Grilled Asian Swordfish Kabobs

I have been trying to incorporate more fish in our diet at home but given the varied preferences and tastes of everyone in the family (the two kids, my husband and I) it is hard to find common ground that might work for everyone. At one point everyone in the family loved Salmon (especially Teriyaki Salmon) but then my husband decided that he didn’t like Salmon any more (maybe I made it too often and he got bored with it) and since then I have been trying to look for other fish dishes that might work for everyone. Last week, I had gotten a two-thumbs-up from everyone for a Swordfish Kabobs recipe that I had tried (it was Grilled Swordfish with Grilled Pattypan Squash with an herb pesto on top), so this week too I went with another Swordfish recipe. This time I marinated the fish in Asian flavors – I drew inspiration from an Ina Garten recipe that she has titled “Indonesian Swordfish”. Having lived in Indonesia, I know that except for soy sauce, there is not much that is Indonesian about it. So I combined her recipe for the marinade with the most Indonesian of ingredients – Kecap Manis. Kecap Manis is a sweet soy sauce that is used in a lot of Indonesian recipes. The sweetness of the sauce comes from the molasses that is added to the regular salty soy sauce. Although this sweet soy sauce is available at Asian specialty stores in the US, if you can’t find it, you can always combine regular salty soy sauce with some dark molasses or alternatively with some honey. I also added a healthy amount of crushed fresh ginger root and garlic to the marinade. The Sriracha sauce gave the marinade a little bit of a spicy kick (not in the original Ina Garten recipe). Also I used olive oil instead of the peanut or canola oil suggested by Ina. I served the fish kabobs with some deep fried Brussels sprouts (dressed with a soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar and olive oil vinaigrette) and also plain quinoa on the side (I am trying to cut out rice or high carb grains from my diet). For once there was consensus in the whole family that the dinner was delicious!


1. 1.5-1.6 lbs of Swordfish
2. 4 cloves of fresh garlic
3. 2-3 inch long nub of fresh ginger root
4. 2 tablespoons of Kecap Manis (sweet soy sauce)
5. 1.5 tablespoons of regular soy sauce
6. 1/2 tablespoon of Sriracha Sauce
7. 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
8. 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
9. One large fresh lemon


1. Cut the swordfish steaks into 1.5 square inch cubes to make Kabobs.

2. Peel the garlic cloves and the ginger root.

3. Place the garlic cloves and the ginger root in a small food processor and give them a coarse grind.
4. Zest one lemon and also juice the lemon and place them in a large baking dish.

5. To make the marinade combine the following ingredients: Kecap Manis, soy sauce, olive oil, Dijon mustard, ,lemon zest , lemon juice minced garlic and ginger root.

6. Add the Sriracha sauce to the marinade and mix everything together to make a thick sticky marinade.

7. Add the chunks of swordfish to the marinade and mix everything together so that all the surfaces of the fish are covered with the marinade.
8. Cover the dish containing the marinating fish with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours. Do not marinade for too long, otherwise the fish will begin to fall apart during the grilling process.
9. Take the fish out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you are ready to begin grilling.

10. Skewer the fish through sturdy skewers and then grill it over a charcoal grill or on an indoor grill pan. It should take about 7-8 minutes on each side.
11. Serve the fish kabobs while they are still hot or warm. I served it with a drizzling of a dipping sauce made by combining – soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar and olive oil.


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  1. Permalink Submitted by Rupali Khanna on Tue, 12/08/2014 - 07:23

    Must try this soon. Love fish and love asian flavours.

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Tue, 12/08/2014 - 13:34

      Rupali, this was an all-round hit with my family – for once EVERY one loved it. Do try it and then let me know if you guys liked it or not 🙂

  2. Permalink Submitted by Bibs @ Tasteometer on Tue, 12/08/2014 - 11:23

    Mr. Grumps loves swordfish, I’m not so keen but with those Asian flavours I’m sure I’d enjoy this too.

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Tue, 12/08/2014 - 13:08

      I am sure this will make a convert out of you too 😀 Let me know if you try this recipe and how it turns out!

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