Kalyn's Kitchen

Grilled Halibut with Cumin and Lime

If halibut is not available or not in the budget, just use any firm fish to make this delicious Grilled Halibut with Cumin and Lime! And if you have leftover fish, you can use it to make amazing fish tacos!

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Grilled Halibut with Cumin and Lime photo of cooked fish on plate with salad

Imagine you’re sitting on the top deck of a houseboat looking out at Utah’s gorgeous Lake Powell while you’re eating a wonderful dinner featuring this Grilled Halibut with Cumin and Lime. That’s the memory I had when I sat on my deck eating this a few days ago. And back in the days when I catered houseboat trips at the lake, this was always a popular dinner option. 

Of course grilled fish doesn’t have to be marinated, but the touch of cumin and fresh-squeezed lime juice that’s added to the marinade makes this fish so flavorful. And this is a healthy low-carb dinner that’s also perfect for Keto.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

What if you don’t have halibut or it’s too expensive?

Halibut was much cheaper in the days when I was cooking at Lake Powell, and the cumin and lime marinade is perfect for halibut. If you don’t have halibut you can use any kind of mild fish that’s firm enough to stay together on the grill such as sea bass, red snapper, grouper, cod, tuna, Mahi Mahi, and of course Salmon.

Does grilled fish benefit from being marinated?

Fish definitely can be delicious on the grill without being marinated. And although meats are often marinated to tenderize, when you’re marinating fish it’s just to add flavor, and it can be a great technique live up mild fish. Be sure you don’t marinate the fish too long. That’s especially important with a marinade that has lime or lemon juice because the marinade will start to “cook” the fish. Because they’re used for short marinating times, fish marinades are often stronger than those designed for beef, pork, or chicken, but you can reduce the spices a little if you prefer. I’m a huge fan of cumin, so I used the whole 2 teaspoons of cumin in this recipe, and really loved the flavor it added to the grilled fish.

How can you keep fish from sticking to the grill?

Grilled fish can be challenging, but there are some tips that will help. Using a marinade that has oil will help, but after you drain the barely-marinated fish, brush it with oil on both sides. Be sure the grill is clean, and spray with non-stick spray or rub grill grates with oil before you heat it to high. Lay the oiled fish on the grill, turn to medium high, and DO NOT TOUCH for about 3 minutes. Then lift the corner and see if it lifts easily and you have nice grill marks. (Rotate going the other angle for 3 minutes if you want criss-cross grill marks.) When you’re ready to turn the fish, use a Fish Spatula (affiliate link) if you have one.

What if you don’t have an outdoor grill?

If you don’t have an outdoor grill (or it’s not grilling weather), grilled fish like this can be cooked on a stove-top grill pan with ridges (affiliate link) or a George Foreman Grill (affiliate link) with good results. Remember that the George Foreman Grill cooks both sides at once so grilling time will be a lot shorter!

What can you do with leftover fish?

If you’re lucky enough to have some leftover fish, it’s perfect for making Lettuce Wrap Fish Tacos or Fish Taco Cabbage Bowls! And this delicious grilled halibut is amazing served with Fresh Tomatillo Salsa if you have time for making that!

Grilled Halibut with Cumin and Lime process shot photos for marinating the fish

How to marinate the fish before grilling:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Zest the skin of one lime. Just use a fine cheese grater to do this if you don’t have a microplane grater (affiliate link).
  2. Mix together lime juice, peanut oil (or other neutral-flavored oil), Worcestershire sauce or Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce (affiliate link), onion powder, garlic puree, ground cumin, lime zest, and black pepper.
  3. Put fish pieces into a Ziploc bag or a flat plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, pour in the marinade, and let it marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours (but not longer.)

Grilled Halibut with Cumin and Lime process shot photos for cooking the fish

How to cook the fish on the grill:

  1. Take fish out of the fridge, drain it and discard the marinade, and let the fish come to room temperature.
  2. Oil the grill or spray with non-stick spray and preheat to high (or only medium-high for a charcoal grill.)
  3. When the fish is room temperature, brush on both sides with peanut oil (or other high-smoke point oil.)
  4. For diagonal marks, lay the fish at an angle to the grill grates.
  5. Immediately turn the heat down to medium-high and let fish cook 3 minutes without touching it.
  6. Then lift up the edge of the fish and as soon as you see grill marks have formed and fish lifts up without sticking, rotate each piece of fish so it’s going the opposite way and cook 3 more minutes to get criss-cross grill marks. 
  7. Then turn the fish over carefully using a Fish Spatula (affiliate link) if you have one and cook on the second side until the fish feels firm (but not hard) to the touch.
  8. Total cooking time for grilled fish is about 10 minutes per inch of thickness. This was perfectly done in 10 minutes.
  9. Serve hot, with extra cut limes to squeeze on if desired. 

Grilled Halibut with Cumin and Lime found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Delicious Grilled Fish:

Grilled Fish with Garlic, Basil, and Lemon 
Grilled Halibut with Basil Vinaigrette
Grilled Salmon with Maple-Sriracha-Lime Glaze 

Grilled Halibut with Cumin and Lime

Grilled Halibut with Cumin and Lime

Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes

This recipe for Grilled Halibut with Cumin and Lime can be made using any firm white fish.

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 4 halibut steaks or fillets (or other firm fish fillets)

Marinade Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup oil of your choice (see notes)
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce (see notes)
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic puree or minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin (see notes)
  • 1 tsp. zested lime rind
  • 1/4  tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • fresh cut limes for squeezing on cooked fish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Zest the skin of one small lime. You can use a fine cheese grater to do this if you don't have a microplane grater (affiliate link), but this is one of my favorite kitchen tools.
  2. Mix together lime juice, peanut oil (or other neutral-flavored oil), Worcestershire sauce or Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce (affiliate link), onion powder, garlic puree, ground cumin, lime zest, and black pepper to make the marinade.
  3. Put the fish pieces into a Ziploc bag or a flat plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, pour in the marinade, and let it marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours (but definitely not longer than that.)
  4. Take fish out of the fridge, drain it and discard the marinade, and let the pieces of fish come to room temperature.
  5. Oil the grill or spray with non-stick spray and preheat to high (or only medium-high for a charcoal grill.)
  6. When the fish is room temperature, brush on both sides with peanut oil (or any high-smoke point oil.)
  7. If you want nice diagonal marks, lay the fish at an angle to the grill grates. Immediately turn the heat to medium-high and let fish cook at least 3 minutes without touching it.
  8. Then lift up the edge of the fish and as soon as you see grill marks have formed and fish lifts up without sticking, rotate each piece of fish so it's going the opposite way and cook about 3 more minutes to get criss-cross grill marks. 
  9. Then turn the fish over carefully using a Fish Spatula (affiliate link) if you have one and cook on the second side until the fish feels firm (but not hard) to the touch. Total cooking time for grilled fish is about 10 minutes per inch of thickness. This was perfectly done in 10 minutes.
  10. Serve hot, with extra cut limes to squeeze on if desired. 

Notes

I’ve made this mostly with halibut but any kind of mild fish which is substantial enough to hold up on the grill would work here. I would use Peanut Oil (affiliate link) but any neutral-flavored oil will work. Be sure to use Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce (affiliate link) if needed. I used 2 tsp. ground cumin, but if you don’t love cumin you might want less.

Recipe created by Kalyn.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 452Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 209mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 45g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Grilled Halibut is not only delicious, it’s perfect for any phase of the original South Beach Diet, or any other low-carb diet plan, including Keto.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Grilling Recipes to find more tasty recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2011. It was last updated in 2021.

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    32 Comments on “Grilled Halibut with Cumin and Lime”

  1. Pingback: Tilapia Salad with Spinach and Creamy Avocado Dressing | Low Carb Yum

  2. Does anyone know if this would work in a George Foreman electric grill? Thanks!

    • I haven’t cooked fish on the George Foreman Grill but can’t imagine why it won’t work. Just remember the George Foreman cooks both sides at once, so the cooking time will be shorter.

  3. Oh, my! This was delicious, but I am going to have to double the recipe next time. Everyone was fighting for more!

  4. Definitely you could leave out the Worcestershire, or sub a little soy sauce.

  5. I'm not nuts about Worcestershire, so I don't keep it in my pantry, but I think I could skip that ingredient still have a GREAT piece of fish!

  6. That looks like a perfect beat-the-heat meal!

  7. Glad you liked it, and good to know it worked well with salmon.

  8. My gf and I did this over marinade over the weekend with salmon on the grill. Excellent!

  9. Love halibut, love cumin never put them together. So lets give this a try then. The lime is going to be a nice touch instead of the usual lemon you have with some fish dishes.

  10. This looks DELICIOUS! Thanks for posting! I'm always on the lookout for new fish recipes.