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Poor Mans Lobster with Melted Butter is a dish that you’ll never forget. It’s made with halibut, so it tastes just like lobster, but it doesn’t cost a fortune. It was our go-to recipe when we fished for halibut on the Alaskan coast. This is a great recipe if you’re looking to save some money while still getting an amazing meal!
Featured with this recipe
My favorite way to cook halibut is with melted butter. It’s a super simple dish that comes together in minutes and tastes like you’ve been cooking over a hot stove for hours.
The name of this recipe comes from its origins during a time when halibut was much cheaper than lobster which is not the case anymore! It definitely needs to be renamed “Rich Man’s Lobster!”
Fresh Caught Fish
YUMMMM!!! Just looking at this picture makes me want to make it again tonight. When Kevin, my Dad, and I went fishing in Alaska, we brought back tons of halibut and Poor Man’s Lobster was a common dish in our home for months. I never got sick of it and I don’t think I ever could. What I wouldn’t give to have a freezer full of halibut now. I don’t know if I would eat it or sell it to pay for my child’s college tuition.
Halibut is a white, flakey fish with a smooth texture. It is much better fresh than frozen. Frozen halibut tends to overcook and dry out. This way of preparing halibut to taste like lobster is amazing and easy, but it is also good when it is grilled or sautéed.
A special thanks to Elise for getting this recipe when she lived in Alaska. We enjoyed many wonderful times with her when she lived there. What a beautiful place!
Ingredients in Poor Mans Lobster
- Butter – sweet cream works great
Variations on this Recipe
For some fun flavor variations try some flavoring with the butter or brush some seasoning on to the fish after boiling. Some ideas to sprinkle on would be:
- Old Bay Seasoning
- Basil and Oregano
- dried chili peppers
Cost vs. Benefit
Halibut has been so expensive the past several years. I rarely see it on restaurant menus anymore. Halibut have become so scarce in the Atlantic Ocean that commercial fisherman are not allowed to catch them, and the Pacific Halibut supplies have been low for many years. It may also have something to do with the life cycle of halibut. They don’t reproduce until they are 8 years old. I’m hoping the day will come when halibut prices drop to a reasonable level again and then it will be more feasible to make this recipe. In the meantime, any affordable meaty whitefish with a firm texture works great for this recipe. Doing a fish boil will give the fish a similar consistency of lobster.
Frequently Asked Questions
Other seafood similar to lobster are the crawfish, king crab, langoustine, bass, monkfish, cod, haddock, grouper, snapper, mahi mahi, and scallops. They have that sweet rich flavor that we love from lobster. With a little lemon juice and butter, you might not know the difference.
Catch of the Day
If you are looking to incorporate more seafood into your life, you will definitely want to check out these recipes.
- Grilled Cilantro Lime Halibut is so easy to make and doesn’t taste fishy at all. Just fresh, flaky and fantastic!
- Homemade Tartar Sauce uses freshly squeezed lemon and chopped dill. It is so easy to make and tastes better than anything you can buy in the store.
- Thick and Hearty Seafood Chowder features big chunks of seasoned fish and potatoes. It is hands-down the best seafood chowder recipe ever! Thick, creamy and full of flavor.
How to Make Poor Mans Lobster
Poor Mans Lobster
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1 pound halibut
- 1/2 cup butter (sweet cream works great)
- 1 lemon
- In a medium to large pot bring 2 quarts of water, sugar, and salt to a boil on medium-high heat.
- Cut halibut into 2-3 large pieces (so it cooks faster) and add to boiling water.
- Boil for about 10 minutes or until halibut is nice and flaky.
- In the meantime, melt butter in a pot, but do not boil.
- Remove halibut from water, squeeze a little fresh lemon on it and serve with melted butter (I like to completely submerge my halibut in the melted butter, much like you would do with lobster).
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