Sunday, June 6, 2010

Indonesian Grilled Swordfish

We were looking to make something "of the sea" and found beautiful swordfish steaks at John Yi's in Reading Terminal Market. I was a little unsure since I'd never made swordfish and had no recipe in mind yet.

I remembered seeing Ina Garten making swordfish on one of her episodes of Barefoot Contessa, so I decided to start off with her recipe. It happened to use several of my favorite ingredients — fresh ginger, lemon zest, and garlic — and seemed promising! The smell of the ginger alone was enough to make me enjoy the recipe!

As usual, I made a few changes to her recipe. My version is below.

Indonesian Grilled Swordfish Recipe (serves 4)

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup canola or peanut oil, plus extra for brushing on the grill
2 lemons, zested and juiced*
1/4 cup ginger, finely chopped or grated*
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated*
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
4 swordfish steaks, about 8 oz. each or 1-inch thick
Kosher salt

*My preferred method to prep these ingredients for a marinade is to use a microplane — it saves you the time of finely chopping (especially for the ginger), and you won't have big chunks for someone to bite into.

  • Combine the soy sauce, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger root, garlic, and mustard in a low, flat dish that's just large enough to hold the swordfish in one layer. Add your fish and turn a few times to coat the fish in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for about an hour.
  • Thirty minutes before you're ready to serve, build a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill. When the grill is hot, brush the cooking grate with oil to prevent the fish from sticking. Remove the fish from the marinade and place on the grill over medium-high heat. I spoon some of the remaining marinade on top of the fish just after it went on the grill. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, just until it's white inside and flakes easily. 
  • Place on a dish, sprinkle with kosher salt, and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow fish to rest for about 10 minutes, and it's ready to enjoy!

I served mine with rice and green beans. Since I had some marinade left after the fish went on the grill, I used it to make delicious ginger green beans. Why waste all that flavor by dumping it down the drain?

Here's what I did: First I got my green beans trimmed and ready to cook. I put some water in the bottom of a small pan along with the green beans and covered them, cooking over high heat. Once the water was boiling, the beans probably steamed for 3-4 minutes (beans should look bright green and be fork-tender). Then I drained the beans and returned them to the same pan back on the stove. I spooned about 3 tablespoons of the marinade into the pan and let the beans saute in the mixture for another couple of minutes. Voila! Very delicious, easy, and paired with the fish nicely!


  1. Looks delich! I don't think I ever made swordfish that I enjoyed...gonna try it!

  2. Try was excellent! Just make sure you're starting with good fish and don't overcook!


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