Monday, January 25, 2010

Malaysian Lime-Coconut Swordfish

This weekend, Joe and I accomplished a seemingly impossible and challenging task for us. We ate every single meal at home. Granted, we painted the town red on Wednesday night for his birthday, thus somewhat necessitating some nutritional and fiscal recoup. But I don't know if we've ever gone a whole weekend without going out for a meal. I also branched outside of my norm, preparing not one but two new foods in this meal: swordfish and bok choy. I've eaten both of them before but never prepared them myself. I simply stir-fried the chopped bok choy with some garlic and sesame oil. The other side consisted of curry-roasted potatoes.

But the fish was the star of the show. The meaty swordfish steaks, grilled perfectly by Joe, were complemented by a phenomenal sauce. The sauce had multiple notes: citrus, sour, sweet, and spicy. The coconut milk gave the sauce body without being too heavy. I found myself dipping the bok choy and potatoes in some of the extra sauce. This sauce would go with any firm-fleshed fish or even chicken. The recipe originally calls to broil the fish, but we chose to grill.

Malaysian Lime-Coconut Swordfish
source: Cooking Light July 2000

  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Thai chili paste (I doubled)
  • 2 shallots, peeled
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 (1 1/2-pound) swordfish steak (about 1 inch thick) (I had 2 steaks totaling about 1 lb.)
  • Cooking spray
  • Cilantro sprigs (optional)
  • Lemon wedges (optional)

Preheat grill.

Combine coconut milk, cilantro, lemon zest, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, chili paste, shallots, and garlic in a food processor; pulse 3 times or until coarsely chopped. Spread 1/2 cup shallot mixture evenly over fish. Grill, flipping once, until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve the fish with the remaining shallot mixture, and garnish with cilantro sprigs and lemon wedges, if desired.