Citrus Tea-Rubbed Halibut

Citrus Tea-Rubbed Halibut

This recipe comes to us courtesy of our friend Chef Ming Tsai. Delicate Citrus Herbal Tea Rub and mild sautéed halibut were made for each other. Here, the fish is served with a refreshing salad of raw fennel, orzo, and orange segments. Of his tea rub, Ming writes: “I can never get enough of tea rubs, so I keep inventing new ones. This green tea and citrus example is particularly fresh and appealing: The tea is beautifully complemented by lemon, lime, and orange zest while mint and ginger add more invigorating flavor. This tea rub does wonders for lighter protein, like chicken and fish.

4 servings


½ cup Citrus Herbal Tea Rub (recipe below)
Four 6-ounce halibut fillets, skin off
2 cups blanched orzo pasta
3 oranges (2 segmented, 1 juiced)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 medium fenne bulb, top cut off, split in half, cored and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
Grapeseed or Canola oil to cook
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Citrus Herbal Tea Rub (makes 4 cups):
1 cup green tea leaves
½ cup dried peppermint, spearmint or mint
1 cup lemongrass powder or flakes
2 tablespoons sea salt or kosher salt
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar or raw sugar
½ cup dried orange zest, crushed
½ cup dried lime zest
¼ cup dried lemon zest
¼ cup ground ginger

[Chef’s Note: To make dried zest, zest the fruit, spread the zests on a baking sheet and bake at 200° F until dried. (It takes about 2 hours.) The rub keeps for up to 3 weeks refrigerated in a tightly sealed container.]


Prepare the Citrus Herbal Tea Rub:
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Set aside ½ cup for the recipe and store the remainder in a sealed container.

Prepare the halibut and orzo:
Place the tea rub on a plate and press both sides of the halibut in the rub. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add halibut and saute, turning once, until the halibut is cooked through, 4-5 minutes per side. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the orzo, orange segments and juice, lemon juice, fennel and olive oil and toss to coat. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide the salad among 4 serving plates, top with the halibut, drizzle olive oil over, and serve.

Copyright © 2003 Ming Tsai. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

Recipe and photo from the Simply Ming cookbook