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« Seared Halibut with Ginger, Lemon and Garam Masala | Main | Stormy Weather Meatloaf »

Ginger Teriyaki Swordfish

Ginger Teriyaki Swordfish

This is a quick, easy variation on the traditional Japanese teriyaki-style preparation. The standard teriyaki sauce (the name refers to the luster the sauce imparts to the food) is a simple blend of saké, soy sauce, murin (sweet rice wine) and sugar, boiled to dissolve the sugar, but the liberties I took with it here include a shot of hot sauce and the addition of ginger. (Of course you can use bottled teriyaki sauce if you must...)

As usual, the timing suggested produces a rare result; if you like your fish more completely cooked, please submit your reasons to me in the form of a comment and I'll decide each case on the merits. (Usually permission to overcook fish will not be granted, especially if you're using delightlfully fresh, wild-caught fish as I did for this.)

I served this with some Japanese rice and steamed broccoli tossed with some shredded scallions. Beer or warmed saké are the traditional libations to accompany this dish.

Ginger Teriyaki Swordfish

3/4 lb fresh swordfish steak, about 3/4" thick
4 T saké
4 T murin (Japanese sweet vinegar)
4 T soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
dash hot sauce
2 T butter
2 T olive oil
1" piece of ginger, peeled and cut in matchsticks
lemon peel (optional)
sesame seeds (optional)

Mix the saké, murin, soy sauce and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Stir well, then reduce heat to low and stir in the butter and hot sauce. Keep warm.

Wash the fish and dry thoroughly. Heat the olive oil over high heat in a heavy skillet until very hot but not smoking. Place the fish in the pan and sear without disturbing for about a minute and fifteen seconds. Turn and sear another minute and fifteen seconds. Remove to a warmed side plate.

Pour the sauce into the skillet and boil for a few minutes to thicken slightly, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any bits of fish remaining in the pan. Stir in the ginger.

Return the fish to the pan and turn it several times in the sauce to coat.

To serve, slice the fish, arrange on a plate and drizzle more of the sauce over it. Garnish with sesame seeds and a piece of lemon peel if desired.


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I am very happy to hear that permission to overcook the fish will not usually be granted.

During one trip to the University Cafeteria many years ago, I selected the Baked Halibut Entree. My first bite exposed a warm goey substance not unlike lumpy sour milk. Is it any wonder I overcook fish to this day?

Another great seafood dish! I like the fancy thing you did with the lemon as well.

Stephen, since I've taken the pledge with Seafood Watch at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I just have to interject that anyone purchasing swordfish first make sure that it is U.S. or Canadian swordfish and not imported swordfish for environmental reasons.

Secondly, swordfish because of its mercury content is not recommended for women or children, and for men only once a month.

for more info, go here

and here

Hi Ed...thanks for the note...

I'm aware that there are various apparently legitimate concerns about sustainability, health and environmental issues with respect to a number of species of fish. I also have found, in doing some (unfortunately fairly limited) research on the subject, that while there is no lack of information and opinions there is not yet full agreement on the criteria for concern, nor on the severity of the various threats that have been identified.

While I am vitally concerned about the quality and sustainability of our food supply, the health impacts of food choices and the environmental damage caused by industrial food production operations, this site is limited in its scope to discussion of preparation of food in the kitchen. I'm confident that others are doing a better job than I could at tracking and addressing the concerns you raise and recommend that all my readers seek out the information they need to make decisions about food choices that are consistent with their environmental concerns, health issues and ethical outlook.

Thanks for stopping by again and offering your comment...

I'm sure I hold the minority view, but I think anyone who blogs about food is, ipso facto, directing consumer choices and a shaper of consumer opinions. We, meaning all of us food bloggers, should have a working knowledge of the environmental and health impacts of the food we're writing about. Swordfish, because of the mercury issue, is at the top of the list of suspect seafood. I think a short disclaimer would be in order.

Good idea Ed...see the About page

Kudos to you for making the extra effort, Stephen.

Okay, how did you do that lemon braid thingy? I want a macro close-up, please. Please let me know when you've completed this assignment.

- - - - -

Hey, aren't you a Taurus, too?

Have I told you how very much I love the picture of you on your About page?

And thanks to Ed, The Slow Cook, for his gentle and articulate suggestions.

Sending love to your family from ours (yeah, I speak for everyone) from here.

(P.S., I personally am done with swordfish, but not out of any kind of morally superior place...I still will eat suspicious meat on occasion...somehow the swordfish never tempts me, knowing its place on the food chain. I just think it ate a thousand things that swim in an ocean full of gasoline. Maybe I'm wrong, but that would be a first.)

: D

(Feel free to edit: I'm being loquacious instead of getting dinner ready.)

I love what you've done with the lemon zest, Stephen - very, very nice!

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