Poor Man’s Lobster

4.75 from 4 votes

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Poor Man’s Lobster with Melted Butter is halibut made to taste just like lobster. This was our go-to recipe when we fished for halibut on the Alaskan coast.

Poor Man’s Lobster

Ok, Poor Man’s Lobster is truly my ultimate, favorite way of preparing halibut. This recipe got it’s name during a time when halibut was much cheaper to buy than lobster — which is not the case anymore. It definitely needs to be renamed “Rich Man’s Lobster!”

Food Caught Fresh

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!

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 it will be more feasible to make this recipe.

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.

Poor Man’s Lobster

4.75 from 4 votes
This way of preparing Halibut makes it taste just like lobster, especially when dipped in melted butter. The texture is smooth and tender.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Seafood
Servings 4


  • 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.
  • Cut halibut into 2-3 large pieces (so it cooks faster) and add to 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).

Nutrition Information

Calories: 227kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 21gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 5811mgPotassium: 531mgFiber: 1gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 76IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Emily Walker

Emily lives in Meridian, Idaho, with her husband, Beau, a physician assistant, and her three incredible children: a son and two daughters. Travel is one of her favorite ways to experience new cultures and cuisines, and she has a love for all things Disney.

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