An Alaskan Culinary Detour

Other Cuisines

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Alaska is a hunting and fishing paradise, and its cuisine very much reflects its geography. Salmon, halibut, shellfish and roasted game show up in restaurant and kitchen tables alike. Due to Alaska's long winter, and the necessity to keep food away from the local wildlife, preserves have played an important role in the local cuisine, leading to inventions such as canned bacon and the making jerky out of every possible meat. Berries are popular in summer and Alaskans enjoy birch syrup, their answer to maple syrup.

For my brief culinary sojourn into Alaskan cuisine I made:

Halibut Caddy Ganty

Halibut Caddy Ganty

Halibut Caddy Ganty is a fairly simple recipe of breaded Alaskan halibut marinated in wine and baked under a mixture of sour cream and mayonnaise. As the story goes, it was invented in the 1920s by Caddy Ganty, a woman from the small fishing community of Pelican. The dish is served in restaurants throughout Alaska (though I don't think I saw it in my brief sojourns into the state), and it's quite tasty, though if I made it again I would halve the sour cream and mayo - there was way too much for the amount of fish. This particular recipe comes from JoAnn and David Lesh, owners of the Gustavus Inn near Glacier Bay National Park.


Halibut Caddy Ganty


  • 2 lbs Alaskan halibut fillets, cut into 3" x 4" pieces
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dry dill (optional)


Place halibut in a deep dish and sprinkle with kosher salt on both sides. Pour wine on the halibut and marinate for 2 to 3 hours.

About 20 minutes before the end of marination, preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an oven-safe dish large enough to accommodate the fish in a single layer.

In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream, mayo and chopped onion. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Pat dry the fish and coat with bread crumbs on both sides. Place on the buttered dish on a single layer. Spread the sour cream mixture on the fish, making sure you cover completely. Sprinkle with paprika and optional dill.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.

Adapted from a recipe at Alaska Food, Wine and Travel

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