The Halibut Rule Alex Guarnaschelli Swears By

There are some rules you never want to break and when you are cooking halibut — that sweet, mild tasting white fish that Taste of Home likens to tilapia — and the rule that celebrity chef Alex Guarnaschelli swears by when it comes to preparing this fish is definitely one of those. Guarnaschelli has a culinary résumé that would leave most foodies salivating. And when it comes to fish, the "Chopped" judge knows her stuff. In an essay written for People, she noted that, when it comes to fish, everyone has their thoughts and opinions. But Guarnaschelli revealed her opinions are backed up with a lot of experience. 

In her People essay, Guarnaschelli wrote about her lifelong passion for seafood and acquired savoir faire: "I know that mine come from doing nothing but cutting and cooking fish for almost three years of my life in a great restaurant in Paris. I toiled in a basement with just me, a cutting board and cases of fish — everything ranging from 35 pound whole turbots to tiny fresh sardines." Translation? She has the cred and knows what she is talking about, so listening up. Of course, this brings us back to that halibut rule the cookbook author shared. 

Alex Guarnaschelli says to remove the skin

One of chef Alex Guarnaschelli's Twitter followers asked, "Question: Halibut – Skin on and crispy or remove it?" We were clicking refresh, waiting and hoping, for her response. And luckily, she did not disappoint. Guarnaschelli's answer was succinct, without hesitation, and did not even come close to hitting a tweet's word limit which is worthy of admiration. It is also one that will make cooking your halibut so much better. She tweeted back a one word answer: "Remove." It's that simple. Remove the skin from your halibut before you grill or bake. The follower thanked Guarnaschelli for her easy clarification and lamented "how little clarity" there is on this subject. 

So, why should you remove the skin from your halibut? Blogger Frugalinsa notes that the skin on halibut is actually "too tough to eat" and shares the same philosophy as Guarnaschelli in that it needs to be removed either before or after you cook it, but definitely before it hits the dinner plate. However, Field Company suggests that removing it before you cook is optimal and will help reduce the cooking time for a fish that is prone to dry out. And it doesn't matter what method you use to cook your halibut. If you are poaching, grilling, baking, or steaming this fish, you will want to remove the skin before chowing down.