This is a delicious and quick sauce that is so delicious with the fish.  I adapted the sauce from a recipe in the New York Times.  I love the fresh basil and cilantro and the spinach which all work so well with the fish.  If you don’t have halibut, you could certainly use any other fish that is fresh and accessible.  It is great served with sticky rice and starry vegetables.  I used snap peas and yellow squash.

Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 red onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick and halved
  • 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic paste, more if you prefer more heat
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • ¼ cup white miso
  • 1 can (15 0z) cup unsweetened, full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 lbs halibut filet, cut into four segments, crosswise 
  • 8 ounces baby spinach 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  • Steamed rice, such as jasmine or basmati, for serving
  • stir-fried vegetables for serving (snap peas, broccoli, squash)
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • fresh cilantro sprigs for serving
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced for garnish
  • thinly sliced fresno chili for garnish


In a medium skillet, heat the oil to medium heat and add onion, ginger and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for several minutes until soft, tender and fragrant. Add miso and continue to stir, thinning miso and allowing it to darken just a bit (about 3 more minutes).  Add coconut milk , chili garlic sauce, honey, lime juice and bring to a boil over high heat allowing sauce to reduce and thicken about 5 minutes.  Cover and keep warm.  Adjust seasonings to taste.  Just before serving, stir in baby spinach to wilt.

Preheat oven to 375.  In a cast iron skillet, or heavy bottomed oven proof skillet, heat an additional tablespoon of oil on medium-high heat.  Pat fish dry on either side with paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.  Season fish liberally with salt and pepper.  Place fish skin- side down (if there is skin) on pan and sear for 4 minutes, until crispy and golden.  Once skin is golden, carefully flip the fish to the other side and sear for another 4 minutes until the fish is opaque in color toward the center.  Flip the fish one more time if it has skin and transfer fish skillet to the oven and allow the fish to cook through.  This will take about 7-10 minutes, but timing will depend a bit on the thickness of your fish.  Use a fork and gently test if fish is ready when flaky and opaque toward the center.

To serve, ladle some sauce into a shallow bowl and place fish in sauce. Divide rice and vegetables among bowls, ladling a little sauce on top of fish  and garnishing with fresh basil, cilantro, scallion and fresno chili (if using) and a squeeze of lime with more sauce on the side as desired.  Enjoy immediately.