7 Best Halibut Marinades

So you’ve mastered the best ways to cook halibut and want to try making a marinade. Where do you start?

Marinating halibut is an art that can transform this mild and delicate fish into a culinary masterpiece. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a home cook looking to elevate your seafood game, understanding the nuances of halibut marination is vital to creating flavorful dishes.

In this article, we will explore the seven best halibut marinades for all flavor preferences and occasions.

Top 7 Most Delicious Halibut Marinades

Halibut is a versatile and mild-flavored fish that pairs well with many marinades. If you’re looking for ways to spice up your meal, consider these seven delicious halibut marinades that are easy to prepare.

1. Lemon Herb Marinade

Lemon herb marinades are popular among fish enthusiasts because they add a much-needed kiss of acidity to your dish. In this versatile recipe, you can switch up the herbs to suit your preferences.


  • Olive or vegetable oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Chopped basil or thyme leaves
  • Garlic
  • Salt and pepper

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Slowly add the wet ingredients, thoroughly mixing as you go.
  3. Soak the fish in the marinade and refrigerate it for 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Soy Ginger Marinade

Do you have less than five minutes to assemble a delicious halibut marinade? This soy-ginger mixture is sweet, savory, and a little spicy. You can also use it as a seasoning sauce and a dip.


  • Brown sugar
  • Soy sauce
  • Vegetable oil
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Lemon juice
  • Red chili flakes
  • Green onions

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Mix in the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Slowly add the wet ingredients.
  3. Marinate the fish in the mix for two to four hours.

3. Citrus Cilantro Marinade

If you’re one of the lucky ones who don’t think cilantro tastes like soap, you’re in luck. The bright and zesty flavors of citrus and cilantro in this marinade complement halibut beautifully.


  • Cilantro
  • Fresh-squeezed lime
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Jalapeno
  • Salt and pepper

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Combine the ingredients in a food processor, pulsing until the texture becomes chunky.
  2. If you don’t have a food processor, dice the ingredients as finely as you can, combining them in a bowl.
  3. If you prefer a less spicy dish, remove the inside of the jalapeno, running it under cold water before mixing.

4. Garlic Parmesan Marinade

For something rich, savory, and creamy, a garlic parmesan marinade is a match made in heaven. It’s the right amount of salt – perfect for fish lovers who aren’t fans of acid.


  • Vegetable oil
  • Garlic
  • White vinegar
  • Red vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Thyme
  • Grated parmesan

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Whisk together the vegetable oil and garlic in a bowl.
  2. Add the other ingredients and whisk them together until they’re well combined.
  3. Soak your fish for up to 10 minutes in this marinade.

5. Tropical Fruit Marinade

Are you looking for a sweet and tangy tropical twist to your typical fruit-based marinade, this one is for you. It adds a burst of freshness that brings any halibut fillet to life.


  • Pineapple
  • Banana
  • Orange juice
  • Coconut milk
  • Lemon juice
  • Red wine
  • Olive oil
  • Basil
  • Salt and pepper

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Marinate the salmon in a medium bowl with olive oil, basil, lemon juice, and red wine. Add some salt to taste and leave the fish marinating for about 30 minutes.
  2. Make the fruit sauce by mixing the banana, pineapple, orange juice, and coconut milk.
  3. Pour the fruit sauce into an oven-safe pan, add the salmon, and bake for 35 minutes at 400F/200C.

6. Miso Sesame Marinade

This miso sesame marinade has a complex flavor profile that brings sweetness and savoriness to your favorite halibut dish. It’s a subtle marinade that makes your fish shine and is so easy to assemble.


  • Miso paste
  • Soy sauce
  • Rice vinegar
  • Maple syrup
  • Ginger
  • Sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds
  • Green onions
  • Salt and pepper

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Combine the ingredients in a mason jar or airtight container, shaking well.
  2. Marinade the fish inside a container or ziplock bag. Refrigerate for up to an hour.

7. Spicy Cajun Marinade

If you’re the type that likes a hot kick to your seafood, this spicy cajun marinade will bring the heat. This marinade is best for grilling but lends itself well to other cooking methods.


  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar
  • Garlic
  • Onion powder
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Paprika
  • Horseradish
  • Lime or lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender except for the juice. Mix until completely blended.
  2. Add the juice until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Marinate the fish in the mix for about half an hour.

Tips for Marinating Halibut

Marinating halibut the right way can make a significant difference in the flavor and texture of the final dish. Here are five tips for marinating halibut:

  • Use fresh halibut. Start with fresh halibut fillets. The fresher the fish, the better the result. Look for fillets that are moist, firm, and have a mild, clean smell. Avoid any fish that appears discolored or has a strong, unpleasant odor.
  • Don't over-marinate. Halibut is a delicate fish, and over-marinating can result in a mushy texture. In general, 30 minutes to 2 hours is sufficient for marinating halibut. For very thick fillets, you can extend the marinating time slightly, but be cautious to go only a few minutes longer.
  • Use an airtight container or zip-top bag. Use an airtight container or a zip-top plastic bag to ensure the marinade evenly coats the fish and minimizes air exposure, which can lead to oxidation and off-flavors. Squeeze out as much air as possible if using a bag.
  • Refrigerate during marination. Always marinate your halibut in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. Cold temperatures help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. It also slows down the enzymatic breakdown of the fish, preserving its quality.
  • Pat dry before cooking. Before cooking the halibut, remove it from the marinade and gently pat it dry with paper towels. This step helps achieve a better sear and prevents the fish from becoming overly wet during cooking, which can affect the texture and prevent proper browning.

Halibut Marinade FAQs

How long should I marinate halibut?

Marinate halibut for 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the thickness of the fillets. You can marinate thicker cuts longer, but be cautious to avoid over-marinating, leading to a mushy texture.

Can I marinate halibut overnight?

Marinating halibut overnight is not recommended, as the fish can become overly soft and lose its texture. Stick to the recommended marinating times.

Do I need to discard the marinade after using it?

If the marinade has come into contact with raw halibut, it's essential to either discard it or bring it to a boil to kill any potential bacteria. You can also reserve some marinade separately for basting or as a sauce.

What are some ideal ingredients for halibut marinades?

Ingredients for halibut marinades can include citrus juices (lemon, lime, or orange), herbs (rosemary, thyme, cilantro), garlic, olive oil, soy sauce, honey, spices (cumin, paprika), and more. The choice of ingredients depends on the flavor profile you want.

Should I rinse the halibut after marinating?

It's not necessary to rinse halibut after marinating, as this can wash away the flavorful marinade. Simply remove any excess marinade before cooking.

Can I freeze marinated halibut for later use?

Yes, you can freeze marinated halibut for later use. However, ensure to wrap the fish thoroughly to prevent freezer burn. Thaw it in the refrigerator before cooking.

Is it okay to marinate frozen halibut?

It's better to thaw the halibut before marinating, as the marinade won't penetrate frozen fish as effectively. Thawing ensures even marinating and better flavor absorption.

However, if you’re pressed for time, use our tips on how to cook frozen fish to maximize flavor.

What cooking methods work well for marinated halibut?

Marinated halibut can be grilled, baked, broiled, or pan-seared. Of course, it comes down to preference.


Whether you prefer your halibut grilled, pan-seared, or baked, a delicious marinade can bring each flavor to the next level.

Every good fish dish starts with high-quality protein. With Alaskan Salmon Co, you can expect your wild-caught Alaskan halibut to be jam-packed with micronutrients and taste delicious!

  • +

    Get fresh, sushi-grade Alaskan salmon delivered to your door.

    Alaskan Salmon Company Shop Salmon