onna plate

Halibut, Salmon, even Steak onna plate

I read a food piece by Olivia Wu in the Chronicle where she thinly sliced halibut, arranged the slices on an oiled plate and cooked it in a 500-degree oven for two minutes.

I can do that!

She described it as an “utterly simple and almost instant dish” and then confounded it by pairing it with a baked tomato confit that is labor intensive and takes about two hours to prepare. I thought the tomato sauce was a bit heavy for the delicate fish.


The halibut was so good and easy that I tried the same technique with a salmon fillet (mind the bones). That, too, turned out moist and tasty and good and easy.

What a find!

Recently, I had a hanger steak in the meat drawer with no plan. Hey, I’ll bet I could do that onna plate. I could and did.


I sliced the steak thin, spread it with pepper jelly, littered the slices with capers and popped it into the oven. I checked after 2 minutes and 30 seconds, with the oven at 450 (my oven doesn’t go to 500 degrees). I put it back for a minute, checked, put back for 2 minutes. Good. That’s a little over 5 minutes. That’s a juicy and tasty change of pace for a rather inexpensive cut of steak.

Lately, I did the halibut onna plate again, so I could take its picture. I abandoned the tomato sauce and instead made a green garlic dressing, which was a perfect accompaniment.

There’s no real recipe here, but there are some rules to go by:


  1. Fresh fish. Get it from a fishmonger you know and ask about the freshness. And don’t let it sit in your refrigerator for days.
  2. Remove the bones, if any, first.
  3. Sharp, thin knife. You’re cutting thin slices on a diagonal across the grain of the fillet, so that they will be wider than the thickness of the fillet.
  4. Make sure your oven is up to temperature. For my oven, this takes at least 30 minutes.

Spread olive oil on your oven-proof dinner plates and even it out with your fingertips. Gently place the slices of halibut on each plate and arrange so they follow the shape of the inner rim of the plate, but do not overlap. Season with salt. Place the plates with the halibut into the oven and bake for 2 minutes, or until the fish is just opaque. Do not cook the halibut all the way in the oven, it will finish cooking on the plate out of the oven.

Move the plates to a counter and spoon your sauce in the center of the plate, slightly overlapping the fish.

Serve and enjoy. Yum.


Green Garlic Dressing

from Julia at Mariquita Farm

1-3 stalks roughly chopped green garlic, tough end leaves discarded
1/3 cup rice vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon honey or jam
1/3 cup olive oil
S & P

Whirl all in a blender. Can be used as a salad dressing or marinade.

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