Swordfish Porcupines and Chayote Remoulade
Kataifi, or shredded phyllo dough, is used to create the “porcupine” effect in this dish. It is available in the refrigerator or freezer section of Middle Eastern markets and many large supermarkets. When swordfish cubes are dipped in egg and kataifi, then fried, they do a good imitation of the porcupine, indeed.
- Kataifi - 1 lb, fresh or thawed frozen
- All Purpose Flour - 1/2 cup
- Egg - 1, at room temperature
- Water - 1 tablespoon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Swordfish steaks - Four 1-inch-thick 6-ounce
- Vegetable Oil - For frying (alt. Peanut Oil)
- Salt - To taste
- Chives - 1/4 cup, snipped fresh
Remove the kataifi from the package and, over a shallow bowl, cut it with scissors into 1-inch pieces. Using your fingers, pull the dough apart, tossing and fluffing it in the bowl until it is completely separated into individual threads.
Place the flour in a small shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, beat the egg and add the water, salt, and pepper. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease a baking sheet; set aside.
To prepare the fish: Cut each swordfish steak into four large cubes and remove any large veins from the fish. Dip one cube into the flour and shake off any excess. Dip the cube into the egg mixture, then place it in the kataifi. Pick up the coated cube and press it firmly in the palms of your hands until it forms a package about 2-1/2 inches in diameter. Shake to remove any excess kataifi, and place the fish on the prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining swordfish cubes. If not cooking immediately, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, or until ready to use. Bring to room temperature before frying.
To cook the fish: Line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towel. In a large, heavy saute pan or skillet, heat 1 inch of oil to 350 F, or until bubbles for around a wooden spoon immersed in the oil. Using tongs, dip 1 swordfish portion into the oil and cook until the bottom is set, then immerse the entire portion. Repeat to add the remaining swordfish in batches without crowding. Cook the “porcupines” until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes total. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove each piece from the oil and drain well on the prepared pan. Sprinkle the hot fish with salt and some of the snipped chives.
To serve: Spoon a mound of chayote remoulade in the center of each serving plate. Arrange four “porcupines” on top of the remoulade, sprinkle with more chives, and serve immediately.
Chayote Remoulade Makes 2 cups
Shred the chayotes on a mandoline or V-slicer. In a medium bowl, combine the shredded chayote with the orange juice, mustard, mayonnaise, shallot, sugar, and Tabasco. Mix well and add salt and pepper. Serve within 30 minutes.