This macadamia crusted halibut recipe looks like a fancy restaurant dish, but it's really easy to make on the grill with a cedar plank.
5 from 1 vote

By Christie Vanover | Published October 25, 2022 | Last Updated October 25, 2022

Home | Recipes | Cedar Planked Macadamia Nut Crusted Grilled Halibut

Grilled halibut is a very mild, buttery fish that’s extremely easy to cook on a cedar plank. You simply season the filets with olive oil, salt and pepper and slide a pre-soaked plank on the grill.

If you want to make it even better, top the halibut filets with toasted macadamia nuts and garlic breadcrumbs with a touch of citrus to take the halibut recipe to a restaurant quality level.

two macadamia nut crusted halibut pieces on cedar plank.

What is a macadamia crust

Macadamia crust is a mixture of macadamia nuts, breadcrumbs, herbs and citrus that is layered on a piece of fish to give it added texture and flavor.

Macadamia nuts are grown in Hawaii and they are super buttery. Once you bite into them, they almost melt in your mouth, which makes them a great topping for halibut.

The easiest way to make ground macadamia nuts is with a food processor or food chopper. I like using my Ninja Blender because it has a smaller processor bowl for small jobs.

bowl of toasted macadamia nuts next to two halibut filets.

What does halibut taste like

Halibut and sea bass are my two favorite types of fish, because they’re both mild, buttery and flaky. They don’t have a fishy flavor at all.

As a kid, I can remember fishing for halibut straight from the Pacific Ocean off the Santa Monica Pier. But halibut can also be found in the Atlantic Ocean. The fish prefers cold water, so it’s more prevalent up north.

When you look for this white fish in the store, the pieces of halibut will most often be cut into 1-3 inch-thick filets, usually with skin still on.

Halibut does cost more than other fish, such as cod or salmon, so we enjoy it when there is a special occasion.

Ingredients

ingredients: butter, olive oil, garlic, panko, macadamia nuts, lemon, parsley, salt, pepper, halibut.
  • Halibut Filets: For best results, look for fresh filets from your fish monger. I usually find great filets at Costco or Whole Foods.
  • Chopped Macadamia Nuts: You only need a half cup of nuts, but that’s okay, because if you buy more, they’re delicious to eat on their own.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: These are a Japanese style of breadcrumbs that are crunchier than American or Italian style breadcrumbs.
  • Garlic: Sautéed minced garlic adds aromatics and earthiness to the crust.
  • Parsley: Use fresh if you can. It will provide a more vibrant flavor and color.
  • Lemon Zest: The zest adds a nice touch of brightness to the butter dish
  • Butter and Olive Oil: These will be used in the breadcrumbs mixture and to season the fish.

Substitutions: You can make this recipe with any type of fish. It’s also great on sea bass and cod.

bottles of BBQ rubs on black background

How to grill macadamia crusted halibut

  1. STEP ONE: Soak a cedar plank in water for at least 30 minutes. Heat your grill to medium heat (400F degrees) with a direct heat zone.
cedar plank in pan with water being held down by heavy glass.

PRO TIP: Cedar planks will help the fish from sticking to the grill while adding mild smoke. They are light and tend to float in the water. To keep it submerged on a rimmed baking sheet, add a heavy glass or can of soup on top.

  1. STEP TWO: Place a skillet on the grill or on the stove top over medium heat. Melt butter and oil. Stir in garlic and sauté for a few seconds. Add breadcrumbs and nuts. Cook, stirring often, until toasted. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon zest, parsley and salt.
skillet with toasted macadamia nuts.
  1. STEP THREE: Drizzle olive oil on the pieces of fish, and season halibut on both sides with salt and pepper.
two halibut filets seasoned with oil, salt and pepper.
  1. STEP FOUR: Place the halibut filets on the soaked cedar plank. If the filets have skin, place them skin side down. Top with the toasted macadamia breadcrumb mixture.
pressing nuts on halibut with back of spoon.

PRO TIP: Use the back of a spoon to press the nuts onto each filet. If some falls off, just scoop it up and add it back on top of the fish.

  1. STEP FIVE: Place the plank on the grill. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 145F degrees. I always use my Thermapen One to measure meat temps.
thermometer showing halibut at an internal temperature of 145F degrees.

PRO TIP: If you didn’t soak the plank long enough or if it started to dry out, it may start to catch fire. It’s helpful to have a squirt bottle with water nearby to extinguish the flame. You can also use a pair of tongs or a long spatula to move the plank to a less hot section of the grill.

How to serve macadamia crusted halibut

What’s really cool about this halibut recipe is that you can serve it straight from the grill to the table on the cedar plank. It makes for a really pretty presentation.

two macadamia nut crusted halibut pieces on cedar plank.

Storage

Halibut is best eaten right away. That’s when it’s the most tender and flaky. But if you do have leftovers, you can save them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

I don’t recommend freezing any leftovers. The flavor just won’t be the same.

GCG Pro Pitmaster Tips

  • Soak a cedar plank for at least 30 minutes
  • Make your toasted macadamia breadcrumbs
  • Cook the halibut filets to about 145F degrees for perfect flakiness

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you keep fish from sticking to the grill?

With this halibut recipe, you don’t have to worry about the fish sticking to the grill, because it’s cooked on a cedar plank. If you put the fish straight on the grill grates without the plank, you want to make sure your grates are clean and oiled. You’ll also want to add oil to the fish. Then, let it cook until it releases easily with a spatula. If you try to remove it too early, it will stick.

How long should halibut be cooked?

According to the USDA, all fish is safe to eat at an internal temperature of 145F degrees. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can tell that it’s done when the fish starts to flake apart when you pierce it with a fork. When cooked over medium heat, this will take around 10 minutes.

Is grilled halibut healthy?

Yes. It has zero saturated or trans fat and is low in sodium and high in proteins. It’s also a good source of iron, potassium, calcium and vitamin A. Macadamia nuts are also healthy, but they are high in fat. Fortunately, it’s the good fat – monounsaturated fats. If you want to make this dish healthier, reduce or omit the butter and leave out the bread crumbs.

Other Fish Recipes

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two macadamia nut crusted halibut pieces on cedar plank.

Cedar Planked Macadamia Nut Crusted Grilled Halibut

This macadamia crusted halibut recipe looks like a fancy restaurant dish, but it's really easy to make on the grill with a cedar plank.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 2

Equipment

  • cedar plank

Ingredients
 

Macadamia Nut Topping

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts chopped
  • 1 lemon (just the zest)
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Halibut Filets

  • 1 lb halibut filets
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Heat Grill: Soak a cedar plank in a pan of water for at least 30 minutes. Heat a grill to medium heat (400F degrees).
  • Toast Nuts: Place a skillet on the grill. Add butter and 1 tablespoon oil. Stir in garlic and sauté for a few seconds. Add breadcrumbs and nuts. Cook, stirring often, until toasted. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon zest, parsley and salt.
  • Season: Drizzle olive oil on the filets. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Place the halibut filets on a plank. If they have skin, place them skin side down. Top with the toasted macadamia nut mixture.
  • Grill: Place the plank on the grill. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 145F degrees. 

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 627kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 47gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 30gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 1156mgPotassium: 1169mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 387IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 85mgIron: 3mg

This estimate was created using an online nutrition calculator

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