Halibut Cheeks with Peas, Onions & Pastrami

oak island halibut cheeks on a blue patterned plate

There’s nothing quite like fresh halibut cheeks, and paired with peas, onions and pastrami—this recipe from Oak Island Resort is a keeper! Served for two, this recipe is perfect for an elegant dinner with a taste that’s delicious to match.


Serves: 2

3 – 4 Pieces halibut cheek
5 tbsp Olive oil
1 Clove minced garlic
5 Pieces pearl onion
1 Shallot, halved
1 Sprig dill
1/2 Leek heart
4 Half pieces dried cherry tomato
3 Leaves mint (chiffonade)
150 g Pastrami
150 g Fresh peas
1/6 Kohlrabi, shaved thin and julienned
1 tsp Dijon mustard (grainy or dijon)
120 ml Pastrami stock (chicken or fish stock will do)
80 g Butter, fine dice
Pickled onion, to garnish


  1. Heat a cast iron pan to medium – high heat.
  2. Place oil into pan and wait until it reaches temperature. Pat fish cheeks dry and season with salt. once oil is hot, add cheeks to pan and sear for 2 – 3 minutes or until golden. Flip over and repeat.
  3. Place seared fish cheeks onto a paper lined plate, turn the temperature of your pan to low. Add shallot, and pearl onions to pan and cook till slightly golden.
  4. Add minced garlic, mint, dill and pastrami – stir with wooden spoon and sauté for 1 minute.
  5. Add pastrami stock and butter, use your wooden spoon to get golden bits off the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 1 minute.
  6. Add dried cherry tomatoes, kohlrabi, tsp of mustard, mint and fish cheeks. Continue to simmer for another minute or until the kohlrabi is slightly tender. Taste, season, and serve.

Local Source Guide:

Produce: Noggins Corner Farm Market, Stirling Fruit Farms Ltd., Masstown Market or one of the many other Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia.

Halibut Cheeks: When available, look for halibut cheeks at Evan’s Seafood & Restaurant, Afishionado Fishmongers, Clearwater Seafoods Ltd.Masstown Market’s ‘Catch of the Day’ or Fisherman’s Market.

Recipe provided by: Oak Island Resort & Conference Centre.
Photography provided by:
 Jessica Emin, @eatwithjessie.

This recipe is featured in our 2021 Taste of Nova Scotia Culinary Guide.

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