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Lime-Ginger Grilled Swordfish with Bamboo Shoots

SwordlimegingerI picked up a nice New England-caught swordfish steak yesterday, and I had some fresh bamboo shoots from my trip to the Asian market last week.

As I was thinking about how to prepare the fish I remembered a hot, lazy night in Martinique a long time ago. The beach near the marina where I was staying was lined with little shacks offering food and drink to locals and those visitors who were, like me, weary of hotel and tourist-joint food. I wandered down the dark beach and, attracted by the smell of grilling food, found my way to a joint where they were grilling fish and serving it under the stars. Rum may have been offered as well. Raggae rhythms floated along the beach, melding with competing calypso beats and the sound of the surf. The fish was marinated in lime and seasoned with hot peppers, and to this day this combination transports me back to that lazy beach, charcoal smoke mixing with the soft seaside smells and the sounds of people relaxing, drinking, singing, laughing. 



Grilled Swordfish with Ginger/Lime/Honey Sauce and Bamboo Shoots

2 servings


  • 1 lb swordfish steak, 3/4" thick, cut in half
  • Juice of 1-1/2 limes
  • 1ta T honey
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 2 T minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  •  zest of one lime
  • 1 tsp fresh hot red pepper, minced

      Bamboo Shoots and Red Peppers

  • 1/2 fresh bamboo shoot, about 5 oz - cut in strips approx 1/4" x 1/4" x 3" 
  • 1/2 sweet red pepper, cut in julienne strips
  • 1/2 C chicken broth
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dry sherry or chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 2 T oil
  • salt, hot sauce to taste


Mix all the ingredients of the marinade and marinate the fish about 2 hours, no longer. (The lime juice "cooks" the fish, as in ceviche, and overmarinating will result in a flabby piece of fish.)

Meanwhile, prepare the bamboo shoots and peppers. Heat the oil until hot but not smoking. Stir fry the shoots 2 - 3 min. Add the broth, garlic, sherry, sugar and soy sauce. Cover tightly, lower heat and simmer about 15 min. Remove to a warmed plate. Raise the heat under the pan to high and stir-fry the pepper slices about 90 seconds. Add the peppers to the bamboo on the warmed plate. Correct the seasoning. 

Remove the fish from the marinade and reserve the marinade for later use. Grill the fish on a hot preheated grill about 4 minutes on one side, 2 minutes on the other side. (This timing is dependent on the characteristics of the grill and the thickness and temperature of the fish. On my grill it results in a very rare, flavorful and satisfying piece of fish. If you want to overcook it, be my guest.) Remove to a warmed side plate. 

Place the marinade in the sauté pan over high heat and quickly reduce it to a syrup.

To serve, pour a little more than half the marinade syrup in a puddle on the serving plate. Slice the fish and arrange on the plate. Drizzle a little more sauce over the fish. Top with the bamboo shoots and red peppers. If desired, garnish with toasted sesame seeds.


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