Grilled Spice-Rubbed Swordfish with Indonesian Ketjap
Spice rubs are easier to use than marinades since they can be added to foods at the last minute. This dish combines robustly seasoned fish with sweet and sour sauce and succulent grilled pineapple. The spice rub works well with other light fish steaks as well, and could even be used with poultry or pork.
- Indonesian Ketjap
- Pineapple Juice - 1 cup
- Distilled White Vinegar - 1/2 cup
- Soy Sauce - 1/4 cup
- Fresh Ginger - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Tomato Ketchup - 1/2 cup
- Dark Brown Sugar - 1/4 cup, firmly packed
- Fresh Cilantro - 1/4 cup, minced
- Fresh lime juice - 1/4 cup
- Spice Rub
- Star Anise - 1 tablespoon
- Ground Ginger - 1 tablespoon
- Ground Turmeric - 1 tablespoon
- Ground cinnamon - 1 tablespoon
- Whole Cloves - 1 tablespoon
- Dried red pepper flakes - 2 teaspoons
- Salt - 1 tablespoon
- Ground Cumin Seed - 1 teaspoon
- Ground Cardamom seeds - 1 teaspoon
- Swordfish steaks - four, 6- to 8-ounce
- Fresh Pineapple - four, 1-inch-thick slices, unpeeled
- Indonesian Ketjap (above)
- Fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish
- Lime wedges for garnish
To make the ketjap: Combine the pineapple juice, vinegar, soy sauce, and ginger in a 1-quart non-aluminum saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the ketchup and brown sugar, stir, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Let cool. Makes 1-1/2 cups; store up to 1 week in a covered jar in the refrigerator.
To make the rub: Combine all ingredients in a 10-inch saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Toast the spices, stirring frequently, until they are very fragrant and just beginning to smoke, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and grind the spices in a spice grinder, well-washed coffee grinder, or with a mortar and pestle. The rub may be made up to 1 week in advance and stored in an airtight jar.
Light a fire in a charcoal grill. Rinse the swordfish under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the spices evenly over the swordfish steaks. Set aside until the coals are covered with light grey ash and you can hold your hand over them at the level of the grill grid for no more than 3 or 4 seconds.
Grill the steaks for 4 minutes on each side, or until the fish is browned but still slightly translucent in the center; it will continue to cook after it comes off the grill. Grill the pineapple for 3 minutes on each side. Brush with Indonesian Ketjap and grill for an additional 30 seconds per side.
To serve: Place a swordfish steak on each plate and cut the pineapple into wedges. Spoon a few tablespoons of Indonesian Ketjap over the swordfish. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro and lime wedges.