I just flew back from Alaska with 14 pounds of Halibut filets. What should I do with them? And how long do I have to eat them? (They are frozen now)

  • Posted by: Seph
  • September 9, 2010


Jim H. September 6, 2012
I am not sure where anyone gets that halibut will only last a couple of months frozen. That is simply not true. Properly frozen and stored halibut will last two years in the freezer, no problem. There is not be any "musky" taste whatever that is. I have stored halibut and other fish this long many times being an Alaskan commercial fisherman, although I fish crab not halibut we often sport catch the fish.

If your fish is commercially frozen and vacuum packed, no problem. If you vacuum pack it yourself, well that can be a problem. The Food Saver, one of the most common vacuum packers is OK but it is not like a commercial packer. The bags tend to leak.

Another way to store fish for the long term is in water. Cut the fish into fillets and put the fillets into empty milk cartons. Fill the cartons with water and freeze. It takes a long time to thaw them this way but they will not get freezer burned.

Halibut is one of the longest keeping fish there is just refrigerated. In the old days halibut schooners would sail from Seattle to Alaska, catch the fish, put them on ice and sail back to Seattle. I am not sure what the product was like but people did eat it.

Another thing, beware of so called fresh fish. Often this isn't fresh at all but rather it means it just has never been frozen. Although truly fresh fish is the best I personally would rather eat properly frozen fish than most of the so called fresh fish sold. For fish such as cod look for the words "frozen at sea" on the box. This means it comes from a catcher /processor and is frozen hours after being caught on plate freezers that freeze it solid and a couple of hours. This produces a far better product than you will get when you pop fish into your Frigidaire.
pierino September 10, 2010
You can also make A LOT of fish tacos!
SC H. September 9, 2010
I had the same problem a month ago. If properly frozen and vacuum sealed the thawed Halibut will still take fresh with no fishy odor.

I sprinkle mine with salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, and paprika. Dredge in flour, then pan fry over med heat for about 7-8 min a side. No mushy texture at all.

You can also spice the same, but skip the flour, and broil for about 5 min a side. I find it a little dryer this way, but slightly healthier.
Merrill S. September 9, 2010
Frozen halibut, wrapped well, will keep in the freezer for a couple of months. Once you've defrosted it in the refrigerator, I'd recommend using it in a stew or a sauce, rather than grilling or sauteing it (the latter will highlight, rather than mask, the mushy texture that usually results from freezing fish).
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