Hot-Smoked Halibut with Guacamole

Although I’m usually more into authentic traditional dishes, lately I’ve been doing a lot of fusion. Sometimes it works surprisingly well, like this hot-smoked halibut with guacamole. The flavors and textures are a very good combination.

Hot smoking is so easy to do and provides you with a lot of flavor for little effort. All you need is a simple stovetop smoker, which is not expensive at all. Put some smoking dust in the smoker along with a seasoned piece of fish, put the smoker on heat (dedicated burners or a gas stove) for 15-20 minutes and voilà: delicious smoked fish.

Guacamole only has two obligatory ingredients, and those are avocados and salt. It is also a good idea to add some lime juice to prevent discoloration. Other ingredients are up to your personal preference. In this case I added jalapeño, garlic, tomato, and cilantro. For the texture it is important to mash the avocado with a fork rather than using a blender, which would make it too smooth. Here’s what I did for a simple appetizer…


I made this up as I went and in the end decided not to use the olive oil

For 4 servings as an appetizer

300 grams (.66 lb) halibut fillet

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp sugar

2 Tbsp smoking dust

For the guacamole

2 avocados

salt to taste

1 jalapeño

2 small tomatoes

1 lime

1 Tbsp minced cilantro

1 clove garlic, minced


Combine 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp sugar in a bowl and stir to mix. Rub this mixture on both sides of the halibut and allow the fish to cure for about an hour.

For the guacamole, remove the skin and big seed of the avocados and mash them with a fork.

Keep mashing until you obtain a coarse puree. Season with salt and add freshly squeezed lime juice.

Seed and dice the tomatoes. Dice the jalapeño as well (small dice). Discard the seeds and membranes of the jalapeño if you don’t like it too hot. Add the tomatoes, jalapeño, garlic, and cilantro. Stir to mix.

Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and/or lime juice.

Put the smoke dust in the bottom of the smoker.

The fish will have released some juices.

Pat the fish dry with paper towels.

Light the burners underneath the smoker (or fire up your gas stove).

Reassemble the smoker and put the fish on the rack.

Put the smoker on top of the heat source and close it with the lid.

Smoke for 15 minutes.

Serve the smoked halibut at once (while it is still warm) with some guacamole and a piece of lime. Depending on how salty you like your food to be, you may wish to season the halibut with additional salt.

Wine pairing

We enjoyed this with a Saint-Aubin 1er cru, a white Burgundy (chardonnay) with some oak. The oak works well with the smokiness, the minerality works well with the fish and the creaminess works well with the guacamole.


Even though pasta with lamb, vegetables, honey, and thyme is not an authentic Italian dish, I do make it on a regular basis because it is so tasty.


10 thoughts on “Hot-Smoked Halibut with Guacamole

  1. Oh I would quite happily have this as lunch or a light dinner perhaps just followed by some cheese and fruit. Love avocadoes and do make a fair amount of guacamole: have not added garlic but usually minutely chopped Spanish onion does find its way in 🙂 !


  2. Since my last attempt at hot smoking cost me a new porch, Stefan, I’ve avoided the method, if you know what I mean. I have considered getting a stove top smoker but am concerned that it would set off the smoke detectors. Do you find this a problem? Can you smell the smoke in your kitchen and beyond? Well, no matter. This looks like a great dish and meal, Stefan. Your creativity strikes again! … And again in your Flashback. That is one good-looking and tasty-sounding dish of pasta. I wouldn’t dream of refusing a serving — or 3 — because it wasn’t “traditional”. 🙂


    1. Your question prompts me to whine about American kitchen vents. They suck. (Sorry for the bad pun, couldn’t resist.) Every American kitchen I’ve been to (granted, not that many) has the sam worthless GE model that makes the noise of an airplane taking off but does nothing to actually remove cooking smells. If you also have one of those, don’t smoke inside. I have a Bosch/Siemens kitchen vent that works so well that I can smoke or deep fry and 10 feet away you don’t smell anything and it certainly wouldn’t set off the smoke detectors. (Don’t get me started on those — ours is at a safe distance from the kitchen and since I cook with induction there is no fire hazard anyway.) Thanks for the nice compliments. That lamb pasta is delicious and I will prepare it again soon.

      Liked by 1 person

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