Puerto Rican Swordfish Escabeche
As you navigate the coastal roads of Puerto Rico, you’re bound to discover a beloved local delicacy: Fish Escabeche, a delectable pickled and marinated fish dish savored throughout the island.
The unique twist on this dish involves grilling swordfish steaks, departing from the more common fried fish preparation. The result is a smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the tangy and tart vinegar used in the recipe.
The escabeche sauce relies on a combination of rice vinegar and honey, not only for preservation but also to introduce a delightful sweetness. Many locals prepare a batch of escabeche de pescado to enjoy during beach trips, embodying a quintessential Puerto Rican culinary experience.
Swordfish can be found in the waters surrounding Puerto Rico, especially in the deeper offshore areas of the Atlantic Ocean. Interestingly, swordfish are known to be more active at night, so many fishermen prefer to go fishing after dark. This involves setting up powerful lights on the boat’s surface to attract the fish to the surface.
Swordfish Escabeche Recipe
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Creamy Tomato Cucumber Salad
How about a simple dinner that is summery, sustainable, super-easy, and super-tasty? Grilled swordfish with a creamy tomato cucumber salad fits the bill.
Certified sustainable wild-caught swordfish steaks from Whole Foods are excellent. The swordfish is caught in the pristine waters off the eastern shore of Nova Scotia where they work with fourth generation fishermen at a Marine Stewardship Council Certified Fishery. The fish are only caught during peak season, September through November, processed into 5 to 6 oz. portions, then frozen individually.
Place the frozen fish fillets in their packaging in an air-tight baggie. Submerge the baggie in cold water for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the fish from packaging. Rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
Let fish come close to room temperature. Coat with olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Cook on the grill over medium-high heat for approximately 3 minutes per side. The packaging says to cook to an internal temperature of 145°F, but many chefs recommend 135°F. Just be sure not to overcook the swordfish.
Creamy Tomato Cucumber Salad
The store-bought buttermilk ranch dressing from Trader Joe’s is perfectly creamy, dilly, and garlicky. No need to make the dressing from scratch when composing this easy-going summer meal!
- cherry tomatoes – halved
- persian cucumbers – quartered lengthwise, then sliced bite-sized
- red onion – thinly sliced
- pitted kalamata olives – halved lengthwise
- fresh dill, chopped
- buttermilk ranch dressing
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Combine equal amounts of tomatoes and cucumber in a mixing bowl. Add a lesser amount of onion and olives. Sprinkle with dill. Dress liberally with buttermilk ranch dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon tomato cucumber salad into shallow bowls. Top with a grilled swordfish fillet and garnish with a sprig of dill.
As Ina would say, “How easy is that?”
Sour and Spicy Kimchi Soup
Beef Broth, Buckwheat Noodles, Swordfish, Seaweed
It’s not the elegant soup I would serve at a dinner party, but rather a rustic soup I absolutely crave on a winter night. This soup is kimchi guk on steroids.
Kimchi guk is a simple Korean soup where chopped napa cabbage kimchi is simmered in beef broth. Sometimes daikon, meat, or tofu are added. It is usually garnished with scallions.
This version with ground beef, buckwheat noodles, seaweed, and swordfish is much more hearty, and served as a meal. The broth is sour, spicy, savory, salty with a hint of sweetness, and really explodes with flavor.
There are a few non-traditional foods that I like to pair with napa cabbage kimchi such as cheddar cheese, mashed potatoes, and BBQ oysters. Swordfish is another, with its mildly sweet flavor and a juicy meaty texture with a good balance of fat, it just goes well with sour and spicy kimchi.
Sour and Spicy Kimchi Soup Recipe
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Fresh Local Swordfish over Spicy Fish Soup with Gochujang and Gochugaru
Doenjang Braised Beech Mushrooms, Red Jalapeño, Scallion, Cilantro
This version of Korean Maeuntang, a hot spicy fish soup is bright, fresh, and fiery. Chili paste, chili flakes, and fresh chilies layer on the heat while beech mushrooms add slightly crunchy slightly nutty texture and flavor to the fragrant fish broth. Pan-seared fresh local swordfish sits atop the soup, retaining its crispy exterior. Fresh cilantro and scallion add verdant sparks. The flavor comes from the various forms of red chili, not from a long simmer, so this mouthwatering red-hot meal can be on the table in about 20 minutes…
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hot pot! swordfish, kimchi, soba noodles
in a rich beef broth
with cucumber, tomato, scallion, jalapeño
togarashi & cilantro garnish
A super-satisfying one dish meal complex in flavor and texture. Generally a HOT POT is a pot of simmering hot stock for cooking meats and vegetables, which is placed in the center of the dining table. Here, this Korean~Japanese~Californian fusion hot pot meal is composed in individual bowls. Rich beef stock adds depth and pairs surprisingly well with fresh local California swordfish fillets while kimchi adds complexity with its sour, spicy, and umami notes. Farmers Market tomatoes, cucumber, and green jalapeño add bright crisp fresh notes to the pot.
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