Passover Halibut in Velvet Lemon Sauce Recipe

Serves/Makes: 6 main dish servings or 12 appetizers


  • 2 pounds halibut or salmon steaks (6 to 8 pieces)
  • Water to cover fish, approximately 2 cups
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • Sauce:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons potato starch mixed to a cream with the minimum of cold water
  • Garnish:

  • Curly parsley
  • Sections of fresh lemon, skin left on
How to cook Passover Halibut in Velvet Lemon Sauce:
  • In a lidded skillet, large enough to hold all the fish in 1 layer, bring 2 cups water, the onion, sugar, salt and pepper to a boil, adding the sugar at this stage greatly improves the fish without noticeably sweetening it. Lower the heat while you prepare the fish.
  • Wash and salt the fish and put in the skillet. Bring the poaching liquid back to the boil, then lower the heat so it is barely bubbling. Partly cover and simmer very gently 20 minutes.
  • Lift out the fish with a slotted spoon or fish slice, draining any liquid back into the skillet. Place the fish in an oval serving dish about 1-1/2 inches deep. Remove any skin but leave the bone, then leave to cool while you make the sauce.
  • To make the sauce - Boil the remaining fish poaching liquid for 3 minutes to concentrate the flavor, then strain it and measure out 1 cupful.
  • Beat the eggs thoroughly with a rotary whisk, then whisk in the cup of fish liquid, the lemon juice, and the potato starch cream. Alternatively, mix all the ingredients for 10 seconds in a food processor or blender. This makes it easier to thicken the sauce without fear of curdling.
  • Put this liquid in a thick-bottom saucepan and cook gently over slow heat until the sauce thickens to the consistency of a coating custard – you will need to stir constantly. Do not let it boil or the eggs may curdle.
  • Taste the sauce and add extra lemon juice, if necessary to make it equally sweet and sour. Pour the sauce over the fish, coating it completely. Leave it in the refrigerator overnight, or up to 4 days, covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  • Serve the Passover Halibut in Velvet Lemon Sauce at room temperature, garnished with the parsley and lemon sections.


The Passover Halibut in Velvet Lemon Sauce recipe easy to prepare and so good! This classic Anglo-Jewish Passover dish should be refrigerated for 24 hours to allow the delicate sauce to flavor the fish. The contrast between the sweet-and-sour sauce and the gently-flavored fish is mouthwatering.

This recipe for Passover Halibut in Velvet Lemon Sauce serves/makes: 6 main dish servings or 12 appetizers

The Passover Halibut in Velvet Lemon Sauce recipe and the pictures are adopted from The Our Favorite Fish & Seafood Recipes Cookbook.

Main Ingredient: Halibut (more Halibut recipes)
Preparation Method: Poached/Simmered (more Poached/Simmered recipes)
Cuisine: Jewish (more Jewish recipes)

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