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Grilled Swordfish Kebabs

Tender fish kebabs are a favorite recipe of home cooks and street vendors throughout Casablanca and other coastal towns in Morocco. It's probably because they're so easy to make and because smoky, juicy pieces of swordfish (or monkfish, if you prefer) pair so effortlessly with almost any of the wonderful vegetable salads that are common in Morocco.

Plus: More Seafood Recipes and Tips

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

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  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 pounds swordfish steaks sliced 1 1/2 inches thick, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • Salt
  • Lemon wedges and harissa (see Note)


  1. In a large, shallow dish, combine the olive oil, garlic, cumin, paprika, parsley and crushed red pepper. Add the swordfish and stir to coat with the marinade. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Light a grill. Thread the swordfish onto 6-inch skewers. Season with salt. Grill the kebabs over a hot fire, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Serve hot, with lemon wedges and harissa.


Harissa, a North African chile paste, is available at Middle Eastern markets and specialty food stores.

These kebabs are delicious broiled as well as grilled. Be sure to lightly oil the broiling pan to prevent the fish from sticking.

You could try this simple, flavorful marinade with other rich, firm-flesh fished, like tuna or sturgeon. You could also use the marinade to make chicken kebabs; just grill or broil them for 10 minutes instead of 8.

Suggested Pairing

A lemony, savory Sicilian white blend with some body will provide a citrusy contrast to the succulent swordfish.

Contributed By Photo © Akiko Ida & Pierre Javelle Published March 2005

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