where did it come from?

Traditionally, lobster rolls consist of lobster meat doused in butter on top of a hot toasted brioche bun. There are newer adaptations of the roll called the “Maine-style”  that consist of a mayonnaise base with lemon juice, celery, scallions, and often lettuce and herbs. Lobster rolls can be cold or hot, depending on the preference and the style. The Maine-Style version is typically served cold, making it a refreshing salad on hot summer days!

Historians cite many different sources when discussing where the lobster roll originated. Some say that the first lobster roll was served in Milford, Connecticut in 1929 at a restaurant named Perry's. The roll is also said to have kicked off in Long Island, New York in around 1965.

One of the more popular rumored origin locations of the lobster roll is in Maine. In 1970, lobster meat was said to have been served at roadside stands coated in butter on hot dog buns. Now, there are many variations of the classic lobster roll. 

Lobster rolls are usually served year-round on the east coast in states like Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and other popular spots like Cape Cod. However, lobster rolls - or any seafood roll- can be made in the comfort of your own home, no air fare fuel required. It’s easier than you think!

Don’t Forget About the Buns!

If you opt to go the bun route for this recipe, there are some important things you ought to consider. For lobster rolls, or any type of seafood roll, it is important that you do not use tough bread. While we’d argue that the meat is the most important part of the roll, we admit that the soft, toasted bun it sits on truly pulls the meal together.

Some choose to use plain hot dog buns, baguettes or hamburger buns for their seafood rolls, and with a bun full of wild caught seafood, you really can’t go wrong. However, our top choice for a seafood roll is with a fresh, split-top brioche roll.

Brioche buns are perfect for this recipe because they are sturdy enough to stay together when toasting and assembling the roll, but retain that soft, fluffy texture throughout preparations. Brioche buns also offer a distinctly sweet, rich flavor that compliments the mild and delicate flavor of halibut well. 

Halibut Salad Rolls (Maine-Style)

Halibut: The Perfect Pairing

While many seafood fans might love the flavor of lobster, it can often be an acquired taste, especially for those not yet familiar with seafood. Replacing this distinct flavor with wild Alaskan Halibut (or even some other white fish) might just be the way to go for those who have picky eaters in the family, or simply want to try something new!

Our halibut comes from our trusted partners Seth and Chris at Yakobi fisheries in Southeast Alaska, who use long lining fishing practices within a sustainably managed fishery. Long lining helps to avoid contact and compression of the halibut with other species, making for a whiter and firmer flesh that tastes sweet, clean and natural.

As a bonus, halibut can keep your heart going all year long too! Halibut is packed with potassium, magnesium, and other nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and selenium that can positively impact your heart health. 

Similar to the traditional lobster roll, this Halibut Salad recipe roll can also be served year round for lunches and dinners. In addition to the classic summertime seafood roll, you can choose to place this halibut recipe within a wrap or on a salad, as well as serve it warm or cold - making it the perfect year-round dish

Want to keep it traditional? Put it on a fresh brioche roll with crispy potato chips! Want to ring in the New Year with a simple but decadent dish? A toasty seafood roll with halibut is the perfect shareable plate to put out for late night (or early year) snacking. 

From its mild and sweet flavor, to the nutrients and advantageous health benefits, to the versatility of halibut as a topping, this Halibut Salad recipe is clearly worth a try for your next meal. So, put your chef's hat on, get creative, and make your own version!

Halibut Salad Rolls (Maine-Style)

Chef's Notes

The bright lemon and herb flavors in this halibut salad roll, paired with the creamy dressing, make this recipe a perfectly refreshing weekend lunch or light dinner. Serve it classically on brioche rolls with a side of crispy potato chips, in lettuce wraps, or on top of a fresh garden salad.

Reminiscent of a lobster roll, this halibut salad can be served at room temperature immediately after preparation, or chilled in the refrigerator to serve later.

If you are in a hurry but still want to enjoy this savory roll, try making it with Wild for Salmon salad shrimp. All you have to do is thaw and drain them and use in place of the halibut. Alternatively, salmon portions could be cooked the same way as the halibut and used instead.

[[ recipeID=recipe-9l6ck3avw, title=Halibut Salad Roll ]]

 

AUTHOR PROFILE

Marisa Kerkvliet of Lemon Thyme Kitchen is a freelance recipe developer and food photographer with a Master’s degree in Nutrition. She was raised on her family’s farm in Northwest Washington and her appreciation for good food developed at a very early age. She is passionate about creating recipes and beautiful imagery that highlight high-quality seasonal ingredients. Marisa loves all types of seafood, but her favorites are salmon and scallops!

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1 comment

  • Sounds yummy! Anxious to try this!

    Patrice

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Halibut Salad Roll

The bright lemon and herb flavors in this halibut salad roll, paired with the creamy dressing, make this recipe a perfectly refreshing weekend lunch or light dinner. Serve it classically on brioche rolls with a side of crispy potato chips, in lettuce wraps, or on top of a fresh garden salad. 

Servings: 5

Keywords:

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins

Ingredients

Instructions

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lb halibut portions
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 stalk celery, finely minced
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced
  • 2 Tbsp minced chives
  • 1 Tbsp minced tarragon
  • 6 split top brioche rolls

Instructions

  1. Remove the halibut from all packaging and pat dry with paper towels. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter. While the butter melts, sprinkle 1 ½ teaspoon salt evenly over both sides of the fish.
  2. Once the butter has melted and is bubbling slightly, add the halibut to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the fish starts to turn opaque along the edges. Carefully flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until cooked through. It will start to flake apart when pressed lightly with the spatula. Thicker pieces of fish will need more time, closer to 5 minutes per side. 
  3. Transfer the halibut to a plate to cool slightly for 10-15 minutes. 
  4. While the halibut is cooling, prepare the dressing. In a medium bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, and Dijon mustard. Stir in the celery, shallot, chives, tarragon, and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt.
  5. When the halibut has cooled to the touch, carefully break it apart into bite size pieces and fold it into the dressing mixture. 
  6. Spoon the halibut salad into the brioche rolls and serve immediately.