Curried Tilefish Steaks

A Google search usually turns up several recipes for almost any ingredient.  But when I looked for ideas to prepare the wild tilefish steaks I’d just purchased, practically nothing turned up.

Sure there’s general info on tilefish, and some ideas for how to cook it or other whitefish.  But there was little about how to prepare this fish, especially in steak form, or how to highlight its flavors, despite the fact that it’s been popping up on locavore menus at farm/sea to table restaurants everywhere lately.  So I trusted my instincts and gave it a mildly spicy Asian flare that was perfect with the pan-sear.  Since I was quite pleased with the results, I’m sharing it with you.

Tilefish is in season now in the Northeast and relatively inexpensive (~ $13/lb).  Pick some up and try my version.  Or let me know if you have any way that you like to cook this mild tasting fish.


Curried Tilefish Steaks
Serves 2.


2 tilefish steaks (about 1lb)
1 tbsp of curry
1 tbsp of ginger (or you can grate some fresh if you have it)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsps of butter
1 tbsp of olive oil


Pat the fish dry.  Sprinkle one side with half the curry and ginger, some salt and pepper and a few squeezes of lime juice.  Then rub on a light coating of oil (I used chile oil).  Flip and do the same on the other side.

IMG_0994Heat a cast iron pan to high.  Melt 1 and 1/2 tbsps of butter in the pan.  Add the fish.  Cook for 5 minutes until it has a nice sear.  Flip.  (It should flip fairly or else the fish may need to cook a little longer.)  If the pan is getting dry, add more butter.  Cook for another 5 minutes.  Then remove from heat.  If the fish doesn’t easily lift off, let stand for a couple more minutes.  If it still doesn’t, use a flat metal spatula to release.

IMG_0996Plate and serve with some lime for squeezing.  As a side, I blanched kale that I got from my csa, which was then sauteed with pancetta and baked with cream and caramelized onion cheddar cheese from Trader Joe’s.

To drink:  Albarino would be lovely with the little spice.  Or try a lime gimlet since you’re using lime with the fish.


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