Halibut with Pork-and-Peanut Ragù and Cilantro Sauce

Stephanie Izard loves fresh herbs and uses cilantro in a tangy topping for halibut. The ground-pork-and-peanut sauce is inspired by her travels in Vietnam (she calls the sauce "my Asian ragù").Bios and Recipes from Top Chef »

Total Time:
1 hrs


  • 2 cups lightly packed cilantro leaves

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 3/4 teaspoon honey

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1/4 cup salted roasted peanuts

  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil

  • 1 medium shallot, minced

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1/2 pound ground pork

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste

  • 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

  • Four 6-ounce skinless halibut fillets


  1. In a blender, puree the cilantro, olive oil, vinegar, mustard and honey. Season with salt and pepper. In a mini processor, finely grind the peanuts. Heat 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil in a saucepan. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 3 minutes. Add the pork and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat, until browned, 4 minutes.

  2. Add the sugar, miso, tamarind, ground peanuts and 1/2 cup of water to the pork. Simmer over moderately low heat until thickened, 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; stir in the lime juice and keep warm.

  3. In a nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of peanut oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper; cook over moderately high heat until browned and just cooked through, 4 minutes per side. Spoon the pork ragù onto plates and top with the fish. Drizzle with the cilantro sauce and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Izard finds that the sweet notes of an off-dry Gewürztraminer pair well with the tamarind in the sauce, "and a beautiful white wine is always nice with halibut."

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