gone fishin’. [macadamia nut-crusted halibut w. mango-lime butter sauce]

June 13th, 2011 by | comments


This marks my 100th post on Sweet Caroline’s Cooking. Can’t believe it!

Ever since my family and I dined at The Hali’imaile General Store in 2000, located in Maui, we’ve been making recipes from its Hawaiian-style cookbook.

This is by far our favorite and most visited recipe in the book. The moist and flaky halibut coated with the chile mayonnaise and sweet, mango-lime butter sauce is absolutely divine. Conveniently, for the non-fish eaters in our family, the ingredients also work wonderfully with chicken.

I guarantee your guests will be impressed and eternally grateful if you serve them this dish at a dinner party.

Mango-lime butter recipe:

1/2 cup chopped fresh mango

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. peeled and minced fresh ginger, or 1/2 tsp. dried ginger

Juice of 2 limes

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Salt and pepper to taste


In a medium saucepan, combine the mango, wine, sugar, ginger, and lime juice and simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until thick and syrupy. Add the cream, mix well, and remove from the heat. Pour into a blender and blend until smooth.

Return to the saucepan and simmer over low heat for about 8 minutes, until the mixture thickens slightly. Add the butter, a piece at a time, and stir until incorporated before adding the next piece. Be careful not to boil the sauce, or it will separate. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

Halibut recipe:

1/2 cup macadamia nuts, whole or pieces

2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

1/2 cup fresh basil

1/2 cup good-quality mayonnaise

2 tsp. Sriacha (Thai garlic-chile paste)

4 halibut pieces, center cut

Salt and pepper

Olive oil, for sauteing


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place the nuts, panko and basil in a food processor and process until fine. Spread on a plate, or place in a bowl. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and chile paste and mix well. Lightly season the fish with salt and pepper. Evenly coat the chile mayonnaise on one side of each fish fillet. Coat the same side evenly with the panko coating.

In an ovenproof saute pan or skillet, pour in just enough oil to coat the bottom and heat over medium heat. (Be careful not to heat the pan too hot or the macadamia nuts will burn). Add the fish, crust side down, and saute for 3 minutes, until golden brown. Spread chile mayonnaise then panko mixture on bare side of fish. Turn the fish and lightly brown opposite side.

Transfer skillet to the oven for about 5 minutes, until cooked through and firm to the touch.

Place the fillets on individual plates and drizzle mango-lime butter on top. Serve with asparagus, or your side dish of choice.

*Recipe from The Hali’imaile General Store Cookbook

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  • Looks every bit as good as you say-even better!

  • This is genius! So delicious and wonderful flavors. I will absolutely be making this.

    • I highly recommend it–this recipe is a keeper!

  • Oh where to start, that looks so flaky and sweet and tender. Congrats on your 100th!

    • All of those adjectives are spot on. Thank you!

  • This looks delectable and definitely tropical. I am also in the Hawaii from of mind and am putting this next on my list to cook for a family dinner. I think my kids and hubby will think this is stellar. What a gorgeous plate you created and super photos!

    • It’s very yummy. You’ll have to let me know how your family likes it if you end up making this. :)

  • egg me on

    Way to go on your 100th post! Really great recipe to mark the occasion.

  • Looks and sounds delicious. This sounds like a modern refined island dish.

    • You’re right, that’s a great description!

  • Wow, this looks really fantastic! Your plating is beautiful! Congratulations on your 100th post!

    • You’re always so sweet, Ginger. Thank you so much, I appreciate it. :)

  • The fish nuggets must have tasted extremely delicious with macadamia crust.

    • The crust does compliment the fish wonderfully–great difference in textures. :)

  • Congratulations on your 100th post!
    This looks amazing! I must try it soon…I love everything about it!

    • Yes, you should definitely give it a try!!

  • Just printed this recipe. I know everyone in my house will love this dish! Thanks for sharing! And congrats on the 100th post!

    • Aw, I’m so glad, thank you! You’ll have to let me know if ChefDad, Miss A and Mr. N approve. :)

  • That looks incredible – adding that to my list of things to make when it’s “my turn” to cook next week (my wife and I take it in turns, hehe). I can just imagine how flavourful and great it is, and so much healthier than that great British staple, battered, deep-fried fish!

    By the way, I noticed you mentioned “good quality mayonnaise”… did you ever try making your own? It’s super easy. Separate an egg or two and put the yolks in a small container, add a good teaspoon or two of dijon mustard and stick a hand blender in. Blend it up as you pour in olive oil until you reach the desired consistency :)

    • I like that schedule, I’m sure it’s nice to have a break from cooking all of the time! It’s definitely a much lighter version of the deep-fried fish.

      I’ve basically made my own mayonnaise, as I made a garlic aioli for a chicken sandwich a while back. Failed the first time around (the result was a bowl full of oil), but the second time was a success–and delicious! Though I don’t use mayonnaise that often, I should make it homemade more often. Much butter for you and no preservatives!

  • Holy yum that recipe looks amazing. I love the mango sauce, I’ve never made anything like that before. So creative :D

    • Thank you! Honestly, I could drink the mango sauce it’s so delicious. Well, I wouldn’t because that might be a big tacky, but it’s really yummy. :)

  • Macadamina nuts on fish, wow this must taste so delicious. My faves in one dish, simply stunning. Also congratulations on your 100the post

    • They really add such a great flavor to the fish, I completely agree. Thank you!!

  • so inspired to 1) cook this dish and 2) go to hawaii! :) this halibut looks flaky & wonderful. beautiful food styling, too. congrats on your 100th, caroline!

    • Thanks so much! I’d love to take an impromptu trip to Hawaii too. :)

  • Congratulations on the 100th post!:) What a lovely and impressive dish, and I am definitely in the fish-eater group…major fish-lover:D

    • I’ve become much more of a fish eater than I was in the past–rather, I NEVER ate fish! I definitely prefer mild fish like halibut or mahi mahi though. Thanks, Christy!

  • This sounds fantastic and I love the fact the sauce can be used with chicken as well as fish. I hope you have had a great day. Blessings…Mary,

    • I love it’s versatility as well. Thank you so much Mary, hope you have a great day as well!

  • Congratulations on your 100th post. Looking forward to your next 100.
    It is easy to see why this is a family favourite – brilliant recipe an beautifully presented.
    :-) Mandy

    • You are too sweet, I really appreciate it. Thanks Mandy! xx

  • I LOVE a great halibut recipe but I never heard of nor tried a mango lime butter sauce. That just rolls off the tongue and sounds scrumptious. Wonderful recipe

    • Oh boy, it’s dangerously good. I totally agree, the name really does roll off the tongue. Mmm! Thanks so much, hope you’re having a wonderful day. :)

  • Caroline! This LOOKS, and sounds AH-mazing!! What a treat… can’t wait to try it! We love fish, but I’m sure it’s also great with chicken. Thanks for posting, and congratulations on your 100th post! :)

    By the way, isn’t Maui like no other place? I cannot wait to go back someday–hopefully soon!


    • Melissa! Thank you oh so much, you’re too kind. This is definitely a winning recipe, and one of my all-time favorites. I’ve been dying to go back to Maui since 2000, that’s the last time I was there! Such a wonderful getaway. I need to make a trip soon. :) xx

  • Hi Caroline, Congratulations! You have received the Versatile blogger award! To claim your award please visit this post: http://savoringeverybite.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/grilled-artichokes-with-sun-dried-tomato-dip-and-my-first-award/

  • I had to return to reply on this post! OMG amazing! A nut crust with the mango lime sauce, I could just imagine how good this will be! Both with chicken and halibut! It will be a perfect tropical tasting summer meal. Congrats on your 100th post!

    • Aw, thank you SO much Linda!! It’s pretty dang divine. and thank you for the award, that really means a lot! Going to your page now to check it out. :) :)

  • Yum! I love the combination of flavours in this dish, it sounds insanely good!

    • The flavors are really great together. Thank youuu!

  • YUM! Looking for some new flavors with fish – this is perfect and everyone will love the flavorful, crunchy crust!

    • They’ll definitely love it! :)

  • What a great combination – macadamia always makes me think of my dad… was his very favourite nut. Like the choice of halibut – nice and light and the mango-lime butter sauce… wow! Great Caroline.

    • Macadamia nuts are one of my favorites as well–sounds like a man of great taste. Thanks Kelly!

  • Wow! Delicious, Divine, Sinful, Rich and yet Delicate all at once! I am officially in love with your blog and your recipes and this fish! Amazing and the pictures are great!

    • You’re so sweet!! Thank you so, so much. :)

  • Congratulations!!! What a milestone.And what a way to celebrate.I love the sound of mango-lime butter sauce!

    • I know, I can’t believe it! On to the next 100 posts. :) Thanks so much, Tanvi!

  • Congrats!

  • Oh my gosh…that looks AMAZINGLY delicious!!! I can’t wait to make this! Just bookmarked it so I don’t forget. :) Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! :)

    • Of course!! Thank you so much. :)

  • Oh my goodness. I just gasped at your photo. This looks delicious!

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  • What a great combo! We have some tender sea perch in the fridge ready for dinner tonight I might try this!

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  • lee smith

    This is the best fish recipt I have ever made! Thanks for the recipe! Mangos were not ripe yet, so I replaced with some carrot, mango, ginger juice. It was amazing!