Pan Seared Halibut with Pickled Strawberries and Fermented Blueberry

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Prep Time35 min

The versatility of berries is highlighted in this pickled strawberry and fermented blueberry halibut recipe. Each add their own flare to the dish and join together with the protein and quinoa for a well balanced meal.

Pan Seared Halibut with Pickled Strawberries and Fermented Blueberry


    Fermented Blueberries

  • 1 1/2 lbs California Giant blueberries
  • 1/2 oz non-iodized salt
  • Spicy Pickled Strawberries

  • 16 oz. California Giant strawberries, sliced into 1/8th inch rings
  • 1 tbsp serrano chile, large, sliced very thin
  • 2 tsp chives, fresh, minced
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Fermented Blueberry Bacon Fried Quinoa

  • 1 cup dry white quinoa
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 8 oz bacon, small dice
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, fresh, minced
  • 1 tsp sambal oelek
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp green onion, sliced thinly on bias
  • 1 1/2 cup fermented blueberries
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Blackberry Mushroom Saute

  • 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 2 oz leeks, 1/8 inch slices
  • 6 oz cremini mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 6 oz button mushrooms, whole
  • 8 oz California Giant blackberries
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chiffonade
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Pan Seared Pacific Halibut
  • 3 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs sustainable pacific halibut fillets
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Fermented Blueberries

      • Place the blueberries and salt in a vacuum sealed bag, toss lightly and thoroughly to mix.
      • Do your best to arrange the berries in a single layer, then seal the bag on maximum suction. Be GENTLE!
      • Be sure to seal the bag as close to the opening as possible, leaving at least 3 inches of headroom that will allow you to cut open the bag to vent any gas that accumulates and then reseal it.
      • Ferment the blueberries at room temperature for 7 days, or at warmer temperature (around 82 degrees F) for 4 to 5 days.
      • If bag balloons up during fermentation, you will need to “burp” the bag and reseal it.
      • Once the blueberries have reached the desired level of sourness, remove them from the bag, strain the juice and store in the refrigerator.
  • Spicy Pickled Strawberries

      • Bring vinegar, sugar, salt and mustard seeds to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 2 – 3 minutes and whisk until sugar and salt are dissolved, allow to cool for 8-10 minutes (can be placed into refrigerator to expedite process).
      • Place strawberries, serrano and chives into a glass or heat-proof container.
      • Pour pickling liquid over strawberries and other ingredients.
      • Refrigerate, uncovered until mixture is completely cool. Can be made up to 2 days in advance. Cover when completely cooled.
  • Fermented Blueberry Bacon Fried Quinoa

      • Bring water, quinoa and a pinch of salt to boil, reduce to simmer, cover.
      • Continue to simmer for 12 – 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes.
      • While quinoa is cooking, place bacon in saute pan over medium heat and slowly render fat until bacon is cooked but not completely crispy. Drain most fat, reserving 1 tbsp for fried quinoa.
      • When quinoa is finished, fluff with fork.
      • Add garlic and ginger, saute for 30 sec.
      • Add sambal oelek, saute for 30 sec.
      • Add quinoa and pan fry, season with salt and pepper (be gentle with the salt, as fermented blueberries will add additional salt as well).
      • Add soy sauce and continue to saute for 30 sec.
      • Immediately before service, add fermented blueberries, then green onions, toss to mix.
  • Blackberry Mushroom Saute

      • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
      • Heat butter in saute pan over medium heat.
      • Add leeks, season with salt and pepper, sauté for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
      • Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, saute for 3-4 minutes until softened.
      • Add blackberries, season with salt and pepper.
      • Place saute pan in oven for 4-5 minutes to ensure that mushrooms are cooked through and blackberries are lightly roasted.
      • Immediately before service, add parsley, toss, check for seasoning.
  • Pan Seared Pacific Halibut

      • Using a sharp knife, cut halibut loin into four 4.5-5 oz portions.
      • Thoroughly pat both sides of each halibut filet with paper towels to ensure all extra moisture is absorbed.
      • Season each fillet with salt and pepper.
      • Heat oil in non-stick saute pan over medium high heat.
      • Sear Halibut on one side until desired sear is achieved, flip over and cook until fish reaches internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Do not overcook.
Pan Seared Halibut with Pickled Strawberries and Fermented Blueberry

Recipe Creator

Chef Sam Blackburn

Chef Sam Blackburn

Sam Blackburn CEC, CCA, CDM / CFPP works for the Healthcare Operational Excellence Team for Sodexo North America where he gets to travel the country assisting in Culinary Operational Needs at various healthcare facilities. Influenced by his great grandmother who was an excellent cook, he knew by age 15 that he wanted to be a chef and loves to try new things in the kitchen. With over 16 years of experience, he relishes the opportunity to be able to really dig into the ever-changing landscape of the culinary scene right now. The most important thing to Chef Sam is the continual quest to learn something new every day.

Follow your berries to the farm.

Locate the 16-Digit Trace code.​ Enter the trace back code from your berry container to visit the farms where we’re grown. Too bad we can’t deliver the fresh fragrance, too!