Sushi Ingredients - Sushi Fish - Halibut

Halibut (Hirame)

Paralichthys olivaceus

Also see: Halibut Sushi in Sushi Menu

Halibut is best from late autumn to early winter. Their fat content in the dorsal fin muscle, or engawa (please see to halibut sushi) is higher during the winter and can jump up to 20% where as other seasons measure at about 10%. During the winter a half pound halibut is recommended, while a 1 pound size would be better off-season.

Hirame translates to “flat eyes”. The halibut has a flat body and both of its eyes are on the left side of the body. The similar flounder has eyes on the right side, and this is how they are classified. The halibut also has sharper teeth which are used to eat prey that live beneath the sand floors. The halibut is nocturnal, and usually hides on the sand during the day, by blending its skin with the background. The halibut can camouflage itself in its surroundings in about 15 min.  

The halibut’s liver is considered a delicacy. It is quickly simmered (5 seconds) and then shocked in ice water. They are also good as sashimi, meuniere, gratin, and simply grilled.